Most people look forward to the summer. But those hot summer months can pose a real threat to our fur babies. You see, despite their Mexican origin, Chihuahuas simply cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. As a responsible Chi owner, you need to make sure that your Chihuahua is safe during these warm weather months. Here are some tips to help you and your Chi enjoy the Summer.
Never leave your Chihuahua in a car!
All Chihuahua owners should know the dangers of leaving any pet in a hot car, even if it is just for a few minutes. This especially applies to Chihuahua owners. Chihuahuas love riding in the car and it is very tempting to let your Chihuahua ride to the grocery store with you.
However, you should never leave your fur baby inside a car during hot weather. Even with the windows wide open, a car parked in the hot sun can reach sweltering temperatures in excess of 120 degrees.
Pets left in hot cars can die within minutes or can suffer from severe dehydration. The best rule of thumb is the leave your Chi at home in the cool air conditioner during the hot weather.
You should also know that if you are a Chihuahua owner that allowing your Chihuahua a ride the bed of a truck is extremely dangerous for a Chihuahua at any time of the year. One jolt can send your Chihuahua flying out of the bed of the truck, resulting in injury or worse. Even putting your Chihuahua unsupervised in the bed of a truck in a public place can be a recipe for disaster.
Be extra careful with your pet during traveling. If you must travel with your Chihuahua, secure your Chi in the car and leave the air conditioning on at all times. Let your Chi take frequent breaks on long trips and give them a chance to get a drink of water.
Be Careful Walking your Chihuahua.
There are many areas where the temperatures soar in the warm months. In places where the high temperatures are extreme, it is a good idea to walk your Chihuahua either in the morning or in the evening when temperatures are lower.
During the summer, temperatures will be at the highest during midday. You should refrain from walking your Chihuahua during this time. Not only will you and your Chihuahua become hot and dehydrated, the hot concrete can burn your Chihuahua’s sensitive paws. Watch out for hot asphalt and artificial turf. The sensitive pads of a dog’s feet can get burned from running on hot surfaces.
When you do walk during hot weather, take along water for your Chihuahua and stop frequently to let your Chihuahua drink. Your Chihuahua will thank you for this.
Practice Proper Pet Grooming.
It is always a good idea to keep your Chi properly groomed, but it is especially important during the summer months. If your Chihuahua is longhaired, it is like wearing a fur coat in 95-degree weather. It is not comfortable to your Chi. Longhaired Chihuahuas can quickly overheat in the high temperatures.
Chihuahuas can get sunburned. Did you know, skin cancer is actually the most common form of cancer in dogs? You should use sunscreen on your Chihuahua but don’t rely on it to protect your Chi from skin cancer. The best protection is to keep you Ch indoors between 10am and 4pm on hot days. If you must have your Chi outside during these hours, sunscreen should be reapplied to sun-sensitive areas of your Chihuahuas body throughout the day. Sensitive areas include his nose, around his lips, the tips of his ears, his groin, and his belly.
The best sunscreen to use is one specifically developed for dogs. If you don’t have this then use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15+ that would be suitable for babies. Never use sunscreen containing zinc oxide or para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) as these ingredients are both toxic to dogs.
With long haired Chihuahuas, regular brushing also helps remove the winter undercoat and can help your Chihuahua better regulate body temperatures during hot weather. Regular clipping of long hair can also help keep your Chihuahua cool.
Watch for Insects.
Insects can be bothersome to your pet during the warm, summer months. Spring and summer are when fleas and ticks are the highest. Mosquitoes are also
out during this time of year. Fleas can transmit some nasty infections, such as tapeworm, to pets and people. Ticks can transmit Lyme Disease to pets and other family members. Mosquitoes can transmit Heartworm disease to your Chi which can be fatal if not caught early.
With this in mind, it is always a good idea to make sure your Chihuahua is up-to-date on flea, tick and heartworm preventative. Ask your veterinarian about suitable preventatives for your Chihuahua. Also, keep a first aid kit on hand for bee or wasp stings.
People tend to spend more time outdoors during the warm Summer months. Whether working in the yard, visiting the lake or swimming in the pool, you need to take extra caution when your pets are with you outside.
If you mow your yard or put chemicals on the grass, be sure your Chi is indoors and away from the dangers. Keep plant food, fertilizer, and other garden chemicals away from your Chi. Make sure that whatever you use on your lawn and garden will not harm your Chihuahua if ingested. If you use a granular product, water well afterward and let dry completely before giving your Chihuahua access to that space.
Also, if your Chihuahua enjoys the water, keep a close eye on her. Most pets can swim instinctively, but it is always a good idea to watch. If you enjoy taking your Chihuahua out boating, you can buy life preserver vests for your Chihuahua to wear. You can never be too safe when it comes to your beloved furry baby.