Toy dog breeds, like the Chinese Crested, are simply not equipped to handle the cold weather. With their small size, fragile structure, and lack of thick fur (or any fur at all, in the case of the Hairless), a Chinese Crested dog is best left inside once the temperatures start to plummet. What can a Chinese Crested owner do to make necessary outings more comfortable for his or her dog?
Chinese Crested Winter Wardrobe
Chinese Cresteds are already known as the “super model” of the dog world, so winter is a great time to add to a dog’s wardrobe. Thick sweaters and leg warmers (be sure to avoid wool blends) will help keep your Chinese Crested warm and cozy for brief trips outside to go potty. For Cresteds with cold ears, specially designed hats are available, as well. If the weather is particularly bad, consider training your dog to use indoor potty pads or even a litter box. In fact, a number of people train their small dogs, even Cresteds, to use a litter box to avoid the hassle of ever going outside.
Weather Protection for Chinese Crested Paws
For owners who still prefer the outdoors, they should be sure to protect their Chinese Crested’s paws with boots or socks. Specially formulated waxes and salves are also available, which both moisturize and shield sensitive paws from harsh conditions. If no paw protection is used, always be sure to wash and dry a dog’s paws after coming inside. Hazards, such as salt, can be lodged in a dog’s paw, which could cause extreme irritation. Consider purchasing ice-melt specially formulated for pets if living in an icy region.
Transporting Chinese Crested
If transporting your Chinese Crested in a carrier during the winter, take similar precautions to those you would take with a child. Be sure to block any ventilated areas of the carrier with a blanket for short trips, and do not expose the dog to harsh winds. Be aware that Hairless Chinese Cresteds can sweat, so never take a hot and sweaty dog outside into the cold weather – this is a surefire way for the fragile dog to catch a cold. A heated bed can also make winter more manageable for your dog, especially if living in a drafty house. If your Chinese Crested always seems to shiver in the winter, be sure to increase your dog’s caloric intake, because he or she will burn more calories by trying to stay warm.
Regardless of the temperature, the wind chill plays an important role in determining what type of weather is too cold for your dog. Chinese Cresteds are especially susceptible to frostbite, particularly on their nose, ears, and paws. Any toy breed should never be outside for an extended amount of time if the wind chill is colder than 20o F. If wet weather is present, use extreme caution in temperatures below 40o F. Remember, just as you would not like to be outside in cold and wet weather when you are naked, neither would your Chinese Crested dog!