Should Chihuahuas Wear Clothes? [Clothing Guide]

While some might say that all dogs are fashionistas at heart, there’s no denying that some breeds are more stylish than others.

Chihuahuas, for example, are often seen sporting the latest trends, from embellished shirts to cozy sweaters to flowery dresses. 

But should Chihuahuas wear clothes to begin with?

Some people believe it is unnecessary and just makes the dog look silly. 

In the winter, we dress our Chihuahua, Leo, in sweaters and a winter coat since he gets cold easily.

Let’s take a look at all the reasons why your Chihuahua should wear clothes and the downsides.

5 chihuahuas in a row wearing different colored sweaters

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Should Chihuahuas Wear Clothes?

Despite their reputation for being tough little dogs, Chihuahuas are actually quite delicate.

In fact, many Chihuahuas shiver uncontrollably when it’s even slightly chilly outside.

Because of their tiny bodies and fast metabolism, they are not very efficient at regulating temperature.

This means that they are more prone to cold weather than other breeds.

The AKC even recommends that Chihuahuas should wear winter coats.  

As a result, clothes are not simply a matter of fashion; they help protect them from the elements and frigid temperatures. 

12 Reasons Why Your Chihuahua Should Wear Clothes

Dog clothes are often seen as a fashion statement, but they can be practical, too.

Here are 12 reasons why your Chihuahua should wear clothes.

1. Keep Warm

a tan chihuahua is standing in the snow wearing a red sweater

Chihuahuas are especially susceptible to the cold due to their small size, so a coat or sweater can make a world of difference on a chilly day. 

Chihuahuas are a toy breed, which means they have very little body fat to insulate them from the cold weather.

As a result, they can start shivering and shaking at 60 degrees.

This is one reason why Chihuahuas aren’t meant to be outdoor dogs.

When exposed to cold temperatures for too long, they may burn extra calories to try and stay warm, putting them at risk of becoming underweight.

45 degrees Fahrenheit and below would be very cold for them while 32 degrees Fahrenheit and below is dangerous.

Small dogs like Chihuahuas are more at risk for hypothermia, so watch out for signs of lethargy, pale gums, slow breathing rate, and poor coordination.

Do Chihuahuas need to wear sweaters inside?

If you notice your Chihuahua burrowing in blankets inside, they may be a bit chilly so a sweater could be helpful for them indoors, too.

2. Sun Protection

Do Chihuahuas need clothes in the summer?

When it comes to shielding your dog’s skin from the sun while keeping them cool, clothes offer the right type of protection.

Our Chihuahua’s favorite pastime is sunbathing, but just like us, they can get sunburned or suffer from heatstroke.

A cooling vest will prevent such overheating during an especially sunny day.

Short-haired Chihuahuas and light-colored Chihuahuas are more vulnerable to UV rays.

Wearing clothing made with UPF fabric can help protect your Chihuahua’s skin from harmful UV rays if they are going to be outdoors for long periods of time.

3. Protection from Injuries

Small dogs can easily get injured in their environments, whether it be a scratch from a bush or getting caught on a fence.

Clothing can provide an extra layer of protection against these potential cuts and scrapes. 

Since dogs love to mark everything with their scent, they may also try to rub up against sharp objects like fences or thorny bushes.

Clothing can help prevent these types of injuries and keep your Chihuahua’s skin safe.

4. Protection from Allergens

Some Chihuahuas have sensitive skin or allergies, and clothing can provide a valuable defense against irritants like pollen or grass. 

Dogs are constantly brushing up against bushes, flowers, and grass on walks, so a sweater or t-shirt can help to keep those potential allergens from coming into contact with their skin, causing contact dermatitis.

5. Stay Clean Longer

Dogs love rolling around in the dirt and grass, so clothing can make it easier to keep them clean.

A shirt or sweater can prevent your Chihuahua from getting as dirty when outside, making bath time a little easier for you. 

Plus, it can even reduce the number of baths your Chihuahua may need!

6. Stay Dry

a long haired chihuahua is sitting outside in the rain wearing a clear rain poncho

Do Chihuahuas need clothes in the rain or snow? It would certainly help keep them warm and dry! 

Chihuahuas typically do not like getting wet so a waterproof jacket or raincoat will keep the rain and snow off them during potty breaks or walks.

A bonus is your Chihuahua won’t smell like a wet dog when they come inside.

7. Reduce Shedding

Our Chihuahua, Leo, curled up wearing one of his fave sweaters!

Although clothing can’t prevent shedding, it can help reduce shedding around the house.

Clothes will trap your Chihuahua’s loose fur and keep it contained. 

This will prevent it from getting all over your furniture and house since it will be attached to the clothing instead.

So for those who simply hate vacuuming fur all the time, clothing can be a good solution to reduce shedding.

Read next: Do Chihuahuas Shed a Lot? (23 Useful Tips to Minimize Shedding)

8. Keep Bugs Off

Clothing can also serve as a barrier against bugs, like ticks, mosquitos, bees, and fleas.

A sweater or jacket will make it harder for these bugs to latch onto your Chihuahua’s fur, acting as a deterrent against those pests.

By covering up, Chihuahuas can make themselves less attractive to these pests. So, not only do clothes help to repel bugs, but they also provide some protection against bug bites. 

9. More Visibility

Chihuahuas are so tiny and in low-light conditions, they can be difficult to spot.

Bright or reflective clothing can make them more visible, helping to keep them safe during nighttime walks or outdoor playtime.

10. Fashion Statement

a black chihuahua wearing a pink tutu

Some people simply think that a Chihuahua wearing clothes is so cute!

If you enjoy dressing your dog in different outfits, then there is no harm in doing so—as long as you make sure that the clothing is comfortable and does not restrict your Chihuahua’s movement. 

Clothing gives them the opportunity to shine and you the opportunity to show off your dog’s personality and style. A dressed-up Chihuahua can make for some cute photo ops!

11. Ease of Identification

If your Chihuahua were to ever escape or get lost, a shirt or jacket with identifying information can make it easier for them to be returned safely. 

Clothing embroidered with their name can also serve as a way for people to easily identify that they are someone’s pet and not a stray.

12. Paw Protection

a long haired tan chihuahua is wearing a tan sweater and pink booties

In cold or hot weather, the pavement can be harsh on your Chihuahua’s paws. 

Booties can provide protection against rough surfaces and extreme temperatures.

They can also protect against ice or snow, preventing your Chihuahua from getting frostbite on their paws.

Reasons Why Your Chihuahua Shouldn’t Wear Clothes

While there are many reasons why you may want to dress your Chihuahua in clothing, it is important to consider their comfort and preference. Here are some downsides to clothes.

Your Dog Doesn’t Like It

Some Chihuahuas hate wearing clothes and try to constantly remove them or chew on them. 

It is important to pay attention to your Chihuahua’s body language and behavior when they are wearing clothes—if they seem uncomfortable, stressed out, or become stiff, it’s probably best not to have them wear clothes.

Restriction of Movement

Clothing can restrict a Chihuahua’s movement and prevent them from performing natural behaviors like running and going potty.  

It is important to make sure that any clothing your Chihuahua wears does not restrict their movement or cause them discomfort. 

Try to avoid tight or bulky clothes. They should still be able to go potty with ease.

a tan chihuahua is wearing a pink wig, a pink scarf and rain boots

Extra Costs & More Laundry

Clothes for Chihuahua dogs are inexpensive, but they can add up.

You will also have to buy clothing for different seasons – t-shirts or dresses for the fall, a rain jacket for rainy days, a warm coat for the winter, and a sweater for winter days indoors are some examples. 

In addition, you will need to launder your Chihuahua’s clothes regularly, which means additional time and effort on your part.

If you have a male Chihuahua, prepare to deal with urine stains on their clothing. 


If the clothing you choose for your Chihuahua is made with rough or scratchy fabric, it could cause irritation and discomfort for them.

It is important to choose clothes made with soft and comfortable materials.

Potential for Overheating

In hot weather, clothing can trap heat and make your Chihuahua overheat.

It is important to monitor their temperature and remove any clothing if they seem to be getting too warm. 

To protect your Chihuahua from the sun on a hot day, a lightweight UV shirt or a cooling vest is the best option. 

How to Teach Your Chihuahua to Wear Clothes

If you have decided to dress your Chihuahua in clothes, but it’s the first time they have worn them, then it is important to introduce clothing gradually instead of forcing it upon them.

Here is one way to train your Chihuahua to be comfortable wearing clothes.

1. Start with comfortable and loose-fitting clothing like a t-shirt. Make sure the fabric is soft and not scratchy.

2. Introduce the shirt to your Chihuahua by placing it on the floor and offering treats if they sniff it, look at it, or interact with it.

3. Touch your Chihuahua with the shirt and then lay it on their back for a few seconds. Do several sessions of this.

4. If your Chihuahua doesn’t like things going over the head, you can lure them using treats. Hold the shirt so the head opening is facing your dog, then hold a treat in front of the opening to encourage them to put their head through.

5. Once their head is through, ask for each paw and put their legs through, then give them a treat.

6. Gradually increase the amount of time your Chihuahua wears the clothing, starting with just a few minutes.

7. If your Chihuahua seems uncomfortable or resistant at any time, take a break and try again later as it’s vital not to force the process. 

Best Chihuahua Clothes (Approved by our Chihuahua- Leo)

#1 Fleece

This Gooby Stretch Fleece Vest is a great choice for chilly weather.

It is made of soft and comfortable fabric that will protect your Chihuahua from the cold.

Plus, the stretchy material allows them to move around with ease.

It also comes in 19 different colors, so you can find one that suits your Chihuahua’s personality and style.

We chose the red, grass green, and mint ones for Leo.

#2 Sweater

The Jecikelon Sweater is a cozy and stylish option for the winter months as it covers the dog’s front legs.

Crafted with thick durable material and lined with soft plush inside, this sweater is sure to keep your Chihuahua comfy and warm. 

Compared to the fleece vest, it has a slightly looser fit for added comfort during those colder days spent lounging around!

Plus, it comes in 18 different colors so you can choose the perfect one for your Chihuahua. Leo wears the red and blue sweaters.

#3 T-shirt

Fitwarm t-shirts include an extensive collection of adorable shirts specifically designed for small dogs such as Chihuahuas.

We’ve stocked up on 8 different styles for our pup Leo and he loves them!

The stretchy fabric is lightweight yet breathable, making these shirts ideal for spring and fall days.

Plus, they come in a variety of colors and designs – including stripes, tie-die, Hawaiian, and others with sayings printed on them.

Your Chihuahua will look adorable in whichever one you choose!

#4 Winter Jacket

Keep your Chihuahua warm and chic during the winter with the FUAMEY Padded Vest Dog Jacket.

This is the best winter jacket we have found for Leo.

Others use velcro which digs into his skin, but this zips on top and is made with a soft and plush material to keep him warm.

Plus, it comes in 7 different colors, is snow and wind resistant, and even has a D ring for attaching a leash.


In conclusion, should Chihuahuas wear clothes? It depends.

Ultimately, it’s up to you and your individual dog.

Consider their needs, the weather conditions, and whether or not they seem to enjoy wearing clothes. 

As long as the clothing is comfortable and does not restrict their movement, dressing your Chihuahua helps protect them from the elements. 

But if your Chihuahua seems to dislike clothes, then it’s probably best to skip the clothing and let them go au natural. 


What Type of Clothing Should Chihuahuas Wear? 

This will depend on your individual dog and their preferences. Chihuahua clothes include t-shirts, dresses, sweaters, fleece vests, hoodies, rain jackets, winter coats, and pajamas. 

It is important to choose comfortable clothing made with soft materials and to consider the weather when dressing your Chihuahua.

Where To Buy Chihuahua Clothes?

If you’re wondering where to buy Chihuahua clothes, there are many places, including pet stores like Petco and PetSmart, Amazon, and boutique pet stores. 

It is important to choose soft and stretchy clothing that doesn’t restrict your dog’s movement. Fleece, cotton, combed cotton, and polycotton are usually good options.

What Size Clothes Do Chihuahuas Wear?

Chihuahuas usually wear size XX-small (XXS), X-small (XS) or small (S). To figure out your Chihuahua’s size, measure their chest girth, neck girth, and the length of their back. 

Refer to the clothing’s size chart and choose the size that fits their measurements the best. If in-between sizes, it’s safer to size up.

How Can I Keep My Chihuahua Warm in Winter? 

In addition to wearing sweaters and winter coats, there are several other options for keeping your Chihuahua warm in the winter. Providing a cozy bed in a draft-free area, using a pet heating pad and fleece blankets can all help to keep your Chihuahua warm. 

Wearing booties will help protect their feet from the cold ground and snow. Investing in some indoor pee pads can also help prevent them from having to go outside in the chilly winter weather. 

At What Temperature Should a Chihuahua Wear a Sweater?

Chihuahuas need to wear a sweater or jacket when the temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit and below. If your Chihuahua has short hair, health issues, or is a puppy or senior, they may need a sweater when it’s in the 40s and 50s as well. In addition to wearing a sweater, it is important to limit their time outside in cold weather to prevent frostbite and hypothermia.

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