Why does my Chihuahua like the sun? It seems strange, as most Pomeranians don’t enjoy the heat of the sun and stay away from it. But not a Chihuahua. These tiny dogs love lying in the sun for extended periods of time. Why is this? Do Chihuahuas feel more at home in the outdoors than other breeds? Do they like the scent of greenery around them? There are certain inherent links with the origins of these diminutive dogs and why they are at home in the sun. Read until the end to find out why your Chihuahua likes the sun, what the benefits and pitfalls are – if any.
Chihuahuas, like other short-haired dogs, have special needs when it comes to sun exposure. They are at risk of sunburn and overheating in direct sunlight. To avoid this, make sure you provide your dog with adequate shade and plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Chihuahuas, like people, can benefit from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
This is why you might catch your Chihuahua stretching out in the sun during warm afternoons. Exposing your Chihuahua to sunlight also helps prevent heartworm. This is because mosquitoes that carry the disease are unable to survive in sunlight. Therefore, dogs who spend time in the sun on a regular basis are less likely to contract the disease.
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Benefits of Allowing Your Chihuahua To Spend Time in The Sun
Chihuahuas, as we have seen, are bred to be very small. This makes them more susceptible to overheating quickly. The Sun provides warmth and helps them regulate their body heat, without overheating them. Chihuahuas have a short coat. Other breeds have a longer coat, which can protect them from the Sun. The Sun can also boost vitamin D production. This is beneficial for a dog’s bones and teeth.
How Much Sun UV is Required by Your Chihuahua?
The amount of UV required to produce Vitamin D in dogs varies depending on their size and fur length. Short-haired dogs need less exposure than long-haired ones, but all dogs should be wary of getting too much UV exposure. The general rule of thumb is that for every 10 minutes of exposure, your dog needs about 20 minutes of rest.
If you are unsure about whether or not your dog is getting too much sun exposure, keep an eye on their behavior. If they look agitated or uncomfortable, they may be overexposed. Keep in mind that just because your dog is outside in the sun during the day doesn’t mean they are getting enough UV to produce Vitamin D. If the sun is blocked by an overcast sky or if it’s behind a tall building, your dog won’t get enough UV exposure.
Vitamin D and Where Dogs Get it From
Dogs don’t get any vitamin D from eating fish – they’re not able to metabolize the type of vitamin D found in fish (called vitamin D3) the same way humans do. However, dogs can get their fill of this essential vitamin by spending more time outdoors during daylight hours or by basking in sunlight indoors. If not enough sunlight is apparent at all times of the year and you are concerned about your dog getting enough Vitamin D, speak to your veterinarian about supplementation. They may suggest a supplement specifically formulated for dogs, which will be more accessible and affordable than human supplements. But if that’s not an option, there are other ways to help them get their daily dose.
One of the best ways to get Vitamin D is also one of the easiest – get your dog outside at first light. This is when their body will naturally produce the most Vitamin D, so they don’t even have to do anything. Just be careful not to overdo it, as even a couple minutes of exposure will be plenty. If you want to be extra cautious, you can use a UV light meter to make sure the sun isn’t too strong for your dog’s sensitive skin.
By Licking the Soft Parts of their Paws Chihuahuas Ingest Vitamin D
Yes, you read that correctly. Dogs lick their own paws, especially when they are young. While we generally interpret this as a sign of anxiety or discomfort, for dogs it’s just a natural part of grooming. Dogs lick their paws to clean them, and even though humans can’t see it, the skin on their paws is actually very soft and sensitive. When they groom themselves, they ingest some of the dirt and bacteria on their paws and in turn, some of the Vitamin D that is present there. While this isn’t an ideal way to get enough Vitamin D, it can help in a pinch. Remember, though, that it’s not likely they’ll ingest enough Vitamin D this way to meet their daily requirement.
Eating Foods that naturally contain Vitamin D
Vitamin D is commonly found in fish, egg yolks, and mushrooms. Dogs, however, cannot metabolize the Vitamin D found in mushrooms, so don’t count on that. Eggs are a great source of Vitamin D, but don’t go overboard. Too much yolks can lead to Vitamin D toxicity and cause your dog to have loose stools or become lethargic. Fish is great for dogs, but not all fish is good for them. Salmon, tuna, trout, herring, sardines, and mackerel can all be very good for your pooch. Make sure you don’t overdo it, though. Too much fish can lead to Vitamin E toxicity, which can cause muscle tremors, weakness, and even paralysis.
Are There any Dangers to Putting a Chihuahua in the Sun?
The only risk that comes with letting your Chihuahua in the sun is the risk of overheating and sunburn. Short-haired dogs like Chihuahuas are more vulnerable to sunburn due to their lack of fur. Make sure your Chihuahua has access to cool shade as often as possible, as well as plenty of water to avoid dehydration. If your dog is spending a lot of time in sunlight, make sure he has access to a good sunscreen. You can find pet-friendly sunscreen sprays and creams at most pet stores.
Chihuahuas Are Said to have Heralded From The Desert So They Like The Sun
Chihuahuas are said to have been discovered in the desert, so there is a connection between these little guys and living in hot and sunny climates. But what does the desert have to do with Chihuahuas? Chihuahuas are actually named after the desert. The name Chihuahua is a word from Nahuatl, an ancient language used by the Aztecs, which means “little desert wolf.” This isn’t a coincidence, as there is a strong connection between these dogs and wolves. Chihuahuas are one of the oldest breeds in the world, and they are also one of the smallest dog breeds. The closest relatives to Chihuahuas are actually Arctic wolves.
How Long Can My Chihuahua Stay Out In The Sun?
It depends on what climate you live in and the temperature outside. If you live in a cold climate and the sun doesn’t seem hot don’t worry about letting your Chihuahua stay outside as long as it has access to shade and water.
Why The Sun Helps Chihuahuas Relax
Sunlight, like any other light source, produces energy called photons. These little energy packets travel through the air and enter your dog’s eyes. Once there, they trigger the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps your dog fall asleep quickly. Melatonin is also responsible for a healthy immune system and a reduced risk of developing cancer. While not all dogs produce the same amounts of melatonin, you can trigger its production with light. So if your Chihuahua is having trouble falling asleep, letting them rest next to a window with a bit of light coming through could help. Sunlight also helps your dog stay relaxed by triggering serotonin production.
Serotonin is a hormone that makes people and dogs happy and relaxed. By exposing your dog to sunlight, you can help regulate their serotonin production. This is especially helpful if your dog is dealing with anxiety or depression.
Other Ways That The Sun Help Chihuahuas Relax
Sunlight can also help your dog relax by regulating their blood pressure. The blood pressure is the amount of blood that travels through your veins every minute. This blood travels back and forth to supply your cells with energy. When the blood pressure rises, it becomes harder for the cells to receive the energy they need. Collectively, these facts mean that sunlight can help regulate blood pressure and keep your dog calm. Sunlight is also helpful for regulating digestion. If your dog’s digestion is a bit slower than normal, light can help speed things up. Although this method is not very effective, it can be helpful in a pinch. Sunlight can also help regulate hormonal production and keep your dog from feeling too cold in colder weather.
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