Dogs and Snow: How Penny Feels About That Cold White Stuff

Hi, I’m Savanna! Read my introduction to learn more about me and my spunky Chihuahua mix, Penny.

Some dogs and snow go hand-in-hand, and breeds such as Huskies, Saint Bernards, and Newfoundlands, among others, were actually bred for working in the snow. Other dogs just love to romp around in the snow, regardless of what breed they are. However, Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes, not so much, even the long-haired ones like my sweet Penny.

Living in Alabama, we only get snow that sticks once every 2–3 years. So the first time after we got Penny that I heard it was going to snow, I wondered how she was going to react to it. Long story short: she hates it, just like I do!

Penny’s First Snow

The first time it snowed after we got Penny was January 2022. She was born in August 2020 and other than a few flurries that didn’t stick, we didn’t really have snow in 2021. Likewise, we didn’t expect the snow in January 2022 to actually stick either.

It started snowing at night and was already pretty cold so I didn’t really take Penny outside much that night. Cold weather can be really dangerous for Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes since they have a more difficult time regulating their temperature due to their size and makeup, especially without proper winter protection. Plus, the climate in Mexico where the breed originated is certainly different from Alaska, Russia, or the Alps, so Chihuahuas weren’t bred to be able to handle the cold.

Even with proper winter protection and her long hair, it can still be dangerous for Penny to be outside in the cold for too long. So I decided to just keep her inside. The next morning I woke up, and surprise! The snow was still there. Usually, it’s melted here by morning due to the warm ground temperatures. I couldn’t avoid not taking Penny outside all day, and she had to potty, so outside we went.

The night it started snowing.
The night it started snowing.

How Did Penny React?

Let’s just say she was less than thrilled. She took one look around, and immediately tried to bolt back inside! But she still needed to go potty, so I picked her up and put her in our snowless driveway. She went potty, then walked over to check out the cold white stuff on the ground.

She sniffed it, put both her front paws on the snow, stood there long enough for me to take a picture, and she was done. I can’t say I blame her. I don’t care for snow either. It does make things look quite beautiful, but it’s also cold, wet, and most of us Alabamians don’t exactly have the right clothing to wear in the snow. Needless to say, neither of us really wanted to go back outside the rest of that day.

In December 2022, we got some of the coldest weather I ever remember. There was no snow, but there was ice everywhere. I think the windchill temperature was something like 0℉. We had gotten Penny a cute little sherpa doggy jacket by this point, so I put it on her and we went outside. Nope. She was not having it. She would not even step foot off the doorstep.

It’s a good thing we still had some leftover potty pads, because she absolutely refused to go outside the rest of that day. She was quite happy when it got back up to 65℉ three days later.

0 degrees and her face says it all.
0 degrees and her face says it all.

If It’s Snowing, We’re Not Going!

I think me and Penny are both very glad that it only really snows here once every couple of years. We both much prefer our warm weather, thank you very much. So the next time it snows, we’ll be cuddled up under a blanket inside where it’s warm!

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