Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tis The Season To- Judge Other People Without Knowing All the Facts

It is that time of year.  The weather is getting colder.  You are all frantically starting to deep clean your houses in anticipation of the family visits at Thanksgiving.  The leaves are falling off the trees, the crisp air is making your morning coffee taste that much better, and your chihuahua is sitting in the corner shaking.  Take a minute to go look- I bet if you have a dog under 10 lbs in the house right now it is shaking in the corner.  Are they upset at your insane cleaning spree?  Do the leaves on the ground rub on their tummy uncomfortably?  Did they eat part of your Halloween pumpkin?  No,  no and no.  I was asking these same questions a few years ago.  The answer is simple, your chihuahua is freezing its ass off.  Tiny dogs with thin hair have been selectively bred by people for hundreds of years to be as tiny and as useless in the cold as possible.  Luckily, dear humans, over the last several hundred years we have also refined another thing.  The mass production of textiles.  And heating pads.  And polar fleece pet beds.  Now go put a sweater on that freezing dog, cause you know what?  A room temperature of 68 is cold if you only weigh 5lbs.

This jersey says "Wide Retriever"

I am always the first person to shout from the top of the roof that SMALL DOGS ARE DOGS TOO and to TREAT A CHIHUAHUA AS YOU WOULD A ROTTWEILER as far as rules go.  There are some areas though where tiny dogs are different.  As I mentioned before we humans feel a need to breed dogs to the extremes (no judgement there- really- I mean I own two super tiny dogs- I don't judge on that one) and some of those extremes have made it so our dogs can't regulate their own body functions.  In the case of tiny dogs that would be blood sugar (in some cases) and temperature.  The human race is responsible for the dogs being tiny so we are also responsible for putting a sweater on them if they are cold.

There comes my next point.  If you see a person walking their dog with a sweater on it.  DON'T JUDGE that person.  They are not (necessarily) treating their dog like a child, or playing dress up with it as if it is a doll, or anthropomorphizing it.  The dog is probably cold and the responsible owner is just keeping it warm.  Even if the dog does not seem to like the clothes- stop judging!  Just like anything some dogs take faster to stuff than others.  While one dog may love a sweater from the first day it wears it, it may take another dog a little while to be trained to ignore the clothes.

I am tired of people saying "I would never put clothes on my dog" or calling it "cruel" to put a sweater on a dog.  If you think it is cruel then you also must think it is cruel to simply own a small breed with short hair in a place where it gets cold.  Maybe that is what you think.  If so say that.

For a long time I was ashamed of putting clothes on my chihuahuas.  I thought it reinforced a stereotype and frankly the clothes are often really ugly.  If you are a person like me who tends to scoff at socially imposed gender norms then don't shop for chihuahua clothes.  It is a sea of pink tutus and camo pants, as I have blogged about before.  So for a long time I bought the cheapest, most generic clothes I could find and moved on.  Recently though I have realized that there is nothing wrong with spending money on clothes I like.  Kerri and Nova don't care what their clothes look like, but just like with collars and crate pads and other dog stuff it is ok to spend your money on what the human thinks looks good.  After all I am the one looking at it and parading it around town on our walks.

So moral of the story-
  • Your dog might be cold
  • If it is put a sweater on
  • Don't judge others for putting clothes on their dog
  • Even if they are designer clothes and cost a lot of money don't judge
  • Don't judge other people
  • Chihuahuas are dogs too
  • Don't Judge other people

P.S- Kerri outgrew most of her clothes from last winter, and Nova is her size too, so I am in need of clothes if anyone has any suggestions.  I like quirky stuff FYI.


  1. So true! Nola's 10-11lbs, and due to her extreme allergies she lost all the fur on her belly and chest and it never grew back. In addition to being a Florida native, as soon as it hits 65 she's cold. Heck, I put on a hoodie when it's that cold! As soon as she has her coat on she's good to go.
    Nola's Mom

  2. Etsy has some amazing dog sweaters, I love how creative some of them are.


  3. Our jack Ancient Pip really feels the cold now and a sweater and coats are a must and we don't care what people think. Have a tremendous Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly