My small dog seems to be shaking when I walk him in the cold. Should I put a coat on him for the winter, or does he have his own way of staying warm?
From the Editors of The Dog Daily
Protection from the cold can be a life-or-death matter for all dogs, and this is especially true for small breeds. Your dog is shivering in a futile attempt to stay warm, so you should either limit his outdoor exposure or buy him properly sized booties and a warm coat (or other appropriate clothing).
Dogs, like all mammals, experience heat loss that's proportional to the surface area of their bodies. The heat created by their bodies is, in turn, proportional to their mass. Large, warm-blooded animals generally create more heat than they lose, but the ratio can easily go out of balance for tiny dogs exposed to cold conditions.
Many toy and small breeds -- such as Chihuahuas, miniature pinschers and toy terriers -- don't possess thick coats and other body structures that can help these pups tolerate much cold. Problems can even occur indoors, so make sure your house is kept at a comfortable temperature for both you and your dog.