How To Care For Small Dog Breeds

How To Care For Small Dog Breeds

Owning a dog is a big responsibility even if it is a small dog!  Small dog breeds are becoming more popular because they adjust to different lifestyles very easily.  For instance, small dog breeds make better apartment dogs than big dog breeds and they are easier to tote around when going places.  They make great lap dogs that will cuddle and sleep in your lap which is something that is harder for a larger dog to do and they are cuter to dress up than larger dogs!  There are advantages and disadvantages to owning a small dog breed as with any dog breed.

A dog that is sixteen inches tall or less and weighs 122 pounds or less is considered to be a small dog.  Some of the more popular small dog breeds are the Maltese, Boston Terrier, Pug, Pomeranian, Chihuahua, Miniature Schnauzer, Shih Tzu, Miniature Poodle and Dachshund.  There are dozens of other small dog breeds including the small designer dog breeds that have become a huge hit.  Some of these breeds include the Morkie, Pomchi, Puggle, Yorkie Poo, Shihpoo, Maltipoo, Meagle, Poogle, and Pomapoo.  There are also dozens more small designer dog breeds.

Small dogs are cute and cuddly but they are living creatures that need the proper care.  They often have very strong personalities and they require lots of care, love and attention to be the best pet they can possibly be.

Not all small dog breeds are the same.  Some breeds may be better for you and/or your family than others.  Just as if you were going to get a large dog breed or any other kind of dog for that matter, you should get information on the different kinds of small dog breeds.  You should do some research and see which breed is most suitable for you.  Find out what kind of care they will need, their type of temperament and their possible health issues.  All dogs have potential health problems so don’t let this keep you from getting the dog you want.  Your dog may never have any of the health issues that your dog’s breed is susceptible to.  When you are ready to get a small dog there are different places to go.  You can always check out the breeders in your local area but I would suggest checking out the local rescues and shelters in your area.  There are many purebreed rescues and you might just find that special little dog you are looking for and save a life while you are at it!

Small dogs usually live longer than big dogs which I think is one of the advantages of owning a small dog.  Chihuahuas are the longest living small dog breed so if you want your dog to be around for many years a Chihuahua is the dog you want!

As with any dog of any size, it is important for you to take your dog to the vet for vaccination boosters.  Your dog can’t tell you if he doesn’t feel well so it is important to be aware of your dog’s general state of health and usual behavior.  For instance, if your dog is usually very active but now appears to be lethargic, it is important to have your vet look at him.  Times to seek help would be if your dog refuses to eat, appears to be in pain or is extremely lethargic.  Be aware of changes in your dog’s behavior or warning signs and immediately seek help if something seems wrong.

There are some small dog breeds that require regular grooming while others may not require much grooming at all.  Small breeds such as the Maltese, Havanese, Bichon Frise, Poodle, Pekingese and Pomeranian have hair that tends to get matted and tangled so they need to be brushed on a daily basis and groomed once or twice a week.  Small breeds that don’t need as much brushing and grooming are the Boston Terrier, French Bulldog, Chihuahua, Toy Fox Terrier, Pug, Italian Greyhound, and Beagle to name a few.  If you own one of these breed types you should still brush and groom your dog occasionally to make sure he doesn’t have ticks or fleas.  An occasional bathing will help control the “doggie smell” and will keep your furry four legged friend looking shiny and clean and let’s face it…he will feel much better too!

Small dogs need exercise just like big dogs.  You shouldn’t carry your small dog everywhere you go even though it might be more tempting than letting him walk.  Your small dog needs exercise and he should be taken for regular walks.  Walking your dog is good physical exercise for both you and your dog!  Not only is it good physical exercise it also provides mental stimulation for your dog.  If you have an area where your small dog can go outside and play you should let him go out to play and explore as much as possible.  You can also provide indoor toys for your dog to play with to help him get the exercise and mental stimulation he needs.

Your small dog should be fed at a regularly scheduled time and should have fresh water available at all times.  Feed your dog higher quality dog food and make sure he gets the proper nutrition in his meals.

Many of the small dogs that fall into the toy, terrier, and teacup categories need training.  This will help to keep them from becoming spoiled and aggressive towards visitors.  Manners should be taught to your small dog at an early age.  No matter how small your puppy is, you should instill proper manners at an early age.

Just as with children, it is the rearing that will determine what kind of dog you have.  Just because small dogs have a reputation for yapping and barking, being clingy, having health issues and being arrogant doesn’t mean your dog will have those characteristics.  Teaching your dog manners such as not begging  and not jumping up on visitors and exercising your dog on a regular basis will help cut down on behavior problems.  You can mold your dog into the pet that you want it to be with patience, training, love and affection.  So once again, before you go out and get a small dog it is important to do some research and know exactly what you are getting!

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