It is a blessing and a joy to have a dog as a pet. They are the most loyal and cheery companions that really light up your day. Many of you can’t even think of making a day go by without your furry best friend. For people who live in smaller apartments in the city without much space, small dogs are very popular.
Small dog characteristics include being under sixteen inches tall and they usually weigh below 22 pounds. The more popular breeds of small dogs out there include Pug, Chihuahua, Maltese, Pomeranian, and Daschund.
Small dogs are getting so popular because they are cuddly, compact, easy to travel with, and commonly more affordable than the larger dogs. They are easier to care for as well as they eat less, shed less, live longer, and don’t produce so much waste. They do, however, have pretty significant personalities, which make them more prone to behavioral upsets.
There are a few special needs that you need to take care of when you are caring for a small dog. This is important if you want to ensure and maximize their happiness, health, and wellbeing. Some of the steps you can follow to take care of your tiny dog are discussed below.
Create a Safe Place
Small dogs are known to be very sensitive; they scare easily and get over-excited quickly. So you can create a safe place for them where they can escape whenever they feel the need. You can make this safe area as a grated zone, away from high traffic areas. This can be a cage, a bed, or a crate.
The pooch will not be approached by anyone when it is in a safe area, so let the other household members know about this. Friends and visitors should also keep their distance when the dog is in a safe area. Make sure to keep your dog’s toys in the safe area along with some water and heating pads in case they get chilly. It is also good to keep potty pads nearby as little dogs need to use the toilet often.
Provide a Balanced Diet and Nutritious Food
You have to be very careful about the food portions that you provide to your small dog. This is because they have tiny stomachs and tiny appetites and giving them large portions of food at once can cause vomiting and bloating. So it’s a better idea to feed them small portions of food over two or three meals a day. You can give them food that is rich in antioxidants so that longevity is increased.
Make sure to give them high-quality protein-based food like fish or meat and exclude any fillers like corn or ash. Many small dogs can be really fussy about what they eat, so you can add a little canned food to make things lively at mealtime. Moistening up the food with a little warm water will also do the trick.
Small dogs need their blood sugar to be regulated as they are prone to hypoglycemia so frequent meals can help with this. Portion sizes must also be monitored as small dogs are prone to get obese. If you are busy throughout the day then you can consider buying an automatic feeder. This can dispense several small meals a day.
Ensure Dental Care And Hygiene
Dogs belonging to smaller breeds are prone to dental problems such as gum disease and tooth decay, so you need to invest in quality toothbrushes and dental pads. You can also give them dental treats that will freshen their breath and keep their teeth clean. Also, be sure to clean our dog’s teeth at least once a week to prevent any dental issues from developing.
Provide Adequate Training
As small dogs are very intelligent, they get frustrated and bored very easily. You need to provide it proper training so they don’t develop any naughty behavior such as ignoring basic commands. You can get your dog enrolled in classes where they teach obedience in a group. This will help them to socialize, curb boredom, and most importantly, will teach them proper manners.
Get Them Proper Exercise
Even a small dog needs daily exercise. The requirements will be different from what larger dogs will need. So you don’t have to walk miles like you would have to with a bigger dog. A ball game full of energy or a brisk walk around the block should suffice. Your pooch needs to be worn out, and the type or amount of exercise depends on the breed so you may need extra time for different breeds of dog.
Get The the Right Toys
Small dogs have much more energy than dogs of a larger breed. This is why you will need to ensure that they have a lot of playtime with the correct toys on a daily basis. This keeps them from developing bad behavior and also keeps them from getting bored. Most importantly, being engaged in playtime keeps them happy. You must ensure that you get the appropriate toys for them according to their age and size. Also, you need to remove or replace any toy that has become torn or broken so that your pooch does not get into a nasty accident and hurt itself.
Keep Them Warm
Small dogs can easily develop hypothermia as they mostly don’t have any winter undercoat. So you have to make sure to dress your dog appropriately when it is cold out. It will be best to get coats and sweaters that are made from natural soft fibers that will fit them snugly. You also need to look out for snow or ice on your pup’s feet and clean them out; otherwise, they can develop ice balls between their toes, which are very painful.
Groom Them Properly
Although they are little dogs who spend a lot of time indoors, they still need to be properly groomed. In reality, small dogs need more grooming from tip to toe every week. You need to brush their coats regularly and see to it that their nails are clipped. You can buy quality nail clippers and brushes and also a set of good shears to take care of the ones with long coats.
Dogs of a small breed live longer, so it is important for the owners to look after them and provide the required care so that their long life is healthy and happy. Give them foods that are rich in antioxidants so their insides are healthy. An aging dog will require extra care so buy them products for joint care, aspirin, and heated beds to provide them with comfort if they develop arthritis.
Take precautions in choosing canned food for your dog as well because as it grows old it might lose teeth, so you need to pick high quality canned food for the mature dogs. Taking care of your small dog is imperative if you want them to accompany you in the years to come. So take note of the points mentioned above to take proper care of your four-legged furball.