There are so many reasons to adore miniature dogs. They’re great at cuddling, and you can take them anywhere you like without having to worry about vehicle space. Plus, they usually stay calm when you scoop them up to place their body inside a carry bag.
Caring for miniature dog breeds, however, is a whole different story – one that involves taking unique measures to ensure they live a healthy, long, happy life.
Do you own a miniature breed, or are you considering buying one soon? Read on for care-related tips and recommendations.
1. Get them to socialize
Work on developing social skills in your miniature dog as soon as they become a part of your family. It’s much easier to enforce good behavior than it is to fix aggression. For miniature dog breeds, we recommend that pet owners apply positive reinforcement. Also, it might be a good idea to consult with a professional trainer. Professional dog trainers know how to turn that canine sourpuss into a total darling.
In addition, be sure to expose your friend to other miniature breeds and people. Just like humans, dogs learn how to socialize via experience. Consistency is the key to getting good results so make sure that they have plenty of opportunities to interact with people and pooches.
2. Invest in the right toys
There are numerous dog toy options available for miniature pets. This cuts both ways, as it can get overwhelming to select the right plaything for your dog. One idea is to figure out what activity your pet likes to engage in to narrow down the best range of toys to invest in.
Toy bog breeds might love chasing a ball, while others want to chew, play tug of war or take a dip in the pool. With that said, make sure the toy you end up buying is friendly for the size of your small dog. Fun options include a plush teddy bear and fetch tri-flyer. You can also experiment with food puzzles to exercise their brains and even keep them busy when you need to tend to errands or chores.
3. Use fence blockers and dog gates
Miniature dogs are at a high risk for slip and fall injuries. Falls from even small heights, like off the couch or chair, can fracture their front spine or legs. The risk of tendon and bone fracture is even higher for breeds with skinny legs, such as Italian Greyhounds. Others like Shih Tzus and Dachshunds can be a victim of slipped discs which can lead to paralysis down the road.
You can avoid most of these instances by training your small friend to use a stair or ramp to get up on the bed. But perhaps the best resolution is to prevent them from climbing at all. Use fence blockers and dog gates to block off stairs or to prevent the dog from squeezing through a railing. Simply put, keeping your dog in a safe space will help you ensure they stay injury-free.
4. Groom them well
Many pet owners think that getting a miniature breed translates to less grooming, but this isn’t always the case. Several small dog breeds demand a lot of upkeep, and some even require intense daily care to keep them in top shape. Regardless of the specific dog breed you end up owning, make sure to groom them from tail to nose at least once a week.
The best way to groom small dogs is to use a soft brush. You can use it for both long-haired and small-haired dogs. Make sure to keep an eye out for tangles or matting with long-haired mutts. For clipping their nails, use a small pair of nail clippers and be gentle. The right sized tools will keep your dog comfortable throughout the grooming session.
5. Incorporate the right diet plan
Diet is a crucial part of keeping a small dog breed healthy. One thing to keep in mind is that smaller breeds require fewer calories than big dogs. Hence, take a careful look at the calorie information on the labels of dog food supplies. It can also help you identify the right portion size for your little pal. Get in touch with a dog vet if you have a hard time figuring this out.
Veterinarians are experienced in dog nutrition and may recommend that you buy food supplies that are specially made for miniature dog breeds. One option is to buy kibble, which is available for small canine breeds and comes in smaller pieces that are easy on their jaw. Also, it’s important that you feed your dog the right way based on the size of their mouth. A dog-friendly spoon might help. Lastly, make sure to get the right dog supplements to incorporate a wide range of minerals and vitamins in their diet.
6. Keep their teeth clean
Dental care for miniature breeds is vital, as small dogs are just as prone to tooth decay as their larger counterparts. Getting your mini-pooch familiar with routine cleanings is crucial if you want to avoid a hefty vet bill.
The key is to find a toothbrush that fits easily into their mouth. Because most pets dislike the taste of regular toothpaste, you can get a flavored one for your tiny friend. Peanut butter and chicken-flavored toothpaste are good options. Start by letting them lick the paste off of the toothbrush. After training them for a couple of days, try brushing a few of their front teeth until you manage to brush them all without making your dog uncomfortable.
In the dog-eat-dog universe, care makes a big difference. Providing the right care to your dog can have a significant impact on their existing health and overall lifespan. Whether you’re picking up dog supplies or buying essentials for grooming, make sure to keep the above tips in mind.
Dogs come from various sizes. Some dog owners simply like miniature dog breeds because it would be easy to cuddle them and play with them. Yet, the manner by which you take care of them is not small. There are six care tips that you must do to ensure that they are always in good condition.