How to Care for Small Dog Breeds

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How to Care for Small Dog Breeds. Small dog breeds are very popular because of their adaptability to different lifestyles. For instance, small dog breeds are often better suited for apartment living than large dog breeds. Small dog breeds have special needs that should be considered to help owners maintain a happy, healthy lifestyle for their pets.

Provide higher quality foods. Small dogs have smaller stomachs and small appetites. You will need to make sure your dog gets the proper nutrition in his small meals. Consider purchasing an automatic feeder so the dog can eat small meals several times a day.

Brush his teeth. Most small dog breeds are prone to dental problems. You can purchase dental pads or small breed toothbrushes to make cleaning easier. Feed your pet treats that help clean teeth and freshen breathe. Most small breeds should have their teeth cleaned weekly.

Buy toys. Small dog breeds have more energy than large dog breeds. You will need to have plenty of toys for your pet. Be sure to incorporate enough playtime throughout the day so that your dog doesn't get bored and develop bad behaviors.

Create a safe place for your small dog. Cages, beds, or gated areas that are away from activity and visitors keep him safe when you are away. Pets enjoy having a safe place to retreat to when they get over heated, tired or are feeling insecure. Make sure your family and visitors know that when the dog is in his safe place, he is off limits.

Dress your pup when you take him outside on cold days. Small dog breeds are prone to chills because they have no winter undercoat to keep them warm. Clean the snow and ice from his feet when he comes in, especially if he is a long-hair breed. Ice balls can form on the hair in between his toes and can be quite painful.

Tips & Warnings

  • Small dog breeds tend to live a long time. You might need to buy joint care products, a heated bed and aspirin to help him feel comfortable if he develops arthritis. If he starts to loose his teeth, gradually switch him to a high-quality canned food for mature dogs.
  • Keep toys in your dog's "safe area," as well as potty pads and water. Small dog breeds tend to have to go to the bathroom often, and potty pads are a great way to keep your floors safe and mess minimized.

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