Dog ownership has changed over the years and the days of the family pooch contained to the backyard has been replaced with dogs that are treated as part of the family. They have taken over our hearts and our homes. This move has shaped an impressive surge in small dog ownership where it is now common to spot a tiny pooch tethered to the leg of a cafe chair while fur-parent sips on a cappuccino.
If you are yet to be blessed with sharing your home and likely your pillow with a small pooch you are missing out on experiencing the most delightful, entertaining and endearing companionship these little guys can bring into your life. Owning a small dog has become quite à la Mode.
There are a few things to consider when choosing to bring a small dog into your life, especially so if you have only ever owned a large breed.
What is considered a small dog? Generally he will weigh less than 10kg or be shorter than 6 inches. What they lack in size they more than make up in personality and charm. All dog breeds are divided into 7 “dog groups” depending on their breed purpose. You will find a small dog in each of these groups in which case it is advisable to remember that not all small breed dogs are the same:
1. Hounds (eg: Dachshund)
2. Gundogs/Sporting (eg: Cocker Spaniel)
3. Terriers (eg: Australian Terrier)
4. Utility/Non-Sporting (French Bulldog)
5. Working (eg: Corgi)
6. Herding (eg: Shetland Sheepdog)
7. Toys (eg: Chihuahua)
Small breed dogs do require some “small” adjustments to suit their needs:
Toys! Do not let their size fool you into thinking they could not (or would not) tear apart a plush toy making the exposed stuffing a health risk if swallowed. Small, smooth balls get slippery and can become a choking hazard. Just because they are small does not mean they need teeny tiny toys! Playtime should be supervised and when a toy shows signs of wear and tear, toss it out.
Small dogs fit through small spaces. That’s obvious I hear you say? Your local shelter can tell you just how often strays come in as a result of escaping their yards. Regularly check your fences and gates for gaps (under and between) and look for evidence of digging. They can be little Houdini’s!
Small dogs have small mouths and as a result do have a tendency to develop tarter at a young age. In an effort to reduce tartar build up and to keep their gums healthy veterinarians often recommend feeding raw soft non-weight bearing bones; such as chicken wings, chicken necks and lamb ribs.
Companies such as Purina Supercoat have even developed a range of food dedicated to small breed dogs. “Supercoat Small Breed” dog range has a smaller sized kibble that is suitable for those tiny mouths and available in 3 life cycle formulas; puppy, adult and senior.
To ensure your pet remains in a healthy weight range, always refer to the feeding guidelines on the packaging and by your pet’s own body condition; because small dogs do not require as much food as they would like us to believe!
“This sponsored post was brought to you by Purina Supercoat”
All stories are that of the opinion and/or personal experience of the individual author.
Author Bio: Nikki is pack leader at Pressplay Pets, a blog for the modern age pet parent interested in health & care, news, reviews & personal accounts of unconditional love & at times heartfelt pain of pet parenting. She is also proud mum to cute and cheeky Papillons ‘Amber’ and ‘Indy’ and one crazy Rainbow Lorikeet named ‘Ralph’! Follow my Facebook and Twitter.
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