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We Are Dogs Too: The Struggles of the Small Toy Breed

Small dogs have been around for quite some time and we can’t really blame people for loving them so much. Small dog breeds come in different breeds and they don’t have a specific weight category to classify them otherwise but they are not that difficult to spot. These dogs can even weigh as low as 2 pounds and yes, that would be a fully grown small dog.

When we think of small dogs, we would usually think of lapdogs but some of their small cousins are even working dogs such as the Corgi and Terriers were also great as hunting dogs. No matter what their function, these small dogs are simply the most adorable creatures that you would ever lay your eyes on.

These dogs are versatile and blend well with different types of households. Because they are small, they can also be raised in small apartments – perfect for city living.

With their sizes as cute as a button, they also come with their own set of struggles. Other than some health problems, some concerns arise not necessarily because of their breed but rather how they are handled in the household. Indeed these dogs are cute and you just want to pick them up and carry them all the time, but unknowingly to many, this could actually become a source of bigger problems in the long run.

Pampering your pet is completely up to you but this does beg the question of how much pampering is too much?

Mostly because of their sizes, many pet parents forget that these adorable little pooches are dogs too that need the same things as their bigger counterparts. Things that easily get neglected by pet owners with small dogs are the following:

Diet

 These dogs are prone to over-indulgent. Pet owners tend to give way too much treats for these cute little creature and more often than not, this leads to obesity. From a recent study of the Association for Pet Obesity in the year 2015, there has been an outstanding 57.6% of obese dogs in the USA. With the staggering number of overweight dogs, this also means that dogs with diabetes, hypothyroidism, joint problems and many other health problems concerning their weight is also at an all time high.

With that, observe the eating habits of your dog. Break the treats into smaller pieces and when possible, teach your dog to only accept food from you and not from other people.

Exercise

 With proper diet should be paired with good amount of exercise. Despite their size, you would be sorely mistaken if these dogs are not cut for fun activities such as playing catch. Dogs need to get moving and with their small bodies, more often than not, they are packed with energy and for them to stay happy, exercise is a must.

Proper socialization

When a household owns a small dog, these dogs are almost always indoor dogs and because they are indoor dogs, it is easy to forget that they also need to have play dates with other dogs too. Small dogs like the Chihuahua, English Toy Spaniel, Havanese, Japanese Chin and many others need interaction with dogs that are of a similar breed. As much as you want to stay at home and dote on these cute and adorable dogs, they need to see other dogs too. (Kind of it’s a not you, it’s me situation)

May it be leash training, obedience training or any training for that matter, start young! Always start young. Including potty training them. Small dogs will be some of the most strong-willed dogs you will have the pleasure of meeting and if you train them at a late age – say – 2 years, they will be a struggle to deal with.

House Training

Although this is basically obvious when keeping a dog, potty training is perhaps the kind that many pet parents are very lax on. Indeed, these dogs are easy to pick up and many tend to develop a habit of picking them up and putting them outside and wait until they are done with their business.

If you are thinking of doing this, you have to stop it. By constantly doing this, your dog will not develop a sense of responsibility of his own. Because they are constantly picked up, they may associate getting picked up as the time to poop and pee regardless of location. Allow them to walk on their own. Again, these small pooches are also dogs, create an environment that allows them to be.

With their small bodies and seemingly boundless energy, these dogs are also prone to being overworked without knowing it themselves. When they are walking outside, make it a point to put a time limit and observe if they are starting to pant. Thirty minutes of straight walking is sometimes enough to tire these dogs out. These dogs are also prone to overheating so you would have to watch out as well.

When you are out on a walk and you plan on staying out for long periods of time, bringing a leash and carrier with you is most ideal. Try letting your dog walk on a leash for a time and if you feel that he’s starting to tire out, put him in a carrier bag that’s comfortable for him.

However there may be times that you would want to bring your dog at the mall and you’d like to have it match your cute outfit. If that’s the case, there are designer dog bags for small dogs available.

When you take them out with you, it is imperative to bring treats, a favorite toy and water to keep them happy all day long.

These small dogs hold an appeal precisely because of their cute size and because of their cute size, many tend to forget that they are dogs too that need to get down and dirty every once in a while. Just like any dog type, they also have their own sets of concerns but if properly taken care of it shouldn’t be a problem. These small dogs are loyal, lovable and will shower you with unconditional love. Best of all, they are the cutest things you will ever lay your eyes upon.

Christy of Doglifestore.com likes to write about whatever tickles her fancy and loves to document the adventures of her fur baby when she’s not busy going gaga over their crazy antics.

Christy is a guest contributor and his advice and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the Puptrait Studio.

Published by

J.B. Shepard

J.B. is a professional photographer, dog advocate, and founder of the Puptrait Studio, a Baltimore, Maryland based photography company specializing in dog portraiture and commercial pet photography.

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