Small dogs or more popularly known as toy dog breeds or lap dogs are some of the cutest dogs you might ever lay eyes on in your lifetime. With their small sizes, you should not be deceived because everything may be small in these dogs but definitely not their personalities, making both their size and their energetic personality a truly one of a kind breed that sets them apart from the rest.
Aside from the obvious adorableness of these dogs, these dogs have become the ideal pet for people with relatively busy lifestyles. The major perk of having a toy dog breed is they are basically low maintenance when it comes to food and hygiene because they don’t really eat that much and you can bathe them in a sink where they usually fit.
Moreover, these breeds have been classified to be healthier and live longer than their average medium and larger counterparts. And best of all, these cuties are portable. Traveling with these dogs are far easier than any dog breed.
Unfortunately, with their small sizes, these types of dogs are prone to common pet owner mistakes. If you plan on getting a toy dog breed like a Chihuahua, here are a few things that you must not do.
As much as we would want to, this is a mistake that many pet owners do. Small toy breeds are easily indulged. People giving them a treat every 5 minutes is almost a common occurrence and this poses many health related concerns.
Small dogs, precisely because of their sizes are prone to hormone related disorders such as hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease and many others that gets triggered when they get fat. With that, make it a point to train your dog to accept treats only from you and not easily accept it from strangers. Teach them to ‘drop it’ when necessary and practice restraint.
2. Picking them up a lot:
This is also a common habit among pet parents. Indeed things will become much easier if you pick them up and simply lead them to where they should pee, eat and do everything else. Unfortunate however, this may cause behavioral problems in the long run.
A dog that constantly gets picked up will at some point deem walking useless. Especially when potty training, a dog that constantly gets picked up gets confused on where he should do his business. Although this problem can easily be solved by allowing your dog to walk to places, a peeing problem is most evident among toy dog breeds exactly because pet owners inhibit them from doing it in the first place.
Moreover, most dogs that belong in this breed are reactive dogs. Suddenly getting picked up by a stranger naturally elicits a defence mode from these creature causing them to nip and bite at other people.
Picking them up is indeed tempting but this is a habit that you as a pet parent should avoid.
3.They get cooped up in a place for way too long:
These dogs are most characterized by their degree of being social to their dogs especially to their specific dog breeds. What pet parents tend to forget that although these lap dogs are tiny and adorable, they are still dogs nonetheless and require some degree of social stimulation from their own kind. Without enough stimulation, these dogs end up showing more aggressive behavior than what you would usually expect.
4.They don’t get trained as much:
If these dogs can talk to you, they would probably say that they also need to play as much as the medium sized dog. Despite their sizes, do not underestimate these dogs. Another major trait of these dogs is their seeming boundless energy and they need to get it out as well.
Although they do have physical limits predetermined by their genetic, these dogs would also love to play fetch and run around as well.
Attributed by their sizes and how potable these dogs are, training is usually neglected. To put it simply, allow your dog to be a dog. These dogs can also play it rough as well.
Now that you basically know why this particular dog breed are great and awesome pets and the things to not do when you do have one, you also have to understand that just like their bigger counterparts, these dogs face some health problems that are unique and almost exclusive to them. With the chances high that it’s likely that your pet will experience it, just like everything else, the key is being prepared.
There are numerous health problems to anticipate with toy dog breeds but mostly prohibits them from doing menial task such as walking because it becomes too painful for them are diseases are the following:
- Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD). Most common among the Beagle, Basset Hound, Shih Tzu and the Dachshund. This occurs when the bone along the vertebra touch the spinal cord causing great discomfort, nerve damage and paralysis.
- Legg Calve Perthes Disease. This usually shows up to every toy dog breed from 4-12 months of age. Blood flow is sometimes interrupted from the hips causing the muscles on the limbs to shrivel and make walking painful.
- Patellar luxation. Experts are also baffled as to why this happens but it does when the kneecap (patella, hence the name) becomes out of placeon the femur and impede leg movement.
- Whelping Complications. Although this doesn’t occur on the bones unlike the first three, this does significantly affect their reproductive health. Because of their small bodies, a normal delivery when giving birth is almost impossible and thus, a C-section procedure is done.
With these top four health problems, having a dog to walk around will almost seem like torture to them and this becomes a problem when they need to be transported from one place to another especially with trips to the vet.
This is where dog strollers come in. Indeed, having to push around a dog instead of a baby will give you weird looks but this is simply a dog parent hack that you should know. If strollers are not your thing, carriers like this Foldable Portable Pet Travel Carrier also doubles as a crate for your dog.
Despite the size, these dogs are not totally different from their bigger counterparts but what sets them apart however is their energy and personality that undoubtedly adds to their char. Adorable, loving, healthy and packed with a giant personality in such a little body, what is not to love about these dogs?
About the Author:
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.