Toy breed dogs are increasing in popularity, and their small size and adorable appearance make them perfect pets for apartment or in-house living. Miniature dogs offer a lot of advantages over larger breeds. They are more adaptable to smaller environments, and their size allows you to pick them up and carry them around. There are many breeds available, and their energetic and happy demeanor makes them great pets for everyone. However, these small diminutive pups are a big responsibility for their owner. Here are some tips to caring for your toy breed pet.
- Know as much about your pet as possible. Toy breed dogs come in numerous breeds, and they each differ in temperament, energy, trainability, maintenance, appearance and even size. Take time to research the specific care tips for your pet’s breed. Each breed has its own unique health concerns and training issues. Being a well-informed owner is vital to the tender and loving care of your toy breed dog.
- Educate yourself on common health concerns. Your pet will almost always come with health concerns, especially if it is purebred. Their small size comes at the price of orthopedic problems, such as the subluxating patella or floating kneecap, or the condition known as Legg-Calve-Perthes, which results in one leg being shorter than the others. Other common problems include cardiac conditions such as heart murmurs, and other problems such as hypoglycemia and a collapsing trachea. Regular visits to the veterinarian are important to keeping your dog healthy and happy. Good grooming is also essential to your pet’s health. Regular washing and brushing of their fur coats is a discipline you cannot forgo.
- Know your dog’s size issues. Since your pet is bred to be smaller than most dogs, you have to be aware of the risks their size entails. For example, their smaller size gives them a higher metabolism rate. Their feeding patterns are different: they require more frequent feedings of smaller size. You should always watch out for signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia. Limit treat intake and look for appropriately-sized kibble for your pet. Toy breed dogs are also at increased risk for injuries because of their smaller size. Be on constant guard with your pet: watch out for habits such as leaping out of beds and chairs, jumping off your arms, barking at larger dogs, and most importantly, the risk of getting stepped on or run over.
- Socialize your dog. It is important to prevent behavioral issues, which may be triggered by an environment of fear and aggression. Allow your dog to develop confidence by giving him the freedom to walk around. It is safer to use a harness rather than a leash, as this spares them stress on their delicate throats. Toy dogs are also more likely to bark ferociously at passers-by, so it is your responsibility to protect it from potential threats. Their courage and enthusiasm are disproportionately large for their size. You will have to be vigilant and very patient with your pet.
A well-trained miniature dog can definitely cheer you up after a long day at work. Toy breed dogs are affectionate, energetic, and extremely loyal. Taking proper care is essential to nurturing a loving relationship between you and your pet. Remember, a smaller dog is a big responsibility for you to handle.