Have you always wanted a little furry companion with you, but were not ready to take up the responsibility of a big dog? You might feel that getting a small dog would be better as they take up little space, can be carried around everywhere and make great companions. However, a small dog does not necessarily mean that they are easier than medium or large sized dogs. They come with their own unique set of challenges and responsibilities. Their diet, exercise, training etc have to be considered and adapted according to their size.
Here are a few must-knows for you before you welcome your first little furry baby home.
1- Small dog come with big nutritional needs.
One of the most important things to remember with dogs and nutrition is that one size does not fit all. A large dog breed puppy has different nutritional needs to stay healthy as compared to a small dog breed puppy. Smaller dog breeds have a higher rate of metabolism, thus they burn through their meals quicker. If their caloric needs are not met throughout the day, they may develop hypoglycemia leading to weakness and muscle tremors. Thus a great deal of research and consideration has to go into their diet, treats and overall nourishment.
2- Little dogs need exercise too.
Don’t get mislead by their size, even though they may be small, their energy levels are very high. Dogs tend to divert their energy to more destructive activities if they don’t get enough exercise. If your little one starts getting restless and wanders around a lot, it might be time for exercise. Keep an eye out for your pooch and find out what times and what kind of exercise would suit them.
3- Small dog means small accessories.
All things from food to accessories need to be bought with their size kept in mind. The leash and collar need to be appropriately sized and should not weigh them down. Toys to keep them engaged also need to be given consideration as they need to be appropriately sized for their moth and body weight. Any type of clothing such as jackets, sweaters or costumes also needs to be adjusted to their size.
4- Small dogs are more susceptible to certain health hazards.
Small dogs come with their own unique vulnerabilities, they are more susceptible to certain diseases and issues as compared to other breeds. An example of this could be the brachycephalic breeds i.e the ‘smashed face’ breeds such as pugs or pekingese, are much more susceptible to breathing problems as compared to other dog breeds. Apart from this, small dog breeds are also more vulnerable to joint and bone issues, they are also much more sensitive to rapid temperature and climate changes.
5- Don’t carry them all the time.
Though it might seem like a much more convenient way of going about daily activities, do not carry your little one all the time. It is best to let them walk around, wander and do their own thing. Not only is it better for their physical health it also gives them more independence, they will not feel restricted. Do pick them up when you feel it is necessary though.
6- Small dogs are mobility-challenged.
Due to their size small dogs are not able to move around places as easily as a medium sized or large sized dog might. Though they can easily squeeze into smaller places, getting onto a sofa or climbing the stairs can be much more difficult for them. Small dogs also tend to get into a lot of accidental injuries due to their size. Training and a tad bit more attention will help them and you cope up with this better.
7- They live longer.
Yes you heard that right, small dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs. Though scientists have not been able to give an exact reason, larger dogs age faster than smaller dogs. This does not mean that they are free from illnesses and diseases, different breeds age at different rates. You could find the exact age using dog age calculators online to find the exact age of your dog breed.
Please remember that they are not toys, despite looking as adorable as one. They are living beings that need to be loved, cared and looked after. Before getting any dog into our lives it is very important to educate oneself. No breed is better than the other, but you could choose one based on your situation, so as to provide for them in the best way possible. Not only will they be able to light up your lives, you would be able to provide them with a life that they deserve.