What the smaller breeds lack in size, many make up for in personality. Some small breeds are very busy dogs, needing plenty of exercise. Others are ‘too big for their boots’, often standing up to dogs twice their size with a courageous and fearless character. Here are a few facts about small breed dogs.
Small dogs are easy to handle and costs are lower
Quite obviously smaller dogs eat less food and veterinary bills for some procedures are lower. Small dogs are also easier to accommodate in a travel crate inside the car. Hotels and restaurants also seem more tolerant of them.
‘Small’ doesn’t mean ‘maintenance-free’
Some breeds are very demanding of attention and cannot be left alone for long periods. They need company during the day – either human or canine. Grooming requirements vary according to the breed, but some of the longer-coated dogs need daily attention to keep their coat in good condition.
Also consider the temperament of the breed you fancy. Some breeds can be stubborn and independent, and they do require some basic obedience training. Small dogs are not all ‘couch potatoes’ – some are very active and need a daily walk to burn off energy.
Very small dogs are fragile
Tiny dogs can easily be injured and need to be under constant supervision. Never place a small breed puppy on high furniture where he may jump off and hurt himself. It is also advisable not to let your small breed constantly climb flights of stairs, as this may aggravate any predisposition to spinal and joint problems. Consider where your pet sleeps – for his own safety. It is far safer to teach your small breed puppy to sleep in a dog basket alongside your bed, rather than in your bed where he may be hurt or fall off.
If you have a small breed puppy weighing under 1kg, you must be aware of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia, a dip in blood sugar. A puppy with low blood sugar will stagger or look weak. Immediately rub a little honey on his gums or place some under his tongue, then take him to your vet or emergency animal hospital.
- Did you know that small dog breeds can become prey to predators? Read more about this and various other small animal news in the August 2016 issue of Animaltalk.