Tips on Caring for a Small Dog

Do you have a pint-sized pooch? There are many benefits to having a smaller dog as your canine buddy. Your pet won’t need as much exercise as bigger dogs, and may do very well in an apartment. Since many of the littler dog breeds were bred as companions, rather than as working dogs, they are also often very friendly, and, of course, completely adorable. Caring for a small dog is a bit different from caring for a big pooch, however. Below, a Carmel, IN vet discusses caring for small dogs.


Training is just as important for little furballs as it is for big ones. Make sure Fido knows and obeys basic obedience commands. The five most important ones are Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. This can help you keep your canine buddy from charging after a larger dog, or getting too close to a dangerous area. Socialization is also very important, as many little dogs tend to nip if they aren’t properly socialized as puppies. Ask your vet for specific advice.


Smaller dogs can feel threatened very easily, especially around big dogs. Teach your pet to put his paw on your leg if he wants you to be picked up. This will help Fido feel safer in certain situations.


Small breeds don’t need as much exercise as bigger pooches. Fido may get quite a workout just running around the house! Ask your vet for specific recommendations.


Many small dogs are more comfortable in harnesses, rather than leashes. A harness is a bit safer as well: it’s very easy to accidentally pull too hard on a little dog’s neck! You’ll also want to be sure to get toys and treats that are made specifically for smaller breeds, as things made for bigger pups can be dangerous to them.


Little dogs often have difficulty getting onto couches and beds. Offer pet ramps, or put out footstools to offer Fido a little ‘stairway’ he can use to climb onto furniture.


Many little dogs get cold easily, especially if they have thin fur. Consider getting Fido a doggy sweater. Just be sure to avoid anything with small parts or dangling threads he could choke on.

Do you have any questions or concerns about caring for your little dog? We can help! Call us, your Carmel, IN animal hospital, today!

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