5 Tips For Caring For Your Small Dog

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Small dogs can make lovely pets for people who live in apartments or have smaller yards. They do not need as much space to run and play in as larger dogs, and they won't feel as cramped in smaller rooms. However, small dogs are still dogs, and there are some intricacies involved in their care. Follow these tips to take great care of your small dog.

1. Consider putting a bell on their collar.

One downfall of small dogs is that you don't always see them approach you or walk up behind you. As such, they are more likely to get stepped on and injured than larger dogs. You can prevent many of these incidents by putting a bell on your small dog's collar. This way, you will at least hear them approach and be more aware of where they are.

2. Don't neglect training.

Because you can pick them up when they don't listen, small dogs sometimes don't receive the training they need. A poorly trained dog is more likely to get injured by another dog if they don't respond to you when called. They may also run off while on a walk and get injured. Take your dog to obedience classes when he or she is young, and be consistent with your training. Don't resort to just picking your dog up when he or she is not listening; spend more time working on skills to increase your dog's responsiveness.

3. Don't overfeed.

It's easy to overfeed a small dog because they eat far less than you might imagine. Choose a food designed for smaller breeds; these are often lower in calories so you can feed a larger volume without overshooting your dog's calorie needs. Check the package to ensure you're feeding your dog the correct amount for his or her weight and activity level.

4. Choose smaller treats.

Smaller dogs sometimes choke on treats because they are given treats that are too large for them to consume safely. Make sure you buy treats designed for your dog's size. When in doubt, go with the tiny training treats that are the size of a pea.

5. Don't over-bathe the dog.

Because smaller dogs tend to spend more time up on furniture and near their owner's faces, owners tend to bathe them often because they want them to smell nice. But over-bathing can strip your dog's skin of its natural oils, leading to itching and dryness. Keep bathing to once a month, and brush your dog daily to keep him or her clean.

To learn more about dog care, contact a veterinarian in your area.

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