Whether you own a Boston terrier, miniature schnauzer, toy poodle, or Chihuahua, you probably love hanging out with your pint-sized pal. However, do you know all the tips for ensuring your pup enjoys a long, healthy life? Small canines have a few different care requirements than large breed dogs, so make sure you’re taking the right steps to fulfill all your pet’s medical needs.
Keep your small dog healthy and happy—call 301-228-0681 today and schedule your next visit to Village Vet of Urbana.
Tips for Caring for a Small Breed Dog
All dogs need quality care, but keep these specific tips in mind for your small breed dog:
- Feeding: Pick a high-quality dog food with a petite kibble size to help your little dog chew and swallow easily. Establish a feeding schedule that fits your routine, aiming for two to three small meals per day to avoid digestive problems and keep your dog’s energy level up.
- Exercising: To help maintain a healthy weight and discourage boredom, we recommend giving your small dog at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. This might include going on a walk, playing Frisbee or fetch, or performing agility training.
- Grooming: Breeds with long or curly hair, such as the Yorkshire terrier or Bichon Frise, may require regular brushing and professional grooming. Wiry-haired breeds, such as the Dachshund and Beagle, demand less attention in this area.
- Behavior training: Little dogs are infamous yappers. Keep your pup’s barking under control with behavior training early on. Also, teach your dog not to jump, growl, chew, claw, or tug on the leash. Good dog behavior strengthens the pet/owner relationship.
Health Concerns Specific to Small Breed Dogs
Several health problems are more common in little dogs than their larger cousins. These include:
- Dislocated kneecap: Known as patellar luxation, a dislocated kneecap is very painful and causes lameness. All breeds can suffer from this condition, but small dogs are especially susceptible.
- Spinal problems: Intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) and other spine problems affect little dogs more than large breeds. Such conditions can cause weakness and paralysis if left untreated.
- Pancreatitis: Symptoms of an inflamed pancreas include abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Possible causes include obesity, infection, metabolic disorders, and trauma.
- Upper airway problems: Short-nosed, flat-faced breeds such as pugs, French bulldogs, and Cavalier King Charles spaniels are susceptible to brachiocephalic airway syndrome and other breathing problems.
- Ectropion: This is another condition that affects short-nosed, flat-faced breeds. It causes the lower eyelid to turn or sag outward, exposing the surface of the inner eyelid and resulting in dryness, tearing, and irritation.
- Susceptibility to cold temperatures: Small dogs lose body heat much faster than large breeds, so when the temperature drops, their lives could be in danger. Outfit your little pup with a sweater and minimize outdoor activities during the winter.
Schedule Vet Care for Your Small Breed Dog
Whether your Jack Russell terrier is showing signs of spinal problems, or you simply need to schedule a check-up for your Maltese, let the animal experts at Village Vet of Urbana care for all your pet’s needs. We can handle everything from ear infection treatment and flea prevention to emergency care and surgery.
Give us a call at 301-228-0681 today to get your little dog started on the right paw!