Small dog breeds have always been popular - and for good reason! They’re adorable and will always look like a puppy. Plus, they make up for their tiny stature with equal parts love and enthusiasm! Furthermore, these small breed dogs are most likely HDB-approved, considering that the majority of Singaporeans live in a HDB. But taking care of these small dogs can be an added challenge because of how small they are.
Here are 5 essential tips for caring for small dogs!
#1 Picking the Right Breed
Tiny dogs come in all shapes and sizes, all with their own quirks and personalities. It’s important to read up and understand more about the unique points of every small breed dog, especially in terms of how well they’d fit into your lifestyle.
Are you a huge exercise nut? Do you like long hikes and walks outdoors? Or do you prefer staying in? Regardless, understanding what kind of dog suits your lifestyle is vital for picking the right tiny dog. That way, both you and your small dog can enjoy activities that suit both of you together.
Your family dynamic is also important to consider. Small dog breeds like Chihuahuas require gentle handling, so homes with young children might not be suitable for a Chihuahua. Instead, consider a Pomeranian that’s a lot less fragile - although rough play should still be discouraged.
#2 Understand Your Small Dog
Before bringing your newly adopted tiny dog home, it’s important to “tiny-dog” proof your home. That means outside of the typical dog proofing like storing away anything that could be toxic for these small breed dogs, and keeping dangerous things away, you should also try and see the world from your tiny dog’s perspective.
Regular everyday objects like stairs may seem like nothing to us, but for small dogs, they can be scary and even dangerous. For instance, if you have high staircases in your house, you may want to consider setting up your pup’s home base downstairs. Add a couple of fun and interactive toys like Zee.Dog’s Super Orange Dog Toy to your pup’s rest area to really help your pup feel at home.
In addition, you should also consider how far your pup has to run to access their food, water, play and rest areas. For especially tiny dogs, you could set up several water bowls around the house to ensure your pup can always get clean water.
Having a comfortable dog bed like Furnish Biscotti (Natural) Handcrafted Cat & Dog Bed is a great way to signal to your pup where they can and should rest in the house. Plus, it is easy to maintain and aesthetically very pleasing!
[We thought you should know]: There are many dog adoption groups in Singapore that you should check out regularly if you are looking to own a dog. And while tiny dogs or small breed dogs like pomeranians and chihuahuas may be hard to come by on these adoption spaces, don’t lose heart as we are sure there are other equally lovely smaller dogs that will suit you and your family. For a dose of the power of adoption, check out Tear-jerking Adoption Tales.
#3 Feeding Your Tiny Dog
Picking the best puppy food for small breeds can be hard but specially formulated dog food diets like Orijen’s Small Breed dog food are a lifesaver for newly minted small dog parents as they’re protein-rich and great contenders for the very best dog food for small pups!
Small dogs also tend to have small stomachs, and often need to consume food throughout the day to maintain their energy level. In fact, it’s recommended to feed your small dog three to four small meals a day as desired. Of course, you should also keep in mind that more daily meals means more trips to the bathroom - so you may want to watch out in your pup’s early days of house breaking.
Certain small breed dogs may also be prone to hypoglycemia which occurs when their tiny bodies can’t store enough sugars in their body. Feeding them in several small meals throughout the day is a good way to avoid hypoglycemia, especially for puppies.
#4 Train your Small Dog ASAP
Like any dogs, house training and regular obedience training is vital for a happy and healthy dog and household. As soon as you adopt your small dog, you should get right away to house training like teaching them where to go to the bathroom or what they’re supposed to stay away from. Make sure to have some dog snacks handy around the house for positive reinforcement when your pup does something good.
Leash training is also vital for pups - so a comfortable leash and harness like Zee.Dog’s H-Harnesses is great for your new pup as they’re secure and fully adjustable to make sure they fit snugly on your pup.
Despite how tempting it might be to cuddle up with your small dog on the couch, make sure you set clear boundaries so your dog knows you’re in charge. Obedience training is a great tool to help you manage your pup’s behaviour. For instance, teach your small dog to sit and get down before allowing them on furniture, so they know they shouldn’t be too pushy with you.
Most importantly, make sure you get on your dog’s level when you’re training them. Either place your small dog on a higher surface or sit/bend down when you’re training them. This helps them feel a lot less intimidated and much more comfortable with you.
After a long day of training, treat your pup with KONG’s Cuteseas Whale Plush Dog Toy that’s perfect for dogs of all sizes. They’re mentally-stimulating and are made to have different textures for your dog to chew on.
#5 Grooming Your Small Dog
Depending on their breed, some tiny dogs like Pomeranians may require much more grooming. Others like Toy Poodles may not. Nevertheless, regular hair brushing is key to avoid mats. If you’re confident, you could also try getting some small scissors to clip your small dog’s hair.
Regardless, you’ll need to give your tiny pup a bath once in a while. For small dog breeds, this can be extra frightening and stressful, leading to them possibly bolting mid-shower.
From their very first shower and onwards, you should try and make bath time reassuring. Use warm water that is not too hot or cold and give your pupper plenty of time to get used to the water. As much as possible, avoid splashing water into their eyes and be gentle when washing your dog. If you can, get a few waterproof toys to play with them during bathtime!
Tiny dogs may seem like added effort, but they are well worth the time. They’re hearts are as big as they are small and their energy and enthusiasm are sure to melt the hearts of any potential pet parent. All it takes is a little more love and care to grow a happy household with your new found tiny dog!
GDP supports ethical and responsible dog ownership and you can be assured that all the products featured on our online store are responsible products. You may check out our Academy to learn more about various interesting topics that might guide you to becoming an even better dog owner for your furry friend.
Tammi writes articles about anything from data analytics to animal health, and loves doing the occasional craft. But most importantly, she loves hanging out and doing photo-shoots with her dog.