Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Toy Breeds and Dog Safety

Keep the mini dog breeds out of harm’s way.

Ever spent any time with a Pomeranian, shih tzu, Chihuahua, fox terrier, or other toy breed? If so, then you know its size is often disproportionate to its personality. These dogs are small in stature but larger than life. That said, their extreme "petite-ness" means they need a tad more looking out for than bigger breeds in order to help prevent them from getting injured or seriously hurt. In her book, The Safe Dog Handbook, Melanie Monteiro offers a few house rules that can help keep your little one safe and healthy:

  • Be careful with collars. Toy breeds have smaller, more delicate necks, so it’s better to use a harness rather than a leash attached directly to the collar when walking them. This will help prevent overjerking and possibly injuring the neck or trachea.
  • Be cautious in crowds. Be sure to keep a close eye on your dog when you’re in large groups. People who aren’t used to being around such small dogs may forget your tiny pooch is even there and accidentally step on her. Yikes!
  • Be gentle. Toy breeds are much less resilient than bigger dogs, so any roughhousing should be done with a light touch. Make sure your children and other guests understand what gentle play means. Also, always supervise when your mini is playing with other larger pets.
  • Be "crateful." If your little pooch is comfortable and used to being in her crate, it’s a great place to put her when there’s just too much going on around your house for her to be running around. (Things like kids’ birthday parties, holiday dinners, construction, household repairs, etc.) Try these three steps for effective crate training.
  • Be afraid of heights. Don’t let your toy pup get up on furniture or other elevated places where she could jump off and hurt herself. Most beds are even too high, so it’s best to find your girl a bed of her own that she likes, so she’s not as interested in getting into yours. If you can’t bear to ban her from your bed, be sure to help her up and down — don’t let her jump down herself. Also, think about getting pet steps — available at pet-supply retailers — to give her a safer way up and down.
  • Be aware. Smaller dogs can be seen as prey to wild animals, like coyotes, so always keep a close eye on your pup outside — even if she’s just in your yard. And try to take her along clear paths when on walks; tall grasses and weeds could easily poke her eyes.
  • Be prepared. Keep a few light layers of doggie clothes on hand along with a substantial sweater that you can slip over her as needed. Little dogs have less insulating body fat and need extra help keeping warm during chillier months and to avoid hypothermia in especially cold climates.

Published on 02/03/2011 – DogAge Tip

February 8, 2011 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Animal Rights And Awareness, Chiweenie, Dogs, Just One More Pet, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership | Leave a comment