Small Dog Breeds: Character, Health, Feeding, Price, and Care
Although they may be small, dogs come in all shapes and sizes. And while some small dog breeds are pretty low-key, others have a lot of energy and personality.
While all dogs need exercise, feeding, grooming, and training, some small dog breeds have special needs that are important to consider before you bring one home.
The most important thing to consider when choosing a small dog breed is your lifestyle. Do you live in a small space? Do you have another pet? Are you looking for a watchdog or a lap dog?
This blog post will give you an overview of small dog breeds, their personalities, health concerns, how to care for them, and much more.
What Is a Small Dog?
You may think that the smaller your dog is, they would just burn up any food in their stomach quickly and not need as much. This isn't true, though, because small breeds also typically have higher energy requirements than medium or large-sized dogs. They also have a higher metabolism, meaning they burn calories at a faster rate.
This means that small dog breeds need more food per pound of body weight than bigger dogs. They also need frequent meals throughout the day to keep their energy levels up.
What Is Small Dog Breed's Size?
Keeping in mind that all dogs are individuals, small dog breeds typically weigh 22 pounds and stand 10 inches or fewer at the shoulder. Some popular small dog breeds include the Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier, Pomeranian, Shih Tzu, and Toy Poodle.
Small Dog Breeds: Average Lifespan
The average lifespan of a small dog breed is 10 to 15 years, though some breeds may live longer. The Toy Poodle, for example, has an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years. The Chihuahua has an average lifespan of 10 to 20 years.
Generally, small dog breeds live longer than larger dog breeds. This is likely due to the fact that they don't experience the same health problems as their larger counterparts.
How to Take Care of Your Small Dog's Health?
Puppies risk suffering from various health issues, including defective knees, collapsing cartilage in the neck, hips, and shoulders, heart and liver problems, difficult teeth, overall fragility, and easily fractured bones.
Though all these health concerns can be alarming, most are easily preventable with proper care. Here are some tips for keeping your small dog healthy:
Small breeds are prone to becoming overweight, leading to health problems like joint pain, diabetes, and respiratory problems. Make sure you're feeding your small dog high-quality food appropriate for their age, weight, and activity level. Avoid giving them table scraps or too many treats.
Make Training a Priority
Obedience training is important for all dogs, but it's especially important for small breeds. This is because they are more likely to suffer anxiety and aggression problems if they are not properly trained. Socialization is also important for small dogs, as they can be easily scared by new people and experiences.
Use a Harness, Not a Collar When Leading
Small dogs have delicate necks, so using a harness instead of a collar is important when walking them. This will help prevent neck injuries if they try to pull on the leash.
What to Feed Your Small Dog?
If you're looking to feed your pup something with more fat and protein than other types of dry or canned foods, then it might be worth considering buying some tasty treats from a pet store. You'll want these "small breed" items to fit properly in their mouth - but don't worry! They also come packed into smaller pieces, easier on younger dogs' gizzards (and wallets).
Antioxidants, vitamin E, and beta-carotene are all in small-breed dog foods to help your petite pooch's immune system.
It's a common misconception that small dogs eat less than their larger counterparts. In fact, According to PetMD, pound for pound, they require more calories because of the faster metabolism and energy requirements in general - which means these little guys need 40 per day to maintain weight versus just over half as much (around 20) from larger breeds like German Shepherds or Great Danes.
How Much Does a Small Dog Cost?
The cost of a puppy can vary greatly depending on where you live. In the United States, an 80% range would be between $500 and %2.5K, with most being closer to 1300 dollars, but some high-end breeds could go up as much at $85k.
Final Thoughts on Small Dog Breeds
If you think a small dog is right for you, do your research and find a reputable breeder or rescue organization. Once you've brought your new furry friend home, ensure you're prepared to provide them with the care they need to stay happy and healthy.