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What to know about small dogs

Small dogs might have tiny paws but they also have big souls! They're often full of love to give and energy to burn. Owning a small dog breed is similar in some ways to owning a big dog, but there are a few important differences that should not be overlooked. Small dogs have special needs that you might not even think about at first, but they have an effect on your pet's health and happiness.

For example, do you let your small dog stay outside in the yard? If so, you need to make sure that the fencing is sufficient to keep him safely inside. Small dogs are much better at wriggling through small spaces like the ones between fence slats or under support beams. Some types of fences may not be built properly to keep your dog inside the yard.

Another surprising detail to consider is birds of prey. Some dog breeds are small enough for a large bird of prey such as a falcon or a hawk to dive and snatch them up. The other day I saw a hawk that was larger than one of my favorite small-breed patients—bird attacks are a very real possibility. If you keep your dog outside often, I recommend making or purchasing a covered kennel for your dog. Your dog will be safe and comfortable in a kennel as long as they are provided with fresh water and a cool shady place. Since he's small, it's easier to find a kennel where he will have lots of space (and less expensive, too).

Small dog breeds also have special grooming needs. Their nails tend to grow faster than their larger counterparts so more frequent nail trims are necessary. Different small dog breeds have fur of different textures (think of the difference between a toy poodle and a pug) and some kinds require more upkeep than usual. Small dogs also need to be washed more often, especially breeds with long fur, since they are so much closer to the ground and dirt. Their teeth require an extra measure of TLC, particularly if they have a canned diet. I know this sounds like a lot of extra work but believe me, your dog's health and well-being is worth it.

On the topic of food, that's another area where small dogs are different from big dogs. Small dog breeds have very different nutritional needs and require a different food formula to make sure those needs are met. Smaller dogs have a faster metabolism than large dog breeds, meaning that they require more food relative to their body weight and they burn through their energy faster. In fact, small dogs need about two to four times more energy intake than large dogs. It is also easier for small dogs to become dehydrated thanks to their metabolism.

Any old food won't do for small-breed dogs; they need one that's designed just for them. The digestive systems of small dog breeds are not very efficient at digesting certain types of grains, most of which are regularly included as fillers in inexpensive dog foods. Ingesting too many of these grains can lead to a buildup of sugar and cause health problems like hypoglycemia, hyperactivity, and diabetes, not to mention unpleasant gastrointestinal effects like gas and diarrhea. Even the size of the dog food is important to small dogs, as they cannot properly chew pieces that are too big for their little mouths.

Choosing the right dog food for your small dog is important for making sure he is a healthy and happy dog. Luckily you can find just the right blend of nutrients and ingredients in Wellness Small Breed Adult Health dog food . The recipe in the Small Breed Adult Health food is designed to support the unique health needs of smaller dogs
through nutrient-rich whole foods. The experts at Wellness know all about the special needs of small dogs, and the Small Breed Adult Health recipe will ensure that your small dog will get exactly what he needs to live a healthy life.
If you have a small dog, or are considering getting one, I hope that you will take into account the special needs of our furry companions. They'll return all the loving care that you give them many times over.

4 Comments to What to know about small dogs:

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