Miniature dog breeds are now becoming increasingly popular with everyone – people living in the city, tiny apartments, or a family that has kids. Miniature dog breeds are compact, cuddly, very affectionate, and mostly cheaper and lower maintenance than bigger dogs. This makes it easy because they eat less, produce less waste, don’t shed that much, have a longer life span, and require less active time.
Miniature dogs are commonly defined as sixteen inches tall and below with a weight of not more than 22 pounds. Although they are small, they still have their own set of needs that you have to follow to properly take care of them. If you are thinking of getting one, or you already have one, read this guide on what you should know to properly take care of them.
Common Breeds and Lifespan
Here are some of the most common breeds of miniature dogs.
- Maltese – is a breed in the toy group; they are hypoallergenic and usually live 12-15 years.
- Pug – they have distinctive features like a wrinkly and muzzled face, they are known for being docile and clever. They can live for 12- 15 years.
- Pomeranian – are one of the prettiest toy dog breeds. They are playful and active and can be as old as 16 years old.
- Shihtzuh – they usually weigh from 4 to 7.25 kilograms, their life expectancy is 10 – 16 years. They commonly die due to complications in health due to old age.
- Chihuahua – is the smallest breed of dogs with a lifespan of 15-20 years.
- Dachshund – also known as wiener or sausage dog because they have short legs and long body, they usually live 12 – 16 years.
These are the common breeds; however some breeders produce miniature versions of some of the most popular large breeds. For example, now they have the miniature husky breed, which is done by using the smallest pups found in the litter and breeding them together to create a miniature one. You can read some of the information about small huskies and other large breeds that can be turned to a miniature one. Tiny dogs tend to live longer than bigger dogs, so make sure before you get one, you are ready for a long time commitment.
Diet is also one of the important aspects to learn regarding a miniature dog diet. They require fewer calories than big breeds. You should research what type of breed you have and their special diet requirements and restrictions. Different dogs have different diets depending on their breed, weight, age, and other factors. You should always look at the label of your dog food and check the portion size required for your dog. They also require particular food made for their small jaws and teeth for them to chew easier. If you are unsure or have problems in terms of feeding them, you should call your veterinarian.
Although they require less exercise than larger dogs, they still need to be active. Some miniature dogs are active, while some are an idler. The exercise time will vary but make sure that you are not over-exercising them, and you should consider that they have tinier legs than bigger dogs. Check if a harness or leash is suitable for your dog, be careful when playing or running since small dogs are prone to slip their kneecap. Try to see the world how small dogs see it; they can be scared walking outside, the sofa, bed, and stairs are high for them, and some easy tasks may be hard for them. Try to put this into consideration when doing exercises with them.
You should expose your dog as much as possible to other humans and dogs. However, they can be scared and intimidated at first, try to make them feel more at ease, and don’t overwhelm them. Ensure that your dog will learn how to socialize right from the start, you can use positive reinforcement in training them. Focus on training them while still young since forming good habits is better than breaking bad ones.
Like large breed dogs, you should bring your miniature dog to a veterinarian regularly. They should do a routine health check and any vaccinations needed. Smaller dogs are also more prone to dental health problems. Owners focus on their overall health but tend to forget that dog’s teeth and gums are just important. Make sure that your dog will visit the vet regularly so they can be provided with the best care that they deserve.
With this information mentioned and your time, effort, and patience, you can provide your dog safety, a loving home, and the care that they deserve. Dogs, tiny or big, require utmost attention for their health, well being, and happiness.
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