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Toy and small dog breeds are very popular as loving pets for many people. I own two of the smaller breeds and have always enjoyed their spunky attitudes and loyalty. Because your dog is small does not mean they are immune to health problems often associated with larger breeds. In fact, small dog health issues are dealt with more often because of the fact so many people own these Toy breeds. With this in mind, why don’t we take a deeper look into what the more common small dog health issues are and how we can best deal with these health concerns.
As every owner of a small dog knows, these mighty mites may be small in stature by not in their willingness to stand up to much larger dogs and even people. This can be great for warning you if there are strangers lurking around, or stray dogs/wild animals in your yard, but this same trait is also a danger for the safety of the small dog. The simple fact is they are not physically capable of holding their own against a much larger opponent so when you are out walking the dog, always keep their well-being in mind should a larger dog or other animal approach. In this situation, pick the dog up so he or she cannot “bite off” more than they can chew.
Common among small dog health issues concerns the health of their teeth and gums. Many owners of these dogs falsely believe the size of dry dog food chunks are too large for the dog to eat, so they feed the dog only canned dog food. This is a big mistake and leads to weak teeth and gums. It also allows tartar to build up leading to much quicker tooth deterioration. This can be dealt with by regular brushing of your dog’s teeth and keeping several leather chew toys on hand, but try to feed a quality dry dog food as much as possible. The dog can handle this food just fine.
Small dogs have a higher metabolism than larger dogs allowing them to be prone for the development of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels). Regular monitoring of the blood by your vet will detect this issue. Naturally the skeletal and immune systems are smaller so broken bones, viral, and bacterial infections are a health concern. This is again best monitored by your vet with regular shots and checkups.
These little bundles of energy make great pets and live long lives so pay attention to the common small dog health issues and your pooch will be healthy and happy for many years.
good article but I would disagree with one point as the owner of a 6 pound yorkie who thinks she’s much bigger than she is. I disagree with picking up a small dog. it just makes them feel braver and they never really learn to deal with their “lack of stature”.
In my opinion, the thought of cleaning your small dogs teeth with dry dog food is along the same line as cleaning your teeth with tortilla chips. It doesn’t work for us and it doesn’t work for them. Your small dog needs premium dry to help strengthen the gums and teeth but it doesn’t clean the teeth. they also need premium or homemade moist food. And more importantly they need soft and hard toys to actually help with the build up. Studies have shown even the best premium dry food doesn’t have enough moisture to help with kidney function.
I disagree with suggesting that hard kibble will help clean a dog’s teeth or provide the chewing action to strengthen teeth and gums – we eat pretzels and other hard snacks and they tend to lodge between the teeth and gumline, how does that keep our teeth and gums healthy? I rawfeed and the tearing, chewing of meat helped keep my senior’s teeth clean, without the need to brush! A raw diet reversed my senior’s kidney disease and kept her teeth relatively clean until she passed at age 16.