Choosing a small dog was an easy decision for us. I’ve had big dogs and they are great, but I love small dogs for so many reasons.
It turns out I’m not alone in my love for small breed dogs. 60% of dog households in Canada own a small dog. This trend towards owning smaller breeds is driven not just by our love of dressing our dogs up; it’s led primarily by urbanization and an aging population.
While age of owners and urbanization are the main reasons many people choose to get a small dog they aren’t the only ones. There are many things to consider when you are looking to add a furry friend to your family. Temperament, ease of grooming, lifespan, breed health issues and how big they will get once fully grown are just a few things to consider. Each of these factors will be more or less important depending on your family and the type of home you are able to offer your furever friend.
We focused on whether or not a breed would be hypoallergenic, good with kids, and how big the dog would get once fully grown. I knew I wanted a small dog, which is one that weighs 35lbs or less, being as we are a large family in a small space. Small dogs are at home in smaller spaces, typically require less space to expend their energy, and they live much longer than large dogs (almost twice as long in some cases). Plus the ones I have been lucky enough to own seem to love me just that little bit more.
While all dogs have unique needs, not all pet owners are treating their small dogs in the ways that they need, mostly because they just don’t realize how small dogs differ from their larger companions. Small dogs reach maturity earlier, pound for pound, small dogs need more energy, like that provided by their food, than large dogs, and small dogs tend to be fussy eaters and more likely to refuse to eat food.
It’s important for Pet parents to look for food designed and developed for a small dog’s needs. Brands like CESAR®, IAMS® and PEDIGREE® offer specialized recipes for small dogs that taste good and provide for the specific nutritional needs of a small dog. Small dogs have smaller mouths and prefer smaller sized kibbles and treats. Both Cesar and Iams provide those needed smaller kibble sizes; Cesar® has “H:” shaped kibble specially designed for easy pick up, IAMS® and Pedigree® kibble is also designed for smaller jaws and easier to chew.
Since a small dog is much more likely to refuse its food, it has to taste good. Adding wet food made for them into their repertoire adds much needed variety and texture. I typically mix wet and dry together to encourage Buttercup to eat everything in her bowl, otherwise she only eats a few kibble at a time making it harder to track if she’s getting enough to eat.
Smaller dogs teeth also require daily care and attention to help keep their gums & teeth in top shape! Trust me you don’t want a dental bill from your vet. Along with daily brushing, food and treats designed to support oral care can play an important role in your small dogs’ oral care regime.
Taking care of our small dog’s overall heath is as important to me as my kids. I want to make sure to provide her with everything, including the food she needs to keep her healthy, happy, and with us for as long as possible. Judging by her face this morning I’d say she’s happy.
*Note, all info/stats are provided by Mars Canada. This blog post has been sponsored by Mars Canada.