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Caring for your small breed

Not only are they cute and cuddly, but their one purpose in life is human companionship — so, it’s no wonder toy breeds continue to rise in popularity. It seems these incredibly loving breeds need nothing more than a cozy lap in which to curl up. Just as with every pet, though, small breeds require proper care to ensure long and fruitful lives. Whether you’re considering adding a small breed to your family or already have a pint-sized companion in your home, these tips are sure to help you keep your furry friend healthy and happy.

grooming a small dog


When it comes to small breeds and food, it’s all about quality, not quantity. These tiny partners have equally tiny stomachs and, depending on the breed, appetites. Make every bite count by feeding only high-quality foods.

  • Look for ingredients that provide substance, such as real chicken and natural sources of protein.
  • Because small breeds tend to have longer lifespans than their larger counterparts, look for foods rich in antioxidants to promote longevity.
  • Due to their compact size, some pets in the toy-breed category can be prone to obesity. Pay close attention to the recommended feeding instructions to prevent overfeeding.
  • Dental care can be a concern for some breeds in the toy category. Look for dry foods that contain kibble specially crafted to promote dental health.


While most toy breeds are perfectly happy spending the day napping on a cozy lap, they also love any opportunities to flex their intellectual muscles. Don’t let their compact size fool you; most toy breeds are highly intelligent and excel in training and agility.

  • Keep your small breed mentally stimulated with basic training exercises including basic commands.
  • Learning new tricks such as advanced training and agility lessons can provide the necessary bonding time that is essential for these loveable companions.
  • Rewards are always encouraged and, at times, necessary when training your pet. Look for treats that are high in nutritional value and low in excess calories.


Small breeds can adapt easily to a variety of atmospheres and lifestyles. Ranging somewhere between purse-size and carry-on, small breeds tend to be highly sought-after by apartment dwellers and those who live in small homes.

  • Due to an ability to live in small quarters, it can be easy to neglect the exercise needs of small dogs.
  • Compact in size but not in energy, these little guys require daily walks and indoor playtime to stay physically fit.
  • Plenty of outdoor activity helps keep joints loose and muscles active.

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More about pet care

How to keep your pet and environment healthy
Meet the breed: Pomeranians
How to train your dog

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