Small Dogs or Large Dogs
Small Dogs or Large Dogs
Yes, I am one of those people. Yep, a person with a Chihuahua. Many people judge us for doing ‘ridiculous’ things to our dog. I will admit, some of us can get a little crazy. Others are just looking out for the health of our teeny-tiny canine companions.
You might think that the tips I use on my 6 pound lap warmer don’t apply to bigger dogs, but I can assure you that these can be applied to dogs of any size. I put clothes on my dog. It isn’t for her to look cute, it is functional. When it gets cold she needs to be kept warm.
This might not apply to cold-weather dogs, but many bigger dogs should have various types of clothing handy. Small and short haired dogs need jackets to stay warm in the winter. If your friend is shivering, stick a sweater on them. They’ll thank you, as will your wallet. Sick dogs are very expensive.
Nearly every dog living in a snowy-weather climate needs shoes. The snow and ice gets between their pads and it is extremely painful. Here’s a tip: put some salt in your hand, put a piece of ice on top of it and squeeze. It burns, right?
That is what your dog is feeling in-between those delicate pads. There have even been cases of dogs having their paws frozen to the sidewalk. I don’t think I need to tell you that is extremely painful, and can lead to complications (skin getting ripped off, frostbite, infection, etc.)
Most animal owners like to keep their four-legged friends healthy and happy. For lots of dogs, this means sticking their head out of the window while on a car ride. This is extremely bad for the animal; dust and other stuff gets in their eyes, and contributes to them going blind.
Luckily there is a solution: Doggles. Doggles are goggles, but for dogs. They are tinted to protect against sun damage and brightness that could be painful to the dog, and they keep stuff from blowing in your pooch’s eyes. So before you go laughing at us small dog owners and our dog’s wardrobes, consider that your dog might need some clothes and accessories too. Small Dogs or Large Dogs, both need eye protection from time to time.
And while we’re talking about their heads, let’s talk about teeth. Did you know that dogs can suffer from gingivitis? It is painful for them, it makes their breath smell bad for you, and it can lead to them losing their teeth at a very early age. You can brush your dog's teeth (but none of mine have taken it well at all, so I imagine most others don’t as well), or you can give them a treat.
My dogs get one Greenie a day. Greenies are treats that they love. They look like little, chewy green toothbrushes. They help prevent plaque, gingivitis, and they make your dog’s breath smell much better. Small dogs or large dogs both love these. My pooches hate to see me leave, so I give them their Greenies before I leave for school. That way they are too happy to try to guilt trip me into staying home, and they are getting healthy too.
All dogs need to be walked, and I don’t mean to the mailbox and back (unless your mailbox is really far away). Can you imagine being locked in a house all day and not getting any exercise? You’d quickly become depressed and unhealthy. My dog and I go hiking together. My 6-pound Chihuahua did a 4 mile hike with a 2,000 foot ascent all by herself. Of course I carried food and water for her because I knew she’d need it, but I did not carry her at all.
You don’t have to do this with your dog, but spend at least half an hour a day walking your dog. Even better if you talk to them while you are walking. So often we don’t give our dogs our full attention. We pet them while we’re watching TV or playing on the computer. Spend at least 15 minutes a day doing nothing but paying attention to them, even if it is only an extended belly rub or snuggling. Your dog will be happier, and happy dogs are generally healthier than unhappy dogs.
This last thing should go without mentioning: Get check-ups. You get check-ups even if you’re not sick, right? You should do the same for your dog. Once every year I have my dogs weighed, their teeth checked, and just an overall evaluation to ensure that they are in good health.
Dogs are social animals. They love their humans, and they ask for very little in return. Make sure to take care of your canine companion and keep it healthy. If it isn’t feeling well for a couple of days, take it to the vet! Better safe than sorry, and what seems like a rather small problem can turn into a huge one very quickly. And it doesn't matter if you have small dogs or large dogs, both need help from time to time.
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"Some dogs live for praise. They look at you as if to say "Don't throw balls... just throw bouquets." -- Jhordis Anderson