10 Tips for the Beginning Owner of a Small Dog

Small dogs and pygmy breeds are often the first pets in the life of their owners. And often owners have a lot of questions about how to properly keep a dog. In this article, we share 10 simple but important tips on how to be the best owner for your pet.

Tip #1: Get the space right

The new member of the family needs his "possessions", and it is worth thinking about him before he comes into the house.
First, you need to decide on a place to sleep. Choose a soft bed and put it where he'll feel safe, in the living room or by your bed. Don't put it where there's a draft or near things that make a lot of noise, like the washing machine. Also keep in mind that your dog may decide where to put it after a while and even drag it away.
You also need to choose a place for the bowls. It should be a place that is safe for the dog and free of irritants. You can place them in the kitchen. The bowls should be placed at a level that is comfortable for the dog, so that he does not have to bend over much or stand up with his paws to reach them.
Toys should also be purchased.

Tip #2: Don't neglect walks

It is a myth that small dogs do not need to take walks. However, small dogs are still dogs, so they need walks - even if perhaps not as long.
Walking for dogs is an opportunity for proper socialization, as well as a chance to get some much needed new experiences and release energy. Without walks, pets can develop destructive behavior.
Walk your dog regardless of size for at least 30-40 minutes a day.

Tip #3: Get the right contacts

If you took a dog from a breeder or handler, don't rush to delete their numbers from your phone book right after you picked up your pet. They can help if necessary and advise you on various issues.
Be sure to research the nearest veterinary clinics: where are the municipal facilities, where you can get around-the-clock care, find your doctor to whom you can go. Also, remember that you can always get advice online.
On your walks, meet local dog owners and see if there's a general chat room in your area. After all, you can always get advice from experienced dog owners and coordinate and walk together. It's also important that in case your dog gets lost, you can spread the word faster and get help in finding him.

Tip #4: Choose a quality meal

A well-balanced diet is essential for your dog's health and a long and happy life. Choose special foods for small dogs and change them according to their age and needs.
Purina ONE® pet food is designed with small dogs in mind. It is balanced and contains all the nutrients needed to keep your dog healthy.

Tip #5: Don't forget the training

Obedience is not based on size, so small dogs, like any other, need to know at least a minimum number of commands: "Come Here," "Next to Me," "Sit," "Down," "Can," "Can't," and "Can't/Foo."
Without discipline, dogs can develop aggression and tantrums as they mature.

Tip #6: Don't humanize the dog

As much as we'd like to, a dog is still a dog. And one of the great evils is to humanize him and expect him to fully understand.
For example, don't yell at your dog or scold him, he won't understand and may only be frightened by your behavior. It's better to switch her attention and engage in training with positive reinforcement, then the rules at home will be clear to the dog.

Tip #7: Don't feed food from the table

Human food is bad for dogs and can cause irreparable damage. Forget about treats in the form of cheese or a piece of sausage. There are many different kinds of treats on the market that are designed specifically for dogs, if you want to treat your pet, use them.
Also, never give your dogs chocolate. For them, despite its attractiveness, it is poison.

Tip #8: Be prepared for an adjustment period

The first year with a dog can be tricky: puppies won't be able to do things on a diaper the first time and they won't know right away that they're not allowed to chew on their slippers. You need to have patience and be prepared to show your dog several times at a time what is acceptable or not.
Praise your dog as soon as he makes the right choice and ignore disruptive behavior.

Tip #9: Be consistent in your actions

Consistency in your behavior is important to dogs. You shouldn't ban him from sleeping on the bed for a long time first and then invite him to lie down. The dog will not understand what has changed - and may decide that it is now allowed.

Tip #10: Give attention and care

The most important thing is to show your dog in every way possible that you love him. Play with him, spend time with him, pet him... Love, care and affection are what your dog expects from you.



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