The Unique Needs of Toy Breeds
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Toy Breeds Have Unique Needs Toy breeds
embody all that it means to be a companion. They are energetic, loyal, loving, easy to care for, and typically long-lived. Best of all, these small dogs are just as suited to city apartment life as they are to life in a country home. But despite their diminutive size, these favorite friends have unique nutrition, health, and lifestyle needs that can rival their larger counterparts.

Extremely active toy breed dogs need a nutritionally balanced, premium, high-protein dry food. Due to their smaller stomach size, however, they are better suited to two or more meals spread throughout the day. Treats, which should also be high in protein, may be offered sparingly.

Due to tooth size, teeth arrangement, and a compact muzzle, toy breed dogs are prone to periodontal disease. To keep your pooch’s teeth in top shape, avoid sugary foods or treats. Instead, offer an occasional tasty dental treat designed to scrape away plaque.

Most toy breed dogs need ample mental and physical stimulation. Keep your active and intelligent toy breed dog occupied with a variety of plush, rope, or ball toys. Each are available in sizes suited to smaller mouths that are also able to withstand hours of constant play.

Though primarily kept indoors, toy breed dogs make great outdoor companions. When inside, create the ultimate pet-safe zone your pet can call her own with a gate or crate. Outdoors, use a carrier, stroller, or pouch to take your pet with you. Be careful, however, as toy breed dogs, especially shorthair breeds, lose heat quickly and are prone to chills. Pet clothing can protect and help keep her warm during walks.

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