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Caring for your
small or miniature dog

Four steps to a
healthier little dog

Weight management is essential for a long, healthy life. Even a little extra weight can be a big problem for little dogs. By taking just four steps toward achieving and maintaining ideal body weight, you can support the overall health and wellness of your small or miniature breed dog.

An important note about small or miniature breed puppies:

A weight loss plan is never a safe option for puppies unless your veterinarian recommends it. If you are concerned that your puppy has a weight problem, see your veterinarian. Do not simply begin feeding weight management dog food.

Big grooming tips
for small breed dogs

Grooming your small dog yourself, from trimming fur to bathing and nail care, can save you money. Most grooming tasks are easy and simply require the proper tools and some basic know-how. Once you've got a routine down, your grooming sessions should turn into wonderful bonding experiences between you and your pet. To get off on the right foot, keep these five things in mind:

Visit frequently

Regular check-ups will help your little dog get used to the experience of going to the vet, and help the vet become more familiar with your dog.

Tips to make small dog
vet visit easier

A trip to see the veterinarian can be a stressful experience for your little dog. There are lots of sights, smells, sounds, people and animals that may be new and unfamiliar. However, there are a number of things you can do to make sure you and your dog have a comfortable and productive vet visit:

Allergies and other pesky
seasonal problems

Allergies are all too common. The same pollens and house dust that cause allergic reactions in people often cause allergic dermatitis in small and miniature breed dogs. Allergic dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin, which can be caused by many things. Most commonly this results in your dog licking, scratching, sometimes even hair loss, and above all discomfort for your little dog.

Your vet may try to help manage your dog's allergy by numerous methods, including injections, oral medications, nutritional management, topical shampoos, dips, ointments and environmental treatments. Do not hesitate to call your vet if questions or problems arise.

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Here are some common, seasonal pests
to protect against


Heartworms can be prevented. This disease is frequently fatal, so take the steps your vet recommends to keep your small or miniature breed dog from catching heartworms. Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes. Your vet can prescribe a heartworm preventive and recommend the appropriate testing and a preventative schedule for your dog. Consult your vet immediately if you suspect that your dog has heartworms.

Flea control

When your dog goes outside, complete elimination of fleas is often impossible. A more realistic goal is flea control, especially in warmer areas. Flea control requires controlling the life cycle of the flea. There are many new, highly effective topical or oral products available. Frequent vacuuming removes flea eggs from rugs and carpeting (promptly dispose of the vacuum bag). Laundering your dog's bedding is also advised. Preventive measures taken before you see fleas can save you and your dog a lot of discomfort.


While ticks can spread infectious diseases such as ehrlichiosis and Lyme disease, infections spread by ticks occur rarely in the UK dog population. Dog owners who travel to continental Europe with their pets can be more at risk to diseases such as Lyme disease, which are found on the continent. Remove ticks as soon as possible and be sure to wear gloves when getting rid of them.

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