Taking care of any dog can be rewarding and fun. But there is a great deal of responsibility as well. Small dogs can require more attention from their owners, they cannot be left alone for more than a day, and they may have health problems as they age. Smaller dogs also do not require as much exercise as other breeds. Small dog breeds such as the poodle, maltese, shih tzu, and bichon frise are considered hypoallergenic because they do not shed as much as other breeds and they produce less dander.
Small dog breeds want to spend a lot of time with their owners. This may mean being in the same room, sitting on your lap, or being next to your bed at night. Depending on your dog's personality, you may need to adjust your schedule in order to spend more time at home with your dog. As your dog ages, it may need less attention, but as a rule, small dogs will demand a lot more of your time than larger breeds.
You will have to keep your dog occupied with toys and games so that it does not get bored. Some small dogs enjoy completing tasks and are considered 'working dogs.' If you notice that your dog seems lethargic or does not want to play with their toys anymore, you may need to buy them some new ones. Playing fetch everyday mimics a task which will keep your dog happy.
When you need to travel, you should board your dog so that it will not feel lonely. Dogs that are left alone for a few days will usually not eat their food in order to conserve it. They may become angry or nervous and destroy your home or they may make themselves sick with worry. If you do not want to board your dog, you should have someone pet sit or at least check in on the dog everyday.
As small dogs age, they may be susceptible to many health problems. Because of their small frame, they may suffer broken or fractured bones, arthritis, and other motor skill problems. Loss of eye sight, sense of smell, and hair loss are also common. While these breeds tend to live fifteen to eighteen years on average, they may have health problems for a few years.
If you are looking for a dog to run with on the beach or take for long walks, then you may need to look elsewhere for a dog. Small breeds, even though they love to run, play, and jump, do not need as much exercise. Walking the dog around the block is enough as the dogs will become tired and agitated. Some small breeders such as the terrier can walk and run for a little while longer, but they still do not have the energy that larger breeds have.
When looking for a hypoallergenic dog, you should consider your lifestyle and what you want from a pet. If you want to walk your dog short distances each day and play fetch, then a small breed may be for you.
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