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Different types of dogs have differing care requirements and different personality traits that affect the way they view the world and what they need to be happy. When it comes to toy dogs (or lap dogs) however, their only universally uniting factor is their size, being as they are the very smallest of canines.
In this article, we will discuss the needs of toy dogs, and how to keep them healthy, happy and well provided for. Toy dogs can come from any one of a wide variety of breed groupings, and the term is also used to refer to cross breed and mixed breed dogs that are very small too. Generally, dogs that weight under 18lb and stand at around ankle height or lower are considered to be toy dogs when grouping them by type, although there is some crossover between the terrier group and the toy dog group.
Toy dogs very much enjoy their creature comforts, and are often reluctant to go out in bad weather. Toy dogs may have little legs and a great love of their home comforts, but they still require exercise in the same way that a larger dog does! Remember that toy dogs only have short legs, so you might have to adjust your walking pace to make up for this!
Toy dogs can sometimes be fussy eaters, and it is important to make sure that they eat a balanced diet.
Toy dogs normally spend a lot of time with people, and will often be present at your own mealtimes. Toy dogs generally spend more time with their owners than most other dog types, and so, bond very strongly with their owners as a result.
It is important to involve all members of the household in the care of your toy dog, and avoid a particularly strong reliance on any one person to the point that the dog becomes anxious or unhappy when left alone.
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Dog Hypoglycemia (Toy Breed): toy dog breeds are becoming more and more remarkably popular these days as people move into small apartments and condos and need small dogs that adapt well to city life.
The problem with toy breed dogs is that being so small they tend to have difficulties in maintaining their blood glucose levels normal.
While toy breed dogs may develop hypoglycemia simply because of their constitution, in some cases there may be other underlying causes that may need addressed. A toy breed dog should be fed a minimum of three times a day, some requiring even up to six feedings a day to maintain normal levels of blood sugar. Owners should always have along some honey, karo syrup (works the best!) or pancake syrup to rub on these dog’s gums in order to prevent them from going into a low blood sugar crisis.

Chilled dogs should be warmed up using a warm water bottle covered in a blanket to avoid the dog from getting burned. If the dog is not getting better after rubbing the sources of sugar on the gums or giving a treat (usually they should improve within 10-20 minutes), it will need prompt veterinary attention. Toy dog breeds may be mistakenly thought to be low maintenance, however the opposite is true. With many of the dog groupings that are inclusive of a large variety of breeds, all of the dogs of that type share distinct physical or personality traits, such as with sighthounds (which hunt by sight) or Spitz-type dogs, which have long, thick coats and are used to living in the colder parts of the world.
Toy dogs are also some of the most misunderstood dogs in common ownership today, and the type of dogs most likely to be inappropriately fed, trained and managed. The largest dog that is classed within the toy grouping is the Pug, weighing around 18lb on average.
Toy dogs are very affectionate and enjoy lots of time spent being the centre of attention, sitting in a welcoming lap. Many toy dog breeds are not very hardy in extremes of weather, and need a little more care and attention to be paid to their wellbeing on very cold or very hot days. While some of the toy dog breeds are fairly sedentary and will generally only enjoy a sedate walk once a day, others, such as terrier type toy dogs, will be highly active and have lots of energy! Also, walking over great distances will tire out a small dog faster than a large dog, so pay attention to your dog’s comfort at all times. A special complete food specifically tailored for the needs of smaller dogs, and comprised of smaller pieces of kibble that are a better fit for their mouths is recommended. It should go without saying but is worth mentioning nevertheless; do not feed your toy dog on table scraps, or let them beg for food when you are eating. They are usually used to being the sole centre of attention, but should be properly socialised and introduced to other dogs when young to avoid jealousy and problems. Just because you can physically pick your dog up and move them if they are being a pain doesn’t mean that you should neglect to teach them good manners and acceptable behaviour! Teaching your dog about quiet time and spending time alone is important, as is socialising your toy dog properly with other people. A toy dog breed may easily fit into a purse and can be easily carried around while shopping. This is due to the fact that they have a low body mass and therefore they have a tougher time in storing glucose properly. For instance, stress, diarrhea, parasites, liver shunt, and bacterial infections may be triggering causes of a hypoglycemic attack. If not treated the dog may get cold, listless and suffer from loss of consciousness and seizures.

At the veterinary hospital, the dog will likely be given injections of dextrose, will be warmed up and monitored until levels of blood glucose are normal and the dog is willing to eat. They are pretty vulnerable creatures that get cold quickly and may suffer easily from dehydration if they have vomiting or diarrhea.
If you own a toy dog or are considering buying one, it is important to ensure that you enable their needs as dogs, and do not spoil them or treat them like furry children. They are very reliant on their owners for their care and affection, and enjoy going outside to play with you, but will probably become bored if you leave them to their own devices. Each dog is different, but regardless of breed, it is important to make adequate provision for your toy dog’s exercise requirements. In cold and harsh weather, consider getting a coat and even maybe booties for your small dog to help to make their walks more comfortable! It can be tempting to change your dog’s food regularly if they do prove to be picky, but this might contribute to the problem long term, so it is important to persevere with the food that you are trying for a reasonable amount of time before trying something else! Not only will this pose a training issue, but will keep your dog from getting all of the nutrients that they need and can lead to weight problems and poor health. Toy dogs can also live quite happily with other dogs or pets if properly managed and trained, and often bond strongly with other animals. However, owners of toy breeds must be aware of the fact that some of them may suffer from bouts of hypoglycemia that may require prompt veterinary attention. People considering a toy breed should be educated about these health aspects first before making a final decision. If your pet is exhibiting behavior problems please refer to a professional pet behaviorist.
This is something that can be difficult to remember at times, when the cute-appeal of the smaller dog becomes too much to bear! This may take the form of several busy walks a day for the more energetic dogs, or one or two slower walks on or off the lead for quieter types. While bouts of hypoglycemia mostly affect toy breed dogs as puppies, some of them may still suffer from this condition as adults.

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