It is in our nature to shop for petite items to support our petite pals, but is that always the right choice? It's important to keep in mind that even a diminutive dog is still, after all, a dog - with many of the same physical needs and capabilities as their larger cousins. Here is some guidance on how to shop for your little dogs.
Bully Sticks for Small Dog Breeds
Dogs don't just love to chew - they NEED to chew. It is in their very nature and not something to discourage or attempt to "train out". Instead let's give them something good to work out those little gnashers and get it out of their system in a healthy way.
With a name like "bully sticks" you might thing they are designed for only the big bully breeds, but that's not the case at all. Bully sticks come in a variety of shapes and sizes and in fact, a common complaint of larger dog owners is that they bought bully sticks that were too small. That's where you and your small pack come in!
Thin bully sticks and even Extra Thin bully sticks are durable and tough meaty chews but thin enough for smaller dogs to get their jaws around. They won't be able to chomp right through them like a saltine cracker, but they aren't supposed to! Bully sticks are meant to be slowly chewed and gnawed on for a long time until the meat softens.
If your small dog is a little more of a Tiny Tyrannosaurus and you find them tearing through the thin bully sticks a little too quickly, try medium bully sticks. They are thicker, but not so thick that your bulldog, beagle or dachshund can't manage. Still not enough? Try the intriguing puzzle of a braided bully sticks, curly bully sticks, bully stick rings, or twisted bully sticks.
Not sure that bully sticks are right for your dog? No problem...
Natural Treats for Small Dog Breeds
Collagen Sticks for small dogs!
What are Collagen Sticks? I'm glad you asked! Dog collagen treats come from the bottom layer (the "corium") of beef hide which is fully digestible, rolled into something very close to Bully Sticks. Collagen dog treats are packed with all the same collagen supplementation benefits as collagen products sold for humans.
When chewed, the protein rich chew sticks release collagen peptides and amino acids that quickly go to work in your small dog's system. Collagen is good for fighting inflammation and helping build flexible, pain-free connective tissue and smooth, supple joints. Collagen is also involved in the development of strong healthy bones. You will also quickly notice that your small dog's skin and coat will be softer and silkier.
Yak Chews for Small Dogs!
Yak Cheese dog chews are made using traditional methods in Nepal from an impossibly simple recipe - Milk, lime juice and salt. From those three magic ingredients, you get a durable dog chew that your little one will chomp and chew for hours or even days.
When they finally work their way down to a little nub of cheese, throw it in the microwave for 15 seconds and watch it magically pop up into a crunchy puff your dog can safely (and ecstatically) finish.
Ear Chews for Small Dogs!
Cow Ears and Pig Ears can be pretty large but that's not necessarily a deal breaker. The very shape of that large, flat chew is almost naturally designed to set a reasonable pace as your dog slowly gnaws around the edges and enjoys the smoky flavor and aroma.
Still intimidated by that gigantic ear? No problem... try a Lamb Ear dog chew! know what else is good about lamb...?
Chews for Small Dogs with Allergies or Food Sensitivity
If your small dog has sensitivities to certain meats, we find that Lamb is often the solution. Dogs who find beef and chicken difficult to digest can often handle meats like lamb and venison. It's also important to keep treats to limited or even single ingredients.
Our Lamb Lung dog chews are extremely popular and tend to be easy to break up into smaller treats for rewarding smaller dogs. They also tend to be easier to chew.
Looking for something more intriguing? Try the Lamb Tripe dog chews. Tripe is packed with wholesome proteins, healthy omega-3 fatty acids, plus glucosamine and chondroitin to keep their joints flexible and strong.
Puppy Pads for Small Dogs
Now for the tricky part... Puppy Pads! Remember when we said your small dog has many of the same physical needs and capabilities as their larger cousins?
Many dog owners are interested in saving a few dollars and buy very inexpensive economy puppy pads. If your dog only has occasional emergency needs or tends to have a "favorite spot" to mark or piddle on, then buying economy puppy pads for small dogs might make sense.
Based on extensive customer service experience, we strongly urge everyone else to re-consider. Your dog may be very small, but the stakes can be high when it comes to urination, marking, and defecation.
Puppy Pad Absorbency
The best thing for locking in moisture is a substance known as "Super Absorbent Polymer" or SAP which is the same thing you find in most disposable human diapers. It is a dry form of "hydrogel" that can absorbs moisture and converts it to a stable gel.
Lower cost puppy pads omit this SAP and use a layer of fluff, which is similar to wiping up a spill with fabric. It can get the job done, but we are talking about urine - most homeowners will strongly prefer puppy pads with SAP.
Puppy Pad Size
Small dog, small pads, right? In our testing, we find otherwise. It is far better to overestimate your needs and cover the required area with fewer, larger pads. Several overlapping pads will be easily dragged and moved around creating more messes. Smaller pads, simply by virtue of being smaller, will also absorb less. More of the surface area is dedicated to the edge binding and you are, in general, using smaller amount of absorbent material.
Long story short? try to cover more area with larger pads whenever possible. You will never regret the urine you DIDN'T have to mop up!
If odor control is a concern, look into Carbon Puppy Pads. Carbon pads contain activated charcoal that absorbs and neutralizes odor instantly.