The Best Family Pet Small Breed Dogs

Toy Poodle

A pooch is a wonderful addition to any family. In addition to providing companionship, owning a dog can help lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you have kids, owning a pet can help teach them how to be nurturing and responsible. Toy Poodles and Shih-tzus make perfect family pets if your living space is small or if you just want a pooch that enjoys cuddling.

Toy Poodles and Shih-Tzus

Toy poodles and Shih-Tzus are energetic, intelligent and will adore spending time with the family. At adulthood, toy poodles will weigh between 6 and 11 pounds and shih-tzus will weigh between 9 and 16 pounds.
Toy Poodles are frisky around kids. However, these canines require gentle handling because of their fragile bones. Toy poodles are subject to genetic conditions that include diabetes, heart problems, ear infections and slipped stifle. They are also prone to cataracts and retinal atrophy, which may eventually lead to blindness.
Poodles do not shed, so they are great for people who suffer with allergies. The downside to a poodle not shedding is that its coat can get unruly and develop mats and tangles. To maintain the coat and prevent skin problems, toy poodles need to be groomed often. Toy poodles are a long-lived breed. If they are cared for properly they can survive up to 15 years.
Just like the toy poodle, shih-tzus are prone to eye problems and slipped stifle. These dogs are also vulnerable to early tooth loss and spinal disc disease. This breed of dog can be a little strong-willed, so you have to be firm so your pooch knows that you’re the one running the show.
Shih-tzus shed very little of their hair, so it grows long. If it is not brushed daily and trimmed regularly, the hair will get out of control and become hard to manage. If this dog breed is cared for properly, it can provide your family with up to 15 years of companionship.
Both toy poodles and shih-tzus are active indoors, so they can manage well without a yard. They do, however, need to be walked daily to stay fit and work off extra energy.
Buying a dog warrants careful consideration as they are not cheap or easy to care for. Pets need proper nutrition and plenty of TLC. In addition, your pet will need to see a vet regularly so that they stay current on rabies, parvo and other necessary vaccinations. Your pooch must also be protected against heartworms, hookworms and other dangerous parasites.

Neil Kilgore is the Jack of all trades at Greenfield Puppies in Lancaster Pa. He regularly blogs about dogs, breeders and puppies on the Greenfield Puppies website.