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Small Dog Health Issues

August 15, 2022
Our canine companions come in all shapes and sizes, and we love all of them. We definitely have our fair share of small dogs as patients. Over the last few decades, little breeds have become very popular, in large part because they’re such a great match for apartment dwellers. Fido’s size affects his health and care needs in many ways. It’s important to know some of the common issues that many smaller pooches face. A local Fort Collins, CO vet lists some of them in this article.

Dental Issues

While dental issues are quite common in dogs overall, little dogs are particularly prone to them. Overcrowding is one common issue. Fido doesn’t have a lot of room to fit 42 teeth! Keep your pint-sized pet’s choppers in good shape by brushing his teeth regularly and offering dental food and treats. (Tip: choose products that have the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal.)


It’s not uncommon for little dogs to be, well, a bit portly. Because these guys are so small, they don’t burn as many calories at rest as larger pups do. This makes it very easy for them to gain weight. Pay close attention to Fido’s portion sizes, and don’t go too crazy with the treats.

Eye Injuries

This issue is especially prevalent in brachycephalic dogs, because of their shallow eye sockets. However, any little dog can easily get dust, pollen, and debris in their eyes, simply because they are so close to the ground. Many small dogs are also quite fluffy, and sometimes get hair in their eyes. Make sure there is nothing sharp or dangerous at your canine pal’s eye level. If your pooch has fur growing too close to his eyes, gently trim it with round-end scissors. You’ll also need to clean your pup’s tearstains.


Another thing we often see in smaller breeds are injuries from falls. Even taking a spill from a couch or bed can be quite dangerous for a little pooch. Set out pet ramps or stairs to help your furry pal get to his favorite spot on the bed or couch. If you pick Fido up, always put him down gently, and don’t let go until his paws are on the ground. Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Please feel free to contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, anytime!
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