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6 Ways to Help Your Small Dog Live Large

small fuzzy dog wearing a red plaid sweater outside

Chances are your little buddy has a big personality. And just because your loyal companion is short in stature doesn’t mean they need to miss out on any of life’s adventures. Here are six of our favorite ways to help your small dog live mightily:

small dog sitting on lap while working

1. Take Them to Work

If you’re lucky enough to work for a dog-friendly company, then take your small dog into the office with you! Not only are they easy to transport, they’ll bask in the attention from your coworkers and you’ll always be able to find someone to dog-sit for you if you have an important meeting. (Plus, your pup will keep your lap warm while you use your laptop, which is a definite workplace perk.) And keep in mind that bringing your dog into work has been scientifically proven to reduce your stress, boost your productivity and make you a happier employee.

2. Travel with Them

Small dogs make awesome travel companions. So whether you’re taking a plane, train or automobile, take your bestie with you. They’re portable, will love the new experiences and you’ll love the company. Check out our tips for traveling with a small dog to help them stay comfortable and safe throughout the trip.

3. Hit the Dog Park

Dog parks are perfect for letting your four-legged friend run around and have a ball! We suggest sticking to a park that has separate play areas for large and small pets. That way, neither of you has to worry about a larger dog getting too friendly or coming on too strong. Instead, you’ll just feel great knowing your small dog is exercising, socializing with lots of different dogs and having fun in a safe environment.

4. Head Out for a Hike

Who says only big dogs like to go for hikes? Not us! We know that small dogs are just as adventuresome and athletic as larger dogs. So take your pal to a national park or forest, or to a state park with dog-friendly trails. These locations are great for both simple day hikes or longer camping trips. Trust us, both you and your companion will benefit from the exercise and fresh air as you explore Mother Nature together.

close up of dog wearing a beanie

5. Snap and Share Online!

Who can resist a petite pooch in their social feed? Grab your phone and share pics of your “little star” with your friends, family and followers. Whether it’s dressing up your dog in the world’s cutest Halloween costume or showing off their adorable snuggle mode, have fun sharing. Who knows, your dog could even become the next social media darling!

6. Give Them Big Nutrition

Even though your dog is small, they need food and treats carefully crafted to give them all the energy and nourishment they need to thrive. PEDIGREE® Small Dog products do just that — and they taste great, too. They also keep your pup’s immune system strong, their coat and digestive system healthy, and their teeth clean.

Here’s to living life to the fullest with your small-but-mighty sidekick!

  • When Should You Switch Your Senior Dog to Soft Food?

    smiling lab sitting in front of brick wall


    As your dog ages, you’ll likely notice changes in your best pal’s energy levels, routine and even muzzle. Older pets may require adjustments to help them get around, exercise and live their best life as a senior. One important aspect of caring for a dog entering their golden years is diet.

    When it comes to diet, every dog has unique, individual needs, regardless of age. So, there's no one easy answer to the question of soft food versus hard food. Both types of food can provide your dog with the nutrition they need — as long as you feed your dog a high-quality dog food that’s nutritionally balanced and complete.

    two dogs eating from two bowls

    Signs Your Senior Dog May Benefit from Wet Food

    If your dog has very specific health concerns, such as aging joints or weight issues, consult with your vet for more information about what type of food best addresses your dog's needs. That being said, there are a few reasons why you may consider switching your senior dog to soft food.
     

    fluffy brown dog yawning showing teeth

    Teeth Sensitivity

    As your dog gets older, their teeth may become more sensitive, which can make chewing kibble more difficult and even uncomfortable. Switching to a soft food can help to alleviate your pet’s oral discomfort when eating.

    However, if your dog is experiencing serious pain at mealtime from a condition like tooth decay or gingivitis, switching to soft food won't remedy the problem. Make sure you talk to your vet about oral care and dental treatment.

    Digestion Aid

    Digestion begins in the mouth with saliva, so if your dog has a tendency to scarf down meals, they may not be adequately chewing the food or adding enough saliva to it. Soft food can aid with digestion because it's more easily chewed.

    Hydration Help

    It’s no surprise that wet food has a higher moisture content when compared to dry kibble. If your senior pup is prone to urinary-tract issues or simply needs a little help staying hydrated, canned dog food may be a good choice.

    girl kissing older dog on the head

    Slower Metabolism

    Aging dogs tend to have a slower metabolic rate compared to their younger years, which puts them at a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese. Many nutritionally balanced wet dog foods offer high protein content with fewer carbs than dry food, which can benefit older dogs with slower metabolism. Always talk to your vet if you have concerns about your pup’s weight.

    Picky Eaters

    While wet food may be less than appetizing to humans, the opposite is true for dogs! If your aging best friend has started turning their snout up to dry food, wet food tends to be more appealing to picky eaters. Mixing wet food and kibble offers your pup a variety of flavors and textures; try adding wet food as a topper on dry food for a real treat!

    Whether you choose dry food, soft food  or a mix of both, ask your vet before making any transition. And when it's time to switch your dog's food, remember to do it slowly — even if it's the same brand and flavor — to help prevent stomach upset and allow your dog time to adjust.

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