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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!

  • The Serious Benefits of Play

    dog carrying a frisbee in its mouth

    Playing and having fun helps to eliminate stress from your life—and the same holds true for your dog. In fact, incorporating various forms of play into your dog's daily routine is vital to helping him develop a healthy, loving personality.

    The benefits of play

    Here are some of the ways that playing and having fun is important:

    • Physical health. Active play helps keep your dog's heart healthy, keeps the joints lubricated, and improves his overall balance and coordination.
    • Mental health. Games with rules force your dog to use his brain, not just his body. This can help keep his mind sharp and focused.
    • Social skills. When your dog plays with other dogs and other people, it helps improve his overall social skills. He learns basic rules and how to play by them.
    • Bonding. Even if it's only for a few minutes a day, playing with your dog helps strengthen the bond between you.
    • Your health. What better way to alleviate the stress of a busy workday and get a bit of exercise than to come home and play with your dog? It's a win-win for both of you.

    How to play with your dog

    There are right ways—and wrong ways—to play. The most important thing to remember is that you're the boss. You decide what games should be played and you set the rules. This helps establish your credibility as the pack leader. It also helps keep your dog from getting overly excited and out of control while you play. If your dog does become difficult to manage, simply put a stop to the game until he calms down again.

    When you're teaching your dog a new game, reward him when he does well. Remember, rewards don't have to be just treats. You can also reward him with his favorite toys or lots of hugs and praise.

    When you start out teaching your dog a new game, keep it simple and go through the game slowly, until your dog fully grasps the rules. Also, wait until he fully understands one game before you teach him a new one, otherwise it will end up confusing him.

    Playtime tips

    • Avoid games like keep away, wrestling, or tug-of-war. Those games encourage biting or dominant, aggressive behavior.
    • Stay in control of the game at all times. Show your dog that you're the pack leader, not just another member of the pack. Retrieval games are good at teaching control.
    • Don't include your body or clothing as part of any game.
    • Incorporate the SIT or DOWN and STAY commands in every game.
    • You decide when it's time to end the game, not your dog. The best time to stop the game is when your dog is still eager to play.
    • If, for some reason, your dog doesn't seem to understand the game at some point, go back to the beginning, or simply leave it and try again a few days later. Don't get angry if you're dog isn't "getting it" right away. Remember it's supposed to be a fun experience for both of you!

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