Trying to find good treats for small dogs may be a bigger challenge than you think. You’ll need to consider more than just whether a snack is bite-sized or not. Dutiful pet parents will have done their research and ensured that their small dog treats are easily digestible, will stay in one piece, and won’t aggravate sensitive teeth. You may be wondering why the criteria for small dog treats is so specific – are small dogs just picky? No (although they are known to be particularly sassy creatures). The reasoning is tied to their unique physiology and their predisposition for certain health issues.
Organs, Ears & Tails
Small dog breeds have small mouths – that’s a no brainer. But what might surprise you is that because of their small mouths, small dogs are much more prone to dental issues. Overcrowding of the teeth is extremely common and can lead to tooth decay, gingivitis, and other issues. As such, small dogs are far more likely to incur painful dental conditions which can inhibit their ability to eat. This is on top of their existing chewing disadvantages that comes from having an extra-small mandible. Most hard dog treats like bones or hooves are out of the question. Instead, pet owners should opt for treats made of softer materials like organ tissue or cartilage which is soothing to sensitive teeth.
Jerky, Nuggets, & Other Encased Morsels
You’d be hard pressed to find a dog that would turn their nose up at any sort of treat. Still, just because your small dog isn’t picky doesn’t mean that all treats are safe for them to gobble up. Small dog breeds are much more likely to have sensitive stomachs than their full-sized counterparts. This condition could be irritated if your pooch consumes their treat too quickly. To avoid this, look for treats like jerky or nuggets aren’t immediately consumable and instead will force them to chew. This will prevent them from ingesting too much at once and makes for a much more entertaining snack.
Bully Sticks & Tendons
Rawhide is one of the most popular dog treats on the market. Unfortunately, this beloved doggy treat can pose a significant choking hazard should pieces break off. While a larger dog’s esophagus may be able to handle this with relative ease (though it’s still something that should be avoided), for a tiny dog with a tiny windpipe the results could be disastrous. Small dog owners should avoid dog treats that have the potential to break apart into unwieldy chunks. Instead, look for sturdy treats like bully sticks or other muscle-based chews that are rubbery and unlikely to deteriorate while your dog gnaws away.
Big Flavor for Tiny Dogs
Ultimately, the best dog treats for small dogs are going to be the ones that keep them safe and healthy. Natural is ideal, as artificial textures and surfaces could be too much for their delicate teeth. And if you think “natural” means your dog will miss out on amazing flavor – guess again. Handmade dog treats have come a long way and boast incredible flavor that dogs go barking mad over. So while not all treats are appropriate for small breeds, they’ll never have to forgo the wild and delicious taste of a meaty tidbit.