Essential Pet Accessories for Small Dogs

When people get a small dog, they may immediately think of carrying their dog around in a pink purse with a bejeweled collar, but essential small dog pet accessories actually refer to those accessories that will keep your dog safe, entertained and out of trouble during training.

Crates, X-Pens and Baby Gates

Small dogs can be more difficult to potty train since they have smaller bladders and may not be able to hold it while you are at work for eight hours. Thus, it's important to have several accessories in place to keep them from eliminating in certain parts of the house.

When you are home, a crate works great for this. Get a crate small enough that your dog has enough room to stand up and turn around but that's it. This can be any type of crate. If you plan to travel with your small dog, you may want to get a soft, collapsible crate that can be easily stored. Place a blanket in the crate to make it comfortable.

When you aren't home, however, leaving a dog in a crate for several hours isn't a good idea. Your dog may be forced to eliminate in the crate, which can be very stressful. Instead, leave your dog in an x-pen or baby gated in a small room, like the kitchen. Put a bed and potty pad in the area along with a bowl of water and some toys.

Leashes, Collars and Harnesses

Even if your small dog has a microchip, a personalized tag ensures that anyone who finds your dog will know where to return him. Therefore, your dog should have a collar or harness that you feel comfortable leaving on most of the time. For a small dog, these will need to be very small, not too heavy.

For walking, a harness may be your best bet, especially if your dog pulls. Even regular collars put pressure on the throat, which can cause damage to your small dog's trachea.

Make sure the leash you purchase is also small. The clip should be very small, not putting too much weight on your dog's neck or back.

Grooming Tools

Many small dog breeds need additional grooming, and the grooming tools need to be appropriately sized. For dogs with long hair, buy a comb that can reduce mats and undercoat. For short hair dogs, a small brush will suffice.

In addition, make sure to buy nail clippers appropriately sized. The clippers that work for your golden retriever won't work for your Maltese. Small dogs don't wear their nails down as easily as large dogs, so clippers are very important.

Toys and Bones

Make sure to find bones and toys that are appropriately sized as well. Trying to chew a big dog bone may hurt your dog's teeth or jaws, so buy small bones and supervise in case of choking.

Buy small kongs to stuff with treats when you are gone and small stuffed toys or tennis balls for supervised playtime. There are small dog options for all of these toys. Small dogs are playful and will love to chase tennis balls or play tug if you take the time to teach them.