Toy poodles are among the smallest dogs in existence, which is one reason they make excellent family pets. However, since they never grow to become very large in frame, they remain fragile throughout their entire lives.
This means that they need very specific care to thrive; as a dog owner, it is your responsibility to understand how to look after this little animal.
Toy poodles typically stop growing within a year after birth. To support your dog’s growth and properly care for it after it reaches maturity, you need to pay special attention to its physical safety and provide it with a proper diet, enough exercise, and the appropriate amount of sleep.
This article will discuss the physical and other characteristics of Toy Poodles, and provide some general care tips that you should implement for your pet’s well-being.
If you want to learn some of the most important tips regarding how to look after your Poodle as it goes through life, then keep on reading.
Physical Characteristics and Life Span
There are three varieties of Poodle dogs: the Standard, the Miniature, and the Toy. Out of all three of them, the Toy Poodle is the smallest.
Weight and Height
According to the American Kennel Club, by the time they reach full maturity, Toy Poodles are no more than approximately 10 inches (or 25 centimeters) in height.
As adults, they typically weigh between 5 and 10 pounds (or between 2.3 and 4.5 kilograms), with males normally weighing more than females.
It does not take Toy Poodles very long to reach its full size. In fact, they become as tall as they will ever be within six or seven months.
However, it can take them a little bit longer to completely fill out and reach a healthy weight. Despite these time variations, a Toy Poodle is considered to have reached adulthood by its twelfth month of life.
Research shows that small dogs tend to have a much longer life span than large dogs. Toy Poodle owners can expect to enjoy their dogs for many, many years. These dogs have an average life expectancy of around 15 years, but they can live to be as old as 18 years.
If you want to maximize your pet’s longevity long after it stops growing, you need to be very mindful of the following care tips.
Safety and Other Toy Poodle Needs
While their miniature size contributes to a longer life span, it also means that Toy Poodle dogs are not as physically strong or as tough as their larger counterparts.
A study conducted by the University of Georgia examined the records of 74,566 dogs in order to determine the most common causes of death for dogs based on their breed.
It was found that smaller dogs (including puppies and toy breed dogs) are highly susceptible to death by trauma. In fact, the study showed that trauma accounted for 11.7% of deaths among Toy Poodles.
Trauma can occur for Toy Poodles in a few ways:
This is death caused by non-penetrating injuries that occur upon violent physical impact.
Common causes for smaller dogs include car accidents or falling from tall heights, such as down sets of stairs or off of decks.
Avoid putting your dog in the passenger seat in case of an accident. Also, keep him or her away from long flights of stairs, tall decks, or deep swimming pools. One way to do this is to use a dog gate to restrict its access from such areas. For example, consider this PAWLAND Wooden Freestanding Foldable Pet Gate for Dogs. It has high ratings due to its solid frame and collapsible features.
Lastly, if you go on vacation and leave your pet with a friend or family member, make sure that their living space is safe as well. You should inspect the area ahead of time for any potential safety hazards.
Trauma Caused by Humans
As the name suggests, unlike blunt-force trauma, this type of trauma is inflicted by humans. It occurs most often by accident. Because they are so small, Toy Poodles can endure fatal damage by being accidentally dropped, stepped on, or sat on.
Take care that your Toy Poodle does not easily blend in with the furniture! Choose a dog whose fur color stands out against the color of the chairs, tables, and fabrics in your home (or vice versa).
Also, handle your Toy Poodle with extreme care. For example, avoid letting him or her sleep in your bed with you, so that you do not accidentally roll onto it.
Lastly, do not leave your dog unsupervised with very young children who may not yet understand how to be gentle with a small animal.
A Toy Poodle cannot effectively defend itself in a fight and can be severely hurt if attacked by another dog.
Be extremely cautious of larger animals when taking your dog for a walk. Depending on the area, it may be wise to keep him or her on a leash at all times.
Also, when choosing another pet to join the family, select one that is similar in size to your Toy Poodle, or that has a meek temperament.
A healthy diet consisting of protein, fruits, and vegetables is vital for any dog, but it is especially important for toy breed dogs.
This is because their tiny bodies can provide little defense against infections that may develop.
In general, you should avoid foods that contain artificial flavorings, artificial colorings, and chemical preservatives. Furthermore, you want to balance your dog’s diet between wet versus dry food and grain versus non-grain food.
Consult with a dog breeder or vet to determine the exact diet that is appropriate for your pet.
Despite their small size, Toy Poodles have a tremendous level of energy. This means that they need to be exercised a lot; a good amount is around 30 to 60 minutes per day.
You should walk them regularly, and since they are very friendly and sociable, they will enjoy games as well.
Another great way to exercise your dog is to teach it how to do tricks. Toy Poodles are known to be highly intelligent compared to other dogs, so they can be trained quite easily.
All that being said, be careful not to over-exercise your pet, as their tiny limbs may sustain injuries if overly exerted.
As mentioned earlier, your Toy Poodle expends a lot of energy throughout its day. Therefore, it needs to get adequate sleep. Puppies can sleep anywhere from 15 to 20 hours per day, whereas adults need around 13 hours.
Irregularities in your dog’s sleep patterns can impact its health in the long run, so if you notice any, contact your vet.
It takes a Toy Poodle approximately one year to reach a maximum height of 10 inches (or 25 centimeters) and to reach a maximum weight of 10 pounds (or 4.5 kilograms).
Despite their small frame, they can live for a very long time. However, since Toy Poodles are very small and fragile, it is important to treat them with the utmost care.
This can be achieved by taking measures to ensure your dog’s physical safety against blunt-force and human inflicted trauma, as well as protect it against attack from other animals.
You should also prioritize healthy, balanced meals, and make sure that he or she receives adequate sleep and exercise.