12 of the Most Popular Tools for Keeping Small Dogs Safe in Your Home and Car

Small dogs are sweet and cuddly.  They can fit on your lap and you can carry them around. They can come on an airplane with you and they don’t take up the whole bed at night. There are, however, some things that they need to ensure their safety and independence.  Here are 12 of the best tools for keeping small dogs safe in your home and car.

Your house is full of things that you may not have realized are obstacles for your small dog.  Jumping up to a couch or a bed are two of the most common issues that small dogs encounter on a daily basis.  For some dogs, like a Daschund, trying to access these pieces of furniture can even be dangerous.  Because of their shape, jumping down from any height is very dangerous to their spines.  

I am neither a veterinarian nor a medical professional. The information in this article has been researched and sourced at the end of the post. All medical issues or questions regarding your pet’s health or symptoms should always be brought to the attention of your veterinarian for clarification, assessment, advice and treatment.

4 Helpful Tools to Assist Small Dogs In the House

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To help your pup climb up on the chair or bed beside you, providing a ramp or a set of stairs up to the furniture will allow them to come and go as they please.  You won’t have to worry about falling when they try to climb up or when they jump down to get a snack.

Indoor Ramps Can Improve Your Dog’s Independence and Safety

One of my clients uses a ramp for her Daschund.  He loves it and it gives him the freedom to sit and watch TV with mom and dad, or even curl up with his cat bestie.

Being able to climb onto the furniture or into bed at night is a luxury that most little dogs don’t have. Even if they do manage to get up, it may be difficult and dangerous for them to try to jump down. Dashunds in particular, can damage their spine trying to jump from even a small height.

Ramp to furniture

Dog Stairs Offer Similar Benefits to a Ramp

As an alternative to a ramp, you could provide a small staircase for your doggo to get up onto furniture. This is a great option when floor space is a concern. Another client of mine, a French Bulldog, uses this to get to his favorite chair beside the fireplace. He always looks so proud when he gets up by himself.

Stairs to furniture 

Allow Your Dog Learn to Use Stairs and Ramps Safely

Daschund approaching ramp leading up to couch.
Photo By: M. Shea

Sometimes it takes a little while for a dog to get used to using the ramp or the stairs, so it is important to supervise them until they are comfortable and confident with them.  Until then, using a crate or penned enclosure in your home will offer a safe place for your dog to sleep at night or when you are away from the house for a while. This is especially important when they are young as they are not familiar with dangers that surround them…like climbing on a chair or an ottoman. Until they are trained to use the ramp on a regular basis, they may try to climb on something and become stranded, or worse, fall and injure themselves. 

4 Items to Make Car Travel Easier and Safer for Small Dogs

How Ramps to Cars Can Help to Keep Small Dogs Safe

Getting in and out of a car can be a difficult task for a small dog. In today’s world of SUVs it is even worse!  You could lift your pup and put him in and out of your car, but this reduces your pet’s independence. Also, some people have physical limitations that do not allow for bending and lifting. When we talk about small dogs, we always assume that they weight very little, but there are some smaller dogs who are quite heavy, like an English Bull Dog.  These dogs need help accessing cars and taller furniture just as much as a Chihuahua. Having a lightweight ramp in your vehicle that folds quickly and easily for storage allows your dog to get in and out easily, with no heavy lifting. 

Ramp to car

A High Car Seat Will Let Your Dog Enjoy The View in a Car 

Safety in cars is always a concern for dog parents. Traveling with your pet requires a safe and comfortable place for your dog to sit.  Most dogs love to look out the window and enjoy the sites, just like we do. Unfortunately, this is a difficult task for a smaller dog.  Installing a special car seat for your dog is a safe way to let her enjoy the ride.

High Chair

Why All Small Dogs Should Wear Seatbelts in the Car

Even if you do not have a secured car seat for your dog, you should have a proper seat belt to keep her safe.  While all dogs should be kept secured in a vehicle, small  dogs easily lose their balance and can be thrown forward should you have to stop suddenly, or worse, become involved in an accident.  A seat belt in an accident situation can also keep you from losing your dog, as they tend to flee the scene and hide because they are afraid. This makes a small accident a much larger tragedy.

Seat Belt

Some Small Dogs Prefer a Crate in the Car

Some dogs prefer the security of a crate when travelling.  Many use their crate as a safe haven in the home, so it is logical that they would prefer to be secure in their crate while in the car as well. A secured crate is one of the best tools for keeping small dogs safe from being tossed or shifted when travelling by car.

Crate for Car

4 Best Accessories to Assist in Keeping a Small Dogs Safe and Comfortable While On a Walk

The home and car are not the only places where your tiny companion can struggle.  Simply taking a walk can be exhausting. If the walk is longer, or the weather is uncooperative, your pooch may need some help.  You could simply carry them, but here are some items that will be more comfortable for both of you.

A Dog Carrier Can Help Your Dog on a Busy Walk

An appropriately sized carrier will help to transport a small dog in high traffic areas.  Traveling with a small dog can be safer and easier if they are in a carrier. It can also double as a crate when you are on vacation.

Carrier

Walking Carriers Can Provide a Nice Place for Dogs to Take a Break 

Do you like hiking?  Even if you just like to take your dog for long walks, a carrier can be a big help.  As much as your dog might enjoy a good hike through the woods, or a long walk on the beach, those little legs can get tired.  Bringing along a walking carrier that you can strap on will offer a nice cozy place for your pup to rest when the outing lasts a little longer. Your dog will appreciate being close to you and still be able to enjoy the view!

Walking Carrier

Backpacks are Great tools for Keeping Small Dogs Safe

Backpacks are another place for your dog to take a break while on a long adventure. They will still be able to see the sights and keep you close. Because they are behind you, it’s important to check on your pup frequently and offer water. Be sure to choose a backpack that has plenty of air circulation and place to lay down.

Back Pack

How Strollers Help to Keep Small Dogs Safe on a Walk

Dog strollers are becoming very popular with small dogs and senior dogs alike.  When you are out with your pup, he may become overwhelmed by activity or the length of the walk.  There are times when the pavement may become uncomfortably warm, cold, or the texture could cause his paws to hurt.  Even a change in the weather can make a good walk turn sour.  

Having a stroller with you offers the opportunity to provide a safe, dry, comfortable place to go when the outside world becomes too much for a little doggo.

Some Other Things to Consider When You Have a Small Dog

Tiny pups have tiny mouths, paws, and bodies.  It is important to cater to these special sizes when choosing toys, treats and even food. 

There are Many Small Dog Treats That Are Better for Little Doggos 

Small size food and treats will help your dog to chew better, ensuring better digestion. A bite-size that is proportionate to your dog’s mouth will allow your dog to thoroughly chew their food, reducing the risk of choking. It will also encourage proper food consumption as it would be less frustrating to eat.

Choosing Appropriately Sized Toys for Your Small Dogs

Finally, small dogs prefer small, lightweight, toys.  Once upon a time, dog toys were dog toys.  There was no consideration for how difficult it was for smaller dogs to play with big heavy toys.  Now, toys are available for dogs of all sizes. 

Many toy brands have created versions of their classic toys to accommodate and appeal to small dogs.  Here are a few that are favorites in the doggoverse:

KONG  

The Kong Classic Treat Toys come in various sizes that fit small mouths comfortably and they are much lighter that the larger ones. This makes it easy for smaller dogs to carry them around.

Kong Toy

Squeaky Toys, Ropes and Chew Toys

Squeaky toys are always a favorite.  Having small, light weight stuffed animals squeaky toys allow your dog to enjoy their play time without a struggle.  Ropes are always a fun thing to carry around or to enjoy a rousing game of tug with a pet buddy or a human playmate. A small rope that they can hold onto with tiny teeth provides an advantage that a wide, heavy rope does not. 

Ropes and Squeaky Toys

Balls

While a standard tennis ball may be a good idea for a German Shepherd, a Morkie will have a seriously difficult time lifting or carrying one.  A better alternative would be extra small tennis ball squeaky toys that are specially made for little mouths.

Small Tennis Balls

SAFETY NOTE:

If you have a large dog in the home as well, you should NEVER leave the small dog toys accessible to the larger dog(s) when unsupervised.  Small dog toys can be a choking hazard to large dogs. Should a large dog ingest a small dog toy, obstruction can occur causing severe medical issues.

Final Thoughts

Small dogs are a lot of fun to spend time with.  They love to stay close to you and come with you wherever you go.  Using the above listed tools for keeping small dogs safe will offer them the freedom to stay by your side, while staying comfortable and maintaining independence. Your doggo will love them!

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