Small Dog Breeds

Every dog has his day

Even small dog breeds can run rings around the big ones with regard to temperament, ability to learn and guard dog capabilities. The experts at Pets Services know that how far off the ground the dog is says nothing about his character and abilities. Future owners should be aware that small dogs are real dogs that have their own individual needs.

How do you find the right dog? Some make choices based on celebrities – “One like Paris Hilton”. Others follow fashion – “It has to be a pug”. Or there could be a personal reason for choice – “I live in an apartment so I want a little dog”. Or – “The dog shouldn’t be too big so I can control him in difficult situations”. Whatever your reason, think well in advance about what sort of characteristics your new family member should have. Just because they are small dogs doesn’t automatically mean that they need less space or care. Here is a selection of small breeds (maximum height at the shoulders 40cm)

The dachshund was originally bred as a hunting dog as he is brave, self-confident and also quite stubborn. He needs lots of exercises. On the whole, he is a family and child-friendly dog who can live up to 15 years of age.

The Maltese is a loving lap dog. This quiet, affectionate dog is great for older people who have a lot of time for him. He can also be playful and like to romp around. Caring for his long, soft white fur is quite laborious.

The pug, as you can tell, is a small mastiff. This slightly slow but funny dog is very good with children and likes to take his time while out for a walk. This little fellow finds it easy to fit in but needs to be well trained. He will only live to around 10 years of age.

The Jack Russell Terrier is a brave, arduous and intelligent animal. This smooth or coarse-haired terrier is extremely good-tempered, agile and enjoys running around. He is suitable as a companion for runners, sports people or active children. As all terriers, he can be quite stubborn and this should be remembered while training.

The West Highland Terrier comes from Scotland and originally was intended for hunting small animals. His popularity is most certainly to do with his happy-cheeky, loyal nature and his ability to fit in. He gets on well with his contemporaries and with children. He needs long walks so as to be able to let off steam. His long white fur has to be brushed out daily.

The Miniature Schnauzer, like the dachshund, lives for a long time. He is friendly, lively, brave, good with children and watchful. As well as this is enjoys running around and needs lots of space, time and activity. His coarse, wiry fur requires regular care.

Even with their small statures, you can rest assured that Pets Services carries all the tools you need, from extra small collars and harnesses to nutritional recipes specifically designed for tiny bodies. Call into your local store today to discuss your pet’s personal needs with our Pets Services Experts.


Respecting pet’s rights

Our animals deserve respect!

Animal protection is something that should concern us all. On the one hand, there’s making sure that we keep and treat our animals in a way that’s appropriate to their species and on the other, there’s the value of buying animal products for ourselves and our loved ones that come from animals that have been treated and kept the right way. The experts from Pets Services are here to give an initial overview.

What does species-appropriate care mean?

Domesticating animals became a normal part of life a very long time ago, but in those days we kept animals for work or food and not as pets. Nowadays we see things differently and no longer keep animals just because they have a certain use or role. These animals have become friends and family to their owners and the role of these pets is to make their owners happy. In turn, each and every pet owner is responsible for keeping their pet the right way, which means the right kind of food and accommodation for the animal, protection against diseases and excessive stress and the guarantee that the pets can act out their normal animal behavior.

The right food for your pet

As a pet owner, you have to make sure that feed composition meets your animal’s natural nutritional requirements. If you are offering animal products as a main meal or a snack, you can use products where the animals have been kept the right way or even organic products. Relevant information can be found on the packaging. Ask at your Pets Services what kind of dog food is best for your furry friend.

The right home for your pet

Many types of animals all have very different needs, especially when it comes to pets. These diverse needs can concern feeding, social contact, and species-typical behavior, so every pet owner has to have sufficient knowledge before taking on an animal or making changes to their normal environment, e.g. with a new toy or a new companion of the same species. Nowadays we are familiar with lots of types of animals and their natural living environment, but there are other types, such as exotics, that have not been researched enough. Keeping these animals in the right way can sometimes be difficult.

Our tips

Get advice from specialists or breeders before buying so that you know the most important key data for your choice of pet! Here are a few examples – What is the minimum size of cage you will need? Does the animal get on with other animals and, if yes, which ones? How much time does the animal need a day to run or fly freely? What do you need to look out for when it comes to food? Does your pet need somewhere to retreat? If yes, what kind of place and when?


Dog Lifespan. How long will my dog live?

Dog lifespan. Look before you leap – have you got time for a pet?

In the right environment, pets can grow to a ripe old age. For example, a small doggie that joins a family as a pup can live for 15 years, can you dedicate 15 years to a dog? The experts at Pets Services give us an overview of how old animals can live to be.

Our pets are less exposed to the dangers of animal life than wild animals are and with the proper care, will grow to be much older than their cousins in the wild. Medical care also increases our animal companions’ lifespan. That’s certainly good news for us owners, as pets often become a part of the family who we can’t imagine being without. On the other hand, owners are responsible for their pets – especially when they can live for several decades. That’s certainly something to consider before making your purchase!

How long will my dog live?

Dog’s lifespan differs greatly because of their difference in size. Larger breeds, such as German Shepherds, can live to be approximately 8 to 10 years old. Smaller breeds, such as the Dachshund, live significantly longer and can accompany their owners for up to 15 years. There’s even a difference between purebred animals and mixed breeds, in that the latter generally live longer.

Our tip

Particularly when it comes to animals with a long life expectancy, you should carefully consider what will happen to the animal before he comes to live with you. Who will take care of your dog when you no longer can? The countless overcrowded animal shelters prove that it’s a valid question to ask about cats and dogs. “Will we and can we give this pet the right kind of home till the end of his life?” Whatever you decide, please be sure to make the choice that’s best for the animal!

How long can my dog stay alone?

Constant contact wanted!

What drives a dog to this when it’s left home alone for long periods? Fishing socks out of the washing basket and chewing them up, biting through shoes and furniture, heart-rending howling or suffering in silence – the scope is enormous. But one thing’s for sure… dogs want company. Experts from Pets Services give some tips on how owners can cope with this.

Lonely lassie

Dogs are social animals. They live in communities and even perceive the people they live with as members of their pack. Which is why they should be left alone for limited periods only? With pups less than six months old, the two-hours maximum rule applies and with adult animals, four to six hours. Of course, there are dogs that can be left alone for up to ten hours, but even if they display no unusual behavior they are actually suffering quietly. Anything beyond this can become a problem for you and your four-legged friend. Some dogs already exhibit conspicuous behavior as soon as their master or mistress leaves the house. That isn’t automatically linked to anxiety; for some dogs, it means a loss of control because they, as the leader of the pack, have to remain at home!

Early practice makes perfect

The business of “being alone” can be trained within specified limits. And that takes time. The younger an animal is the better. Let your dog know that you don’t react to his undesirable behavior, whining or pawing, for example. Don’t open the house or room door until your dog has quietened down. With pups, you can increase the training a minute at a time by continually going out of the room. Increase your lack of presence over time. When you return home or come back into the room, just behave normally and don’t make any fuss about being there again. Don’t allow your dog to link your return with whining or barking, this will only make it difficult to erase this awareness later on.

Apart from that, make sure your canine friend has had enough outdoor exercise and that he’s satisfied and content before you leave the house. Anxious animals, who just don’t cope well with this, as they’re now solely responsible for the four walls, are best placed in a quiet corner. They shouldn’t lie directly opposite the entrance or room door. This unsettles them even more and they’ll be stressed for the entire time. If your dog is one of those who likes to bite on something, don’t punish it – offer it an alternative in the future, such as a chew toy. With strongly conspicuous and disruptive behavior, we recommend you and your dog find a trainer together. That way both man and dog can learn which role each plays within the pack and what that involves.

Eight hours alone at home?

Responsible dog lovers, as a rule, only get themselves a pet dog if it’s not going to have to spend long periods alone at home. But what happens when the job or the life situation changes? These days there are many service providers who offer “dog-sitting” on an hourly basis or who can shorten the waiting time with walking and be playing. You can find out what’s on offer in the internet using search terms such as “dog sitting” or “house and pet sitting”. It’s also worth having a quick look on the notice board in your local pet shop. 


Animals in apartments

“Beastly” peaceful under one roof

Keeping animals in a multiple dwelling – an explosive mixture? The potential for conflict ranges from barking dogs to overflowing dustbins to allergies. Experts from Pets Services give some tips on achieving a quiet life for both pet owners and non-pet owners.

As a tenant, you have the option of keeping one or more small animals. This includes guinea pigs or hamsters, exotic birds, fish or reptiles. A landlord may not forbid these – as long as the animals present a danger, noise or disturbing odors. Dogs don’t count as small animals, it’s up to the landlord to decide and even insert an appropriate clause in the tenancy agreement. This is mostly a case-by-case decision in which the landlord will take the interests of everyone into account. Some house owners allow pets from the outset – obviously the best prerequisite for animal-loving tenants.

But that’s just the legal situation. What if it really “kicks off” between the tenants over an animal? This requires respect and understanding on both sides. Here are a few of the typical bones of contention and how to cope with them.

Beastful noise

There are domestic pets from which a comparatively good deal of noise can emanate, such as specific types of birds. Even a cockatiel can really screech out. This can be a big problem for noise-sensitive fellow beings.

Our tip

Before you, as a tenant, go out and get yourself a pet, inform yourself thoroughly first from your local Pets Services or the internet about the animal you want. A dog which starts barking at every little stirring on the stairwell or which howls or goes on the rampage when it’s alone… can be disturbing to other tenants. From a legal standpoint, the dog owner can be ordered to control the nuisance.

Take your neighbors’ complaints seriously. Maybe your dog isn’t getting enough exercise? Or he simply hasn’t learned to behave himself reasonably, however, he can be trained.

Full dustbins

When the neighbor can’t dispose of their rubbish anymore because the bin is full of voluminous rabbit litter, he will, understandably, be at a loss for words.

Our tip

As a pet owner, be mindful of keeping things in proportion and find another solution where necessary. Some take their litter regularly to the recycling center or wait until collection day before throwing it in the bin. In many places, you can buy rubbish bags against a fee for which the disposal company will take them away separately. But resist the temptation to dispose of your bedding “illegally” (“wrong” dustbin, toilet etc.).

Sensitive neighbors

The subject of animal allergies is no longer an unusual one nowadays. Some victims even react as soon as the neighbor’s dog runs through the hallway.

Our tip

Have consideration for your neighbors – as far as you can! Don’t open the front door until all the animals are back in their cage. Or let the dog out via the balcony door instead of the stairwell, and keep him on a leash around a nervous neighbor.

These tips will make life much easier between you, your neighbors and your little furry friend.

Call into your local store today to discuss your dog’s personal needs with our Pets Services Experts.

Am I ready for a pet?


Am I ready for a pet?

Animals enrich our lives as well as our daily routine: they can be friends, soul-mates, companions, someone to keep fit with or simply living creatures. That’s why they are good for us – not only physically, but also mentally. But what can the animals expect from us? They need proper care, which includes the right measures of human company and their own species alike, as well as correct feeding and accommodation. The experts from Pets Services emphasize that whoever wants to acquire a pet should carefully weigh up in advance whether their interests fit in with the needs of the animal in question.

When you feel you would like a house pet, the first step is to find out what this entails: which pets are there anyway and which ones to consider? There are helpful books available on this subject that explain the living habits and requirements of the various types of animals. It often happens, particularly with children, that they have completely the wrong notion of their ideal animal which they may only know from watching television. Those who have the opportunity to speak with a friend or acquaintance who already keeps a pet will be able to narrow down their choice. That’s how you’ll find out that hamsters, for instance, prefer to be active at night when the kids are already in bed. Vets and specialist shops can also advise you on finding a house pet.

Checklist for your lifelong pal – helpful questions for making the right choice:

Which pet is the right one for me?  Shiba and Akita Inu”>Dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, degus, rats, hamsters, mice, and ferrets: They have all considered companion animals as they are suited for an indoor living if you keep in mind a few, but very important principles. All pets have their own special needs – and you must know what they are!

• If you’re in rented accommodation: does the landlord allow the keeping of animals, and if so, which animals are permitted?

• Who wants the pet (child, partner, parent) and who will look after it? Do you have somebody who will look after your pet while you are on holiday?

• What interests you the most about an animal – do you just want it to look at, play with, cuddle or only for sports activities? Which animal can offer you that?

• How much activity and human devotion does the animal in question need? How much work is involved with caring for it? Do your daily commitments leave enough time for this? Which member of the family will support you?

• What is the life expectancy of the comrade of your choice? Are you prepared to carry the responsibility for that length of time?

• How well do you know its character? What are you prepared to tolerate (e.g. biting, odors, no 100% domestic cleanliness etc.)?

• What do you know about feeding the animal? Are you able to provide the appropriate food for that species?

• How much space do you have for the pet in question: do you have room for the animal, an adequately large cage or does it need to run around?

• What are the costs of acquiring, keeping and feeding? What costs are one-off and what are recurring? Have you thought about immunization, neutering, and visits to the vet?

• What demands will your future pet place on its upkeep: is it a loner? Does it need another of its own species around it? How much human devotion does it need? For instance: Guinea pigs and rabbits should always have at least one companion of the same species. And they almost exclusively eat hay. Or: Hamsters are nocturnal and want to be left in peace during the day – otherwise the stress will make them ill and cause their early death.

These are all very important points to consider when thinking about getting a new pet.

And what’s next?

Please do not go off right away to buy a pet. You and your children should first take advice from those who deal with animals on a daily basis and who are really “in the know”. Go and visit a veterinary practice. For a small fee, you will be given detailed and objective advice. They will tell you what is important when buying a pet for your family and which pet might suit you. Or visit your nearest animal rescue center or shelter where you will be given free advice. Or just go to your local Pets Services shop.

Adoption from an animal shelter


We all deserve a second chance

In animal shelters everywhere, dogs, cats, birds, rabbits & co. are longingly waiting to be found a new home and family for the rest of their lives. If you want to take home a pet from the sanctuary you should first work out whether you can offer the animal everything it needs. And that applies to a rescue pet all the more, say the experts from Pets Services.

These animals have already experienced loss and under no circumstances should they end up back in the animal sanctuary just because the owner no longer likes them. Animals from a shelter are better than their reputation suggests. They don’t necessarily have to suffer from fear or anomalies because they have had bad experiences. In most cases, the animals have come from a good home, but circumstances have forced the owners to give up their pets. But they often first have to build up a trust to a person again. In most cases, this requires time and patience. But this will be richly rewarded by the animals. The animal shelter staff, who often know about the past history of the pet, can brief the new owners on everything they need to know.

Some practical tips for animal lovers, who want to bring a new addition to the family from the animal sanctuary: • Clarify first with your family whether you all share your decision to get a pet. Someone will have to be responsible for feeding it, taking it for walks, cleaning the cat litter tray or the cage– also when you are on holiday.

Make sure that no one in your household has any animal allergies. • Ask yourself whether you can really provide the appropriate care. Is there enough space for the animal to run around and do cages for smaller pets meet the needs of the animal? Animals should never be subjected to solitary confinement. •

Make sure you have enough time when you come to visit the animal shelter. This way you will have the opportunity to choose a pet and get to know it better. In the case of dogs, it is worth visiting the animal sanctuary several times and caring for your favorite dog. You can take it for walks to get to know it better and practice dealing with it.

Take time to speak to the animal sanctuary employees: they know the animals very well and can judge which one is right for you, for the animal you choose may not necessarily be the most suitable, e.g. if you have children or live in a small rented apartment. The sanctuary does not just give out information about the nature of its animal residents. They will also ask you about your ideas, needs, and living conditions. You should appreciate this as it helps to match the “ideal” pair. Otherwise, the sanctuary is neither helping the animal nor you.

Take into consideration the fact that an animal shelter may not be able to fulfill your wishes of a certain breed or other features. Therefore do not rush into it, frequently pay the animals a visit or simply do not commit yourself from the outset – one of the fosterlings may be better suited to you than you may think. Do not be put off by fees and security payments charged by the animal sanctuary. The sanctuary covers its costs for vets, treatments, and vaccinations with these fees. And because they want to be sure that the animals find a permanent happy household, they look closely at details such as whether your landlord agrees to you having a pet. The animal sanctuary will then draw up a contract for you – and you can look forward to giving the former shelter resident the gift of a new future. Call into your local store today to discuss your concerns with our Pets Services Experts. We work with many animal charities and rescues, and should be able to point you in the right direction!

Achieve a work-pet balance

For many of us that dream of having a pet, a dog will be the first animal that springs to mind.  We envisage brisk early morning walks and long strolls in the evenings and weekends; however, both you and your pet’s limits may soon be reached if you are not realistic regarding the time you have to dedicate.

Pet experts from Pets Services stress that we should think long and hard about the type of companion we choose, with a spokesperson advising “once you have bought a pet they will become a member of your family for many years.  Think about the kind of care your desired animal requires if it is suited to being alone for longer periods of time, if at all, and be willing to consider an alternative pet that might be better suited to your lifestyle.”  Pets Services has provided some basic information about the type of companionship different animals need.

Dogs don’t like to be separated from the pack, especially for several hours.  Even if a dog doesn’t howl or chew shoes to pieces during their owner’s absence, he or she can still suffer.  Canines need exercise and to have something active to do for at least an hour over the course of the day.  If you want a dog but work long hours, you need to be able to offer your pet an alternative.  For example, a relative or neighbor could look after them in your absence, or you could hire a dog sitter or doggy daycare to play with your pet.  The ideal solution would be to have your dog accompany you to your office if it’s allowed, or alternatively to work from home and only leave for short periods of time. Always make sure your dog has a variety of toys to choose from where ever he is, to ensure his mind is being stimulated and entertained.

If you require any further information on what type of best would best suit your lifestyle, visit the pet experts at your local Pets Services store.