Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting time but it can be a little unnerving when you have a tiny new family member to look after. We’ve taken a lot of care to raise our puppies so that they will be ready to make the transition into their new homes as easily as possible. Here are tips to keep your new Mi-ki Puppy healthy, happy, and off to a great start!
Tiny Puppy Considerations
Toy puppy breeds have unique needs that larger breeds don’t face. They need to be fed regularly, supervised while outdoors to avoid predators, and you have to know where they are at all times so they don’t get accidentally stepped on.
Toy and teacup dog breeds need to be fed regular small meals so they don’t get hypoglycemia. Puppies that have been playing hard or encountered a stressful situation can quickly deplete their energy stores (glucose) and can be at risk of having low blood sugar levels.
If your new puppy is acting wobbly, dizzy, and just seems a little out of it, place a little Karo syrup on their gums to help stabilize their blood sugar levels.If your puppy doesn’t seem to respond to the syrup treatment quickly, seek veterinary attention immediately.
Hypoglycemia is a risk for tiny puppies and can be very serious. Sustained or repeated episodes of hypoglycemia can lead to irreversible brain damage. Always carry snacks with you to reward good behaviors and to keep your Mi-ki puppy’s blood sugar levels stable!
The Mi-ki Shuffle
Mi-ki dogs and puppies love to be near people. Bred specifically for companionship and attentiveness towards humans, this desire can inadvertently put your Mi-ki puppy at risk for being stepped on.
The solution for this risk is adopting a new walking style that seasoned Mi-ki owners call “The Mi-ki Shuffle.” Instead of taking big steps, you’ll want to shuffle your feet around the house.
This creates noise that alerts your pet that you’re on the move, and it also keeps you from accidentally stepping on your new puppy. I can’t stress this tip enough. Sadly, I had a former puppy perish after going to his new home because I didn’t know how to articulate this danger to his new owner.
Also keep in mind that if you’re sitting at a desk or table, your puppy will likely settle under your chair. Train yourself to look for your dog before you move an inch. Rolling over a tail or paw could cause a very serious injury or worse.
Consider adding a tiny bell to your puppy’s collar to help you know where your little shadow is so you can look out for them and keep them safe!
Small dogs and puppies look so adorable! But to a hawk, eagle, or owl, your new pet looks a lot like lunch. If you would like to train your new pet to use the potty outdoors, you’ll need to be prepared to go with them every time. You need to watch your Mi-ki like a hawk!
Some Mi-ki owners opt to continue to have their puppies use the potty pads they were trained to. Your puppy could also be trained to use a litter box or any of the new indoor potty stations. This is a great option for apartment dwellers and for areas that have birds of prey and/or coyotes in the neighborhood.
Always keep your pet on a leash to keep them safe. Some owners even put sparkly clothing on their small dogs to confuse hawks and other predators since it makes your dog look unnatural. So now you can have a reason to dress your pet and not feel foolish… it’s for safety!
Training a Small Breed Dog
There are special considerations when training a dog or puppy of small stature. Mi-kis are intuitive, smart, and eager to please, so you’ll find it surprisingly easy to train them. They can be emotionally or physically hurt with harsh treatment, so it’s important to train them in a positive and gentle manner.
For housebreaking, you may choose to use a crate or simply keep your pup tethered to you so they are under your constant supervision. Always throw a little party for your puppy when they use their potty pad or go where you want them to. Don’t punish your puppy for going in the wrong place. Use an enzymatic cleaner to remove soiling odors so your puppy doesn’t return to the wrong place for their potty break. It’s easy to miss little potty spots with a small Mi-ki, so vigilance in housetraining and cleaning is important!
For teaching commands, unlike larger breeds, you can’t physically push your Mi-ki puppy into the desired position you’d like them to perform, like “sit.” This could damage their hips. With smaller breeds, you have to lure your pet into the sit position and then reward them.
A great book that explains tips for training toy breeds is Little Dogs: Training Your Pint-Sized Companion by Deborah Wood. It covers all of the unique issues related to small dog training and is a fun and positive method.
It’s important to remember that even though small dogs can get a lot of their exercise needs met simply by running around your home or apartment, walking your Mi-ki is still a great way to bond with your pet, give them mental and physical exercise, and provide more training opportunities and socialization.
When walking your puppy or small dog, Royal T Mi-kis recommends using a harness rather than a collar to prevent damage to their tender necks. Specifically, a no-choke harness is the best.
Some of our favorite styles are the American River Choke-Free Dog Harnesses by Doggie Design, the Gooby Freedom Harness II, and the Cirque harnesses by RC Pet. These brands come in sizes that are small enough for Mi-kis and have a choke-free design that is perfect for your puppy.
When bringing home your new puppy, it’s probably tempting to let them sleep in your bed with you, particularly if they are crying. A tiny Mi-ki puppy could easily be crushed or smothered in a shared bed.
A safer alternative is to have them in a crate near your bed. You can verbally comfort them or even give them a little pat if they cry. Try not to give in and put them in bed with you. Set the tone as a calm, confident leader.
There are documented health benefits to sleeping with your dog, but until your new puppy is bigger, is reliable with their housetraining, and you’ve been established as the pack leader, it’s wise to have your little one sleep by your bed in a crate.
Products We Like and Use
To make an easy transition with your new Mi-ki puppy, these are the products we’ve been using.
Your puppy has been eating Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy kibble mixed with a canned dog food that is 95% turkey or beef. We like Dave’s canned dog food as well as Cocolicious. We microwave a little of the canned food for about ten seconds and then mix in equal amounts of kibble. You can add a little dab of canned pumpkin if your puppy’s stools are too soft. Mi-kis don’t eat very much, so these can covers are perfect for refrigerating what you don’t use.
We feed our puppies three times a day. If you’re gone during the day, please leave your puppy with plenty of fresh water and access to kibble so he or she doesn’t have low-blood-sugar issues.
We’ve been using disposable pads with IRIS puppy pad holders. Many breeders like washable fabric potty pads, but we’ve opted to use paper ones so they don’t confuse the fabric ones with your area rugs.
If your puppy seems to like to tear up their paper potty pads, try a holder with a mesh grate on the top.
There are lots of indoor potty options for your Mi-ki. Since Mi-kis are smart, they’ll get the hang of whatever you provide for them quickly!
A puppy playpen is a great place to have your puppy stay safe while you’re away or need them out from under your feet. We like the IRIS puppy playpens. They are available in a wide range of colors to complement your home decor.
Your Mi-ki is a long-coat dog that is hypoallergenic and doesn’t shed. Mi-kis have rooted hair rather than fur and will require regular grooming. You may opt to keep your dog in a puppy cut or have them in a natural or show cut. You can work with a groomer or groom them yourself.
You’ll want to comb your Mi-ki regularly after being lightly misted with a pet conditioner spray to help remove tangles and prevent mats. If you’re in a hurry, you can also use a pin brush for quick detangling.
It’s important to keep your puppy’s eye area clean and trimmed. This helps prevent tearing and stains. Eye wipes are nice to keep the eye area clean.
Always detangle your pet before bathing to keep mats from getting worse. Bathe your pet with a pet-safe shampoo and conditioner. Towel dry and use a detangling spray such as The Stuff before combing out your pet’s hair.
When combing, start at the legs and work your way up towards the back. Use a wide tooth comb first and graduate to a smaller tooth comb. Combing is recommended over brushing for Mi-kis because they penetrate tangles all the way to the skin. Additionally, brushing can be damaging to the coat.
It’s also important to trim your dog’s nails and shave and/or trim your dog’s paws to keep your pet’s feet clean and healthy.
Also, trim up the “exit areas” to keep your pup’s fur soil free and to ensure they can eliminate without difficulties.
Thank you for loving your Mi-ki!
We’ve put our heart into our pets and our puppies, and we are grateful you’ve chosen to adopt one into your family where they will be cherished.
If you have any questions about your puppy’s care, please give us a call or email us. We’d love it if you kept in touch and send us updated photos. Feel free to share them with us on our Facebook page!