“Handbag dogs” are not toys
When you go out for a walk or are doing a bit of shopping, you cannot fail to notice that the ownership of so-called “handbag dogs” is on the rise.
These so-called “fashionable” miniature dogs include bichon frise, Chihuahuas, shih tzus, Yorkshire terriers, Lhasa apsos, pugs, Pomeranians, papillons and cavalier King Charles spaniels.
They have been made famous by celebrities like Paris Hilton but problems arise when people think that because they’re small they don’t have the same demands as larger dogs.
“People assume that just because dogs are small they require less exercise and mental stimulation but this is often not true,” said an animal expert at the Blue Cross charity.
“All dogs need appropriate outlets for their behaviour, otherwise they may become bored, frustrated or stressed, which could result in behaviour problems, such as being destructive in the home.
“Just because they are small enough to be carried around all day doesn’t mean that they should be. Due to their size, people forget they are still dogs and they need to be treated and respected as such.”
“People pick them up, kiss and cuddle them and they go along with it because they have no choice. Despite their size, they are still dogs and shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to engage in normal dog behaviour on the ground.”
Some are also prone to health problems like heart murmurs in Chihuahuas and dentation in miniature yorkies – problems with the teeth growing properly. This can lead to large vet bills which people may not be able to afford. Unfortunately, this has also led to a rise in the number of “handbag dogs” being abandoned.
Before anyone takes on a dog of any type, they should fully research the breed and make sure that it is the right dog for their lifestyle to ensure that any pet they take on has a home for life.