Jan 30

How to Outfit Your Min Pin in Style

zeus_zdh_teeSeven Items You Need Before Bringing Your Min Pin Home

Tons of cool gear is available for dogs, and a lot of it is specifically for small dogs, such as miniature pinschers.  Amidst the designer water bowls, glittery t-shirts, and Bruce Springsteen inspired jackets, there are some must-have items.  Before you bring your new puppy home, be sure to look into the great doggie gear listed below.  In addition to the essentials, you will also find other fun stuff for your favorite pooch.

Your Doggie’s Den

Item 1: Crate 



Your puppy’s crate will become its most important possession.  The crate will be your puppy’s den, hideout, bed, and a haven of safety.  It should contain soft, warm bedding.  Your little puppy will be frightened and homesick for a few days, and this may make the adjustment easier.  In fact, you could even bring a towel or blanket destined for your puppy’s crate with you when you pick it up.  Then, you could ask the breeder to rub it on the puppy’s mother.  The scent will be comforting.

Safety First

Item 2: Travel carrier

If you ever take your dog for a car ride—even once—you need a way transport it safely.  This is a must.  A hard-sided carrier will protect your dog in the event of a traffic accident. Zeus and I were once in a rollover accident, and the worst injury either of us sustained was a bad fright.  As I walked through the wreckage, I saw a water bottle that had been in my car. The bottle was about the size of Zeus.  It had been ejected from the car, and the car had landed on it. It was thoroughly squished.  I cannot imagine the grief I would have gone through if that had been Zeus.

Fancy or simple, gotta have a collar

Item 3: Collar

You will, of course, need a collar.  This is what will hold you’re puppy’s vaccination tag as well as a tag engraved with your contact information.  Our dogs act like they “feel naked” without their collars, and they want their collars back!

However, you will not want to attach a leash to the collar for walks.  This is because of a problem called collapsing trachea, which is particularly problematic for small dogs.  Their little trachea is about the size of a drinking straw, and putting pressure on it, as will happen with a leash attached to the collar, will cause breathing problems after only a short time.  Use a harness for walks. Pinch and choke collars should also be avoided to prevent collapsing trachea.



Item 4: Harness


Step-in Harness

A harness should be used for walks.  As discussed above, a leash should never be attached to the collar of a small dog because of a problem called collapsing trachea.  Many types of harnesses are available, but my favorite is the step-in harness.  This gives an added measure of safety because if the plastic clasp fails, the harness will still be held by the two metal rings on top.


Rein ’em In

Item 5: Leash

Walking is vital to you’re min pin’s health.  Not only does it provide exercise, but it also provides mental stimulation and entertainment.  No matter how trustworthy you think your dog is, taking it off leash is dangerous.  This is especially true for min pins, which tend to think for themselves.  You may think your dog won’t run off, but your dog’s safety is not worth the risk.


You will want to begin walking your puppy as soon as you bring it home, and therefore, a leash is a must-have.  There are countless styles of leashes available, and many good choices.  If you choose to get a retractable one, be sure to practice with it before you leave your yard so that pulling your puppy back from danger is second nature.

Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot little puppies.
–Gene Hill


The Well Groomed Min Pin

Item 6: Nail clippers

Miniature pinschers take little grooming.  In fact, min pins have particularly sensitive skin, and regular baths can irritate and dry it.  They do, however, need to have their nails trimmed.  I prefer to trim their nails myself because I have found that not all groomers are particularly gentle and sometimes trim too far back, which causes pain, bleeding, and trust issues.  However, if there is a groomer that you know and trust, you can let him or her take this task off your hands.


Direct Their Chewing Energy


Miniature pinscher puppyItem 7: Chews and toys

Chews and toys are some of the most fun items to buy for your little dog.  They are also essential if you want to keep your household items intact.  Of course, dogs, and especially puppies, must have a place to direct their chewing energy, and so having appropriate chews available at all times will save you a lot of money and frustration.


Toys should be large enough that they don’t present a choking hazard, but small enough that your dog can get its little jaws around it.  I suggest using only toys meant for dogs.  Toys for human children (e.g., stuffed animals) often contain objects, such as buttons or eyes, which can be a choking hazard.  Another caution is that the stitching may not be sturdy enough to hold up to a dog’s play, which would expose the stuffing.  Your dog could choke on the stuffing inside.


Dog toys often come with a squeaker inside.  While the dog ripping open the toy and choking on the squeaker is a hazard for larger breeds, the squeaker is usually big enough that it is not an issue with min pins.  However, you may want to check by feeling the size of squeaker in the toy.


Most dogs love squeak toys.  This is a mixed blessing.  While you are probably glad that your dog is having fun with an appropriate chew (and if you hear the squeak, you know that your dog is not up to mischief), you might get tired of hearing the squeak for hours on end.  There–you have been forewarned.

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Greenies, Dentahex, and other Goodies

Chews and Toys, continued

Special treats are a big part of a dog’s life, and should be planned into their diet.  Two treats that we give our dogs regularly are greenies are Dentahex.  Both are good for a dog’s teeth.

Both greenies and Dentahex chews were recommended to me by a veterinarian, and thus, I feel perfectly comfortable giving them to my dogs.  Greenies have, in the past, had a problem in that they contained large amounts of undigestible material.  The makers of the Greenies have resolved that issue.

The veternarian who recommended Dentahex to me relayed a story that the teeth of one of the dogs he sees went from “terrible” to “sparkling” in one month’s time.

There are many other types of treats that are appropriate for your dog, and you should also factor in your dog’s taste preference.  (However, I have never noticed a preference with my dogs.  They like it ALL!)

Be careful to avoid treats that cause choking hazards.  Raw hide treats are very prevalent in pet stores, but raw hide, when wetted by chewing, can become sticky and stick to your dog’s throat, which is then a choking hazard.  Also avoid anything that may break into hard pieces that could be choked upon.

Let’s Go Shopping!



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