Handbag dogs 'can result in the need for pet meds'

Tuesday, 7th June 2011

The Blue Cross has warned owners that 'handbag' pooches may end up needing pet medication because they are not provided with the lifestyle they need.

Ryan Neile, an animal behaviourist at The Blue Cross, explained that many people think that these small dogs, such as Chihuahuas, do not need as much exercise and mental stimulation just because they are small.

The charity claims that the number these small dogs - made famous by celebrities such as Paris Hilton - that are being given up or abandoned has tripled in the last five years.

Neile said: "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."

He added that people should "fully research" breeds before they get a dog.

Health problems that these pooches can develop include heart murmurs and teeth problems.