Demand for mini schnauzers among Filipinos is steadily growing. Ever since the lockdown started, I have been getting inquiries almost on a daily basis from people who suddenly want to own these bearded babies. While I am glad that more Filipinos have discovered this wonderful breed, I can’t help but worry if all these interested parties are ready for the responsibilities of owning a mini schnauzer.
Mini schnauzers are easy going and relatively easy to care for. However, I would be lying if I say they are a low-maintenance breed. Okay, this might be a matter of personal standards, but I don’t like my dogs looking dirty and scrappy. I would guess that most of those who are drawn to this dog also want their dogs clean and not mangy looking. That’s why I thought I would write this blog to make you think if you are truly ready for a mini schnauzer’s needs.
If you’re thinking of getting yourself a mini schnauzer, here are three questions you should ask yourself:
Are you ready to deal with a mini schnauzer’s grooming needs? Mini schnauzers need to be regularly groomed. This seems to be lost on some dog owners. Just today, I had to groom a relative’s mini schnauzer – a well-loved, otherwise healthy one who was full of mats that her owner was completely oblivious to. The dog had been getting baths but obviously was not brushed before these baths, resulting in mats all over her body. No doubt, these are painful and uncomfortable. Thankfully, there were no hot spots yet. This is a common occurrence among mini schnauzers and many small breeds such as shih-tzus, maltese, yorkies, poodles, and the like. I’ve seen so many matted dogs being brought by their owners to grooming salons. Most of the time, the owners are completely unaware of the state of their dog’s hair while the groomers could only shake their heads.
To emphasise, mini schnauzers need regular hair brushing especially before baths to prevent mats. The beard needs particular attention since it gets wet when the dog drinks and touches food when he eats. You also need to pay attention to the eye area, where unwiped eye discharge can create big mats on the face. If you’re not ready to do the constant brushing, then forget about the fluffy hair furnishings and make sure to opt for a clean shaven look instead. I have seen many mini schnauzers with very short hair and it looks clean and neat.
Do you have time to play and care for your dog? Your schnauzer needs quality time. If you’re living by yourself and you want a dog while you are temporarily working from home, you better make sure that you have thought about your home arrangements once you need to be out of the house full-time. Mini schnauzers (and most dogs) want human companionship, and they certainly are not the types that you can leave alone for a whole day. By the way, many (but not all) mini schnauzers are barkers and whiners so you have to be ready to engage them to minimise this barking. If you are not ready to deal with a dog’s barking, please get yourself a cat, a plant or a stuffed toy instead.
Are you ready to brush your dog’s teeth? Mini schnauzers as a breed are prone to dental disease, and if you don’t pay attention to dental health, your dog can have more serious health problems emanating from this. This means you need to brush your dog’s teeth regularly and at one point, you should consider going to a vet for a professional cleaning. If you’re not ready to do this, then you may not yet be ready to have a mini schnauzer, or a small breed dog that are prone to dental carries.
This is definitely not a complete list of questions you should ask yourself if you plan to get a dog. You’ll have to do more self-introspection for that (like are you ready to clean up your dog’s poop for the next 15 years, among others). These questions are for those who are wondering if mini schnauzer is the breed for them, and want to be guided before making a final decision.