Health, Nutrition & General Care


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Copyright 2019 Lasagesse English Toy Terriers


You can expect an English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan) to live up to 15 years when properly cared for. They are generally a very healthy breed with few health issues, but there are a few to be aware of.

Keeping your ETT fit and healthy starts with a healthy diet.

Feeding & Nutrition

Feeding & Nutrition

To begin with, your breeder will give you a feeding schedule and it’s important to stick to it to avoid any upset stomachs.

You can change a puppy’s diet, but this needs to be done gradually by mixing a small amount of the new food into with the old food and increasing slowly over a week. If your dog develops an upset stomach, it’s best to put them back on their original diet and discuss things with your vet or breeder before attempting to change it again.


How often to feed your dog

It’s best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening. Puppies will need to be fed 3 times a day until they are mature.


What to feed your ETT?

Raw Feeding

ETTs are a toy breed and must be fed a diet that’s suitable for a small dog. Many English Toy Terrier owners feed their dog a BARF diet consisting of raw meat, bone, offal and sometimes; fruits, vegetables and supplements.

Get Started with Raw Feeding PDF

If you require more information there are knowledgable friendly groups on facebook that can help.

Kibble & Dry Food

Other ETT owners feed high quality kibble formulated for a toy breed. When feeding kibble, pay attention to the ingredients and watch out for:


  • Single sources of protein
    Look for specifics e.g. chicken rather than general meat 
  • Whole meat source listed as 1 of the first 2 ingredients
  • 80/20 diet – 80% protein, 20% fruits, vegetables and botanicals, 0% grain
  • Whole vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices and botanicals


  • Meat by-products and derivatives
  • “General” animal fat source – look for specifics e.g. chicken fat or beef fat.
    The more general the source, the more suspect the ingredient
  • Artificial preservatives
    Including BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin
  • Artificial colours & flavours
    E numbers
  • Artificial texture enhancer propylene glycol
  • Artificial sweetners
    Corn syrup, sucrose, ammoniated glycyrrhizin, and other sweeteners are sometimes added to lower-quality foods to increase their appeal

Health Issues

Health Issues

Health Issues to be aware of

Though the English Toy Terrier is generally a very healthy breed there are a few health issues to be aware of. These are now quite rare thanks to careful health screening by responsible breeders.

Like all pedigree breeds, The English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan) can suffer from certain hereditary health problems, pre-breeding health tests and health screening is available for some of these. Veterinarians, The Kennel Club and The English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan) breed club recommend testing for the following conditions prior to breeding.

The following health issues can be screened for:
Patella Luxation
A condition where the kneecap of the dog is not well secured, and has a tendency to dislocate.

Vet screening of breeding stock is available.
A score of 0 is desirable but a score of 1 is also acceptable when bred with a dog with a score of 0.

Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Sometimes referred to as JDCM. A serious hereditary heart condition that can cause arrhythmias, heart failure, and sudden death.
A DNA screening test is available.
Von Willebrand’s disease
Sometimes referred to as vWD. A bleeding disorder that causes poor clotting, and is similar to haemophilia, but can affect dogs of either sex.
A DNA screening test is available.
Hereditary Deafness
BAER testing is available.
A genetic disorder that results in excessive xanthine (a metabolic byproduct) in the urine. This increases the risk for formation of xanthine bladder or kidney stones and can cause significant kidney disease.
DNA screening is available.

There are a handful of other health issues that have a hereditary element to them that are also found within English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan) breed lines.

Currently, the following health issues cannot be screened for:

Demodetic Mange
A skin condition caused by the presence of a certain type of mites. It can easily be treated with veterinary assistance.
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
Causes degeneration of the head of the femur of the hip joint, leading to lameness and significant amounts of pain.
Heat Stress
A tendency to feel the heat and be particularly sensitive to hot weather. This can place the dog at risk of heat stroke and being unable to maintain a cool enough temperature.
Eye Conditions
Various different conditions of the eye that can present themselves at different stages of life. The include glaucoma and primary lens luxation. Cataracts are also found within the breed, but these usually do not become apparent until maturity.
While there is no way of testing to diagnose any of these conditions prior to their becoming apparent, finding out about the health of the parent dogs, and ideally the grandparents too can help you to select a puppy that is less likely to suffer from problems than those from breed lines known to be affected.

General Care

General Care


The English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan) have short, dense coats so do not need a lot of grooming. A weekly brush and a very occasional bath is all it all takes to keep them looking good. You can also add supplements to their diet such as salmon oil, coconut oil and kelp to help keep their coat full and shiny.

They shed (minimally) all through the year, but more so during the darker months when they coats get thinner. When the sun returns their coats improve.

It’s also important to check a dog’s ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. Visit your veterinarian at least once a year and have your dog checked and have the vaccinations kept up to date.

Dental Care

80% of dogs have some form of periodontal disease by the age of 3, so your dog’s dental care is hugely important. You should brush your dogs teeth a minimum of 3 times a week for 2-5minutes at a time, if your dog will allow. Early training is key. You can also use dental chews and/or a dental water additive that you can buy online or from most pet shops.

Dental Care Guide PDF

It’s important to keep on top of your English Toy Terriers nails. Nails that are too long constantly touch the ground and exert force back into the nail bed, creating pain for the dog and pressure on the toe joint. Long term, this can realign the joints of the foreleg and make the foot looked flattened and splayed.

The blood supply is called a quick. In a short nail, the quick will be short.

The quick grows with the nail. A long nail will have a long quick.

  1. If you cut here, you will cut the quick and the nail will bleed
  2. If you cut here, the blood supply/quick will recede

Clip or use a Dremel/grinder to file a little off each day. The quick will start to die back.

Every time you trim the nail, the quick dies back further.

Once the quick has receded sufficiently, the nail can be cut to the correct length, without bleeding.

A correctly trimmed nail. Short with a short quick.