How to Care for Papillons

By J. Lang Wood


The papillon, also called the continental toy spaniel, is a old breed of dog that goes back to the courts of Europe as far back as the 13th century. The breed's name comes from the French word for “butterfly,” which describes the dog’s large, upright ears. Papillons have beautiful coats, delicate bone structure and elegant carriage, but they are also a hardy breed that loves to run and play. If you know the fine points of how to care for this breed properly, you will have a companion for as many as 16 years.

Step 1

Protect your papillon puppy from accidents. Papillons are small and delicate as puppies. Ensure that heavy objects do not fall on them. Though they are inclined to jump from high places, this can cause broken limbs. Monitor the puppy around larger dogs in the household. Papillons will leap from your arms, so take care to prevent falls.

Step 2

Feed your papillon puppy a high-quality puppy food. Some papillon puppies are picky eaters, and you may have to try a number of brands and flavors of food to get them to feed properly. Iams, Science Diet, Neutro and Pro Plan offer good nutrition for pups, according to the ForeverPapillons dog breeder website. Feed three times daily up to 3 months old, then reduce the feedings to twice a day until the pup is 6 months old. After 6 months of age, one feeding per day is sufficient.

Step 3

Walk your dog daily. Though papillons make good dogs for apartments and city life, they still require daily walks. Indoor play may not be sufficient exercise for them. Lack of exercise can cause behavioral problems.

Step 4

House-train your papillon consistently. Some papillons take longer to housebreak than other breeds. If necessary, keep the dog confined to a crate or behind a gate in a room with washable flooring. Take the dog out on a leash frequently and praise him for good behavior. If housebreaking efforts seem to be failing, continue active training with more patience and praise. He will get the idea in the end.

Step 5

Brush your papillon’s coat daily. Though papillons do not require monthly sessions at the groomer like some breeds, they benefit from a professional grooming during hot weather to make them more comfortable and to keep nails trimmed.

Step 6

Administer monthly spot-on flea and tick treatments. A spot-on treatment is insect repellent that is applied to a small area on the animal's shoulder blades once each month. It spreads through the skin giving protection against fleas and ticks throughout the 30-day period. The Papillon’s coat is long and thick, which makes it a good hiding place for fleas. Monthly flea repellents products will help to keep the dog and your home free of pests.
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