Pros and Cons of Owning a Small Dog


If you wish to adopt a dog, you have probably made a list of pros and cons for whether you would prefer a large or a small dog…

Do you long for a dog of your own, but live in a small space? Or do you have plenty of space inside and out, but your schedule is so intense that you don’t have time for the long walks some dogs need?

Some dog breeds can be perfectly happy in an apartment and don’t require a whole lot of exercise. If this is the kind of pup you desire, then you should consider a small dog breed. In addition to needing less space and exercise, there are several other benefits to getting a small dog breed that you may not know.

So to help you, we’ve decided to list pros and cons of having a small dog.

Advantages of a small dog

Small dogs cost less to feed 

This first point is fairly clear. A small dog like a Chihuahua or Jack Russell will become satiated long before a big dog like a Golden Retriever or Australian Shepherd. The cost of dog food can be incredibly expensive, and the bigger the dog, 

Small dogs are usually easier to cuddle

Because of their small size, it is easier to take your dog in your arms and place them on your lap for a cuddle session. The same goes for people living in a small house – small dogs will be able to slide into your personal space for cuddles.

Less mess

The American Kennel Club advises getting a small dog breed “if for no other reason than to minimize some of the problems inherent in canines such as shedding, creating messes and cost of care. And training aside, it’s still easier to control a 10-pound dog than it is one 10 times that size.”

Small dogs are easily transported

Here is another case where a small dog has an advantage. Being small means that they will be less cumbersome during your travels. You could buy an adapted handbag and carry them in there. A small dog will also be more easily accepted onto public transport such as buses and trains. Some airlines also accept dogs in the cabin if they weigh less than 6 kilos.

They adapt

For homeowners with a large yard, this is less of a problem. However, if you are renting, you never know what the next place you live in will be like. What if you move and your new house doesn’t have a big enough yard for a large dog to run and play?

With a small dog, you don’t have to worry about these issues. Small dogs can adapt to large or small spaces. As a result, if you have a small house or think you may end up in a small house in the future, then a small dog might be a good option.

Small dogs are easier to keep on a leash

Dogs, whether small or large, all need to be walked daily. For smaller dogs, it is easier to walk them without getting tired out! A Pomeranian will definitely not be as strong as a Chow-Chow.

Small dogs are usually loved by all passersby 

Having a dog means instant connection with people you meet, either in the park or during your daily life. Owners of small dogs will notice smiles and questions rather than distrust and fear that can sometimes occur when pedestrians spot a physically imposing dog. Having a small dog is a great way of meeting people!

Small dogs are easier to groom

A small dog is more easily directed. It is also more easy for your to take them where they need to go for their daily needs. Be it grooming, teeth cleaning or ear-care, you will have the physical upper hand when it comes to giving them care and hygiene.

Disadvantages of a small dog

Small dogs can be less sociable: They are usually very close to their pet parents and enjoy being left in peace with them. However, they often can’t bear to see their pet parent giving attention to someone other than themselves. This of course depends on the breed and individual dog, but puppies are also very dependent on their pet parents and don’t like this balance to be disturbed.

Small dogs can be very vocal: It is often true that small dog breeds, such as Chihuahuas and Maltese, bark a lot. Small dogs tend to have big personalities and like protecting their pet parents, not hesitating to bark in order to dissuade an intruder. This behaviour can be corrected with the right kind of training, but beware your small dog’s stubbornness too!

Small dogs are more fragile: Because of their small size they are more likely to develop illnesses or injuries. Being closer to the ground, it is easier for them to be in the path of microbes in the air, or to simply be trodden on by accident. Always be on the lookout!

Small dogs and children can lead to accidental injury: Small dogs’ bones are thinner, and their skeletons in general are more fragile, which is why small dogs and small children do not always mix very well. A small child may want to play with a dog but accidentally hurt them without even realising.

Small dogs are much less sporty:They tire out more easily, they enjoy going for walks but are less likely to be found joining their owner for a job. The risk is that you may have to carry them by the end of your trip. Small dogs have a naturally higher heart rate so physical effort is difficult for them to deal with, especially if it is hot outside. For example, a French Bulldog cannot go for very long walks because their breathing becomes accelerated.

As you can see, while small dogs have some disadvantages, the positives well outweigh any negatives. However, that doesn’t mean to say that a small dog will suit your lifestyle.

Any person who chooses to live with a pet needs to be sure that, not only should the pet be good for the person, but the person should be good for the pet

So make sure you do thorough research before adopting a dog. But also remember that every dog is different!


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