20 Reasons To Consider A Smaller Breed

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Adopting or buying a new dog is undoubtedly a very exciting period in one’s life. There are so many possibilities, so many choices and so many things to consider before bringing your new four-legged friend home.

One of the first things to decide is whether you want a big or a small dog. It will depend on your living arrangements, the backyard that you have (or do not have) and the amount of time that you can spend exercising your new buddy. Today, we will be looking at the advantages of owning a smaller breed of dog.

Here are 20 reasons why small dogs make excellent pets:

1. EASIER ON YOUR HOME

This one is quite logical – the smaller the dog, the less wear and tear they are going to cause to your home. The sheer physics of the setup make this the case. A smaller dog is lighter, their paws are smaller and their jaw is weaker. It is much more difficult for a small dog to cause any serious damage to your furniture, for example.

In addition to this, smaller dogs are generally much happier in limited spaces as they require less space themselves. This will make them less nervous and less likely to act up and thus ruin your living space.

That being said, there are smaller breeds that are very active and can be a scourge on your home if you are not careful and if they are not properly trained.

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2. CHEAPER TO FEED

Once again, we are talking pure logic and common sense. A smaller dog will eat significantly less than a larger dog. In fact, most small dog owners say that they are quite surprised as to how few trips to the pet store they need to make in order to get food for their little buddies.

Conversely, there are some tiny breeds that will eat like crazy and whose dietary needs will burn quite a hole in your pocket. This is especially true if you wish to feed them the right way, which is something you will want to do, be it a small or a large dog.

Of course, even if you have the tiniest dog in the world with the weakest appetite, you will still want to feed them high quality food and meet all their nutritional needs.

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3. LESS MESS

When we are talking mess here, we are talking “mess”, if you catch our drift. This time it is pure biology and physics combined. Smaller dogs produce less waste and this makes them easier to clean after. There are some large breeds that will leave so much mess you will think you are taking care of a bear.

This is particularly important if you live in an apartment where the dog may have an occasional accident – instead of in the backyard. With a large dog, this can be a huge problem, whereas smaller dogs will usually prove to be clean and tidy.

In addition to this, most experts and owners will agree that the bigger the mess, the worse the odor. Once again, this is a victory for the smaller dog.

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4. GREAT CUDDLE PARTNERS

You cannot really get a Great Dane to sit in your lap for some cuddle time. You could, but there is a great chance that you would end up with a broken femur, which is never a good thing. With small dogs, cuddling becomes a special thing as they can get in your lap for it.

And it is not like you are forcing them to get on the couch with you. You just sit down, wait for a few moments and more often than not, you will soon have your little friend in your lap, looking up at you and demanding that you cuddle them.

We are not saying that there aren’t large breeds that love to be cuddled, but they are also more likely to get bored and demand that you take them outside for exercise and active play.

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5. CAN PLAY INSIDE

There are only a few breeds of dog that will not require regular playtime and it is far more likely that your dog will want to play with you from time to time. If you live in an apartment and if your outside space is limited, you will probably want a dog that is perfectly comfortable playing indoors. Well, small dogs are just the type.

With a smaller dog, you can play almost all of the games you would outside, but without going out. It is much more difficult for them to knock stuff over and they are generally more agile indoors. If you play catch, they will not destroy your couch just trying to get to it.

Of course, you will still want to take your small dog outside for regular exercise, no matter how much they enjoy playing inside.

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6. LESS SPACE IN THE CAR

Sooner or later, you will want to take your dog on a trip with you and it goes without saying that smaller dogs are significantly easier to travel with; if nothing else, then for the sheer space that they take up. For instance, take a regular-sized car and put a Maltese in the back seat. Now do the same with a German shepherd. You will definitely notice the difference.

Even if you need to hold your dog in your lap, this will be far easier with a smaller breed who will not wear your down with their sheer weight. Smaller dogs are also more likely to fit in dog-friendly handbags.

In general, smaller breeds are also much better behaved during a car trip, since they do not require as much exercise as some larger breeds.

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7. EASIER TO WALK WITH

Regular walks are a must with any breed of dog, no matter how big or small and no matter how active or lazy they might be. Dogs need regular exercise and the easiest way to do this is by taking them for daily walks.

When we are talking walks, those that involve smaller dogs are much more comfortable and hassle-free experiences. For instance, larger dogs are more likely to pull on the leash and put your strength and agility to test. Walking a particularly athletic and active breed can be quite a workout, which is something you do not want to experience every single time.

If you wish to stop and chat with someone or do something, it is also much easier to pick up a smaller dog and hold them in your hands until you are ready to walk again.

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8. SHORTER HAIR

One of the characteristics that many owners and future owners think about is the coat length of the dog they are thinking of getting. And they are right to think about it. Owners of dogs with particularly long and thick coats have to consider grooming and cleaning up much more often than those who own dogs with short hair.

In general, smaller breeds have shorter hair, although this is not a rule. This means that you will be spending far less time bathing your little buddy, grooming them and cleaning up all the hair that falls out during the average day.

Since you will handle a small dog instead of a big one, it is also easier to spot any fleas, ticks or other problems that may affect a dog’s coat and skin.

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9. THEY ARE CUTE!

Owners of larger breeds would probably disagree with us, but there is just something about small breeds that makes them extra cute and sweet. Maybe it has something to do with their size, or perhaps it is just due to the fact that smaller breeds are less likely to have wiry, lean bodies that may be more athletic, but that are nowhere near as cute as the tiny bodies of little puffballs.

In addition to this, it is important to point out that many smaller dog breeds have been bred to be cute, pleasant to the eye. We are mostly thinking royal breeds that were a common sight at courts all over the world, from China to England.

This is a very subjective reason, but most people will still agree that smaller breeds are much cuter than the large ones.

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10. LONGTIME COMPANIONS

It goes without saying that you will get attached to your four-legged companion and that you will want them to be in your life as long as possible. Well, in that case, a smaller breed is a much safer bet than a large one.

Namely, medium sized breeds will average 10 to 12 years, while large breeds often live only to be 7 or 8. When we are talking small dogs, they will often live to be 12 to 15 years old. This means that you are getting almost double the time with your furry friend if it is a smaller one.

Of course, there are other factors that will determine how long your dog will live, but why not maximize your chances by getting a smaller pooch to begin with?

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11. MORE PET-FRIENDLY TOWARD SMALLER DOGS

There are many condo associations and apartment buildings that will have restrictions when it comes to keeping pets. Moreover, while many of them will claim they are pet-friendly, when you scratch the surface and check the small print, you will find out that they still have restrictions on certain breeds and sizes.

In most cases, these limitations will concentrate on larger dogs. They are considered to be more active, louder and more likely to cause problems in these areas. With a smaller dog, you will usually have no problems there. Most apartment buildings will be perfectly fine with a Chihuahua. A Great Dane, not so much.

Most medium and large breeds are not suitable for living in cramped apartments and condos anyway, so this is probably for the best, actually.

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12. ECO-CONSCIOUS

A book called “Time to Eat the Dog?: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living” inspired quite a lot of debate among the general dog-owning public. This was perfectly understandable considering the fact that one of the conclusions of the book was that keeping a medium-sized dog had the same annual carbon footprint as owning an SUV.

The calculations were made by investigating the dog food manufacturing process and calculating how much resources it takes to just feed a medium-sized dog. And while there may be faults to the calculations, there is definitely something there.

The above-stated is another reason why you will want to own a smaller breed if you are environmentally conscious and worry about your carbon footprint. Surely, a petite pooch will be easier on the planet than a big one.

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13. TRAVEL FRIENDLY

We have already covered travelling by car in one of our previous entries and here, we will be looking at other ways of traveling and the considerations that have to be made when taking your dog with you, especially when traveling by plane.

For instance, when flying, you will most likely be able to take your small dog in a handbag with you, where they will be considered carry-on baggage. Larger dogs will, in most cases, need to be put in the cargo area which is an extra expense, while also being quite stressful for the dog.

More recently, we are seeing some airlines that offer various programs and specials for pet owners, but it is still quite safe to say that a smaller dog is a much better traveling companion.

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14. LOW MAINTENANCE

Keeping a dog is not just checking up on them every few hours and showing them off to your friends and acquaintances. Owning a dog involves a range of responsibilities which can be time and money-consuming. With smaller breeds, the requirements on your time and your wallet are much lower.

For example, when we are talking something as simple as daily walks, you need to keep in mind that larger breeds require more frequent and longer walks than small dogs, on average. With especially active breeds, this can be quite a hassle, especially if you live in an urban area.

In addition to this, it is far easier to groom a smaller dog, simply because of the size. Finally, there is the issue of mess, which is a smaller issue with a smaller dog.

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15. THEY CAN SLEEP WITH YOU

Many dog owners will tell you that there is nothing quite like enjoying a nice afternoon nap with their dog curled up next to them on the couch or in the bed. It is a very special feeling that the owners love as much as the dogs.

It is quite logical that this is much easier to set up with a small dog than with a big one. Some large breeds can take up as much space on a couch or a bed as another person. Sometimes the arrangement can get quite cramped for the both of you.

We are not saying that you cannot sleep with a big dog as well, but we also need to be realistic and say that smaller breeds make for better nap partners.

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16. THEY ARE COMFORTING

We live in a world that is extremely stressful and fast and we all need someone to help us relieve that stress and make us feel better when we feel that the entire world is crashing down on us. Small dogs are much better at this, although we are not knocking larger breeds in any way here. We are just saying that smaller canines are somewhat better at this, generally speaking.

Many small breeds were bred to be companions, as opposed to larger breeds whose duties mostly included ‘actual’ work. Due to this sort of breeding and ‘upbringing’ smaller breeds are usually more sociable and more attentive to their owners’ needs and emotions.

This will result in a more affectionate relationship which can be a life-saver in those particularly difficult moments we all face sooner or later.

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17. SMALL DOG, SMALL STINK

It does not matter how much you love your dog and how oblivious you may be to some of its smells and emanations; the reality is that all dogs will stink up the place from time to time. Perhaps the pooch will walk in after being outside in the rain for some time. Nothing stinks quite like a wet dog.

There are also times when their breath will be less than pleasant, especially on particularly warm days. Also, accidents happen and there is not an owner in the world who is so deluded that they will not agree that this produces an odor to go along with the mess. Some dogs will rummage through trash or even bring dead animals from the outside world.

One thing is for sure – the smaller the dog, the more tolerable the stink will be.

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18. SMALL DOGS CAN’T REACH

There are things that dogs will be attracted to almost magnetically. These mostly include human foods that you leave in places out of their reach, but it can aslo be other objects that they find irresistible. In such cases, there is a definite risk that they will try and reach for it.

When this time comes, it is far better to be an owner of a smaller dog who will simply not possess the physical tools to reach for something that is too high. Larger dogs will be far more likely to pull this ‘something’ from the table or other elevated spots. And we all know how messy this can get.

In addition to this, smaller dogs will sometimes miss out on something that you have placed up high whereas larger dogs will not, once again due to the sheer physics of it all.

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19. FINDING A PLACE TO LIVE

Finding the perfect place to live is a challenge for many people, especially for those who live in densely populated urban areas where living space is expensive and limited. In such situations, you really do not have the luxury to miss out on certain opportunities simply because your dog might not fit or because they may find it too cramped.

This is why most experts will recommend a smaller breed if you live in a large city. Moreover, smaller dogs are far better suited for living in urban areas, both because of their small frames, but also because they will not require as much activity as some larger breeds.

Small breeds are also more comfortable in closed spaces, meaning that they will produce less noise and there will be fewer problems that stem from your dog being bored.

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20. OFF-LEASH DOG PARKS

Off-leash dog parks are those areas where you can safely let your canine friend off the leash and let them enjoy the great outdoors without worrying if they are safe and if people around them are safe.

Smaller breeds are often considered to be more sociable towards other dogs and they are not as likely to cause problems as some larger and more aggressive breeds. Also, many off-leash parks will have separate areas for small breeds to ensure that your cute little friend is not in danger of running into a big, intense ‘friend’.

When taking your petite pooch to one of these parks, make sure they have all the vaccinations, that they are neutered and that they have been trained to behave around other dogs. Do this and they will have the time of their life there.

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