Adopting a big dog: everything you need to know before you do it!

adopt big dog

Adopting a big dog is many people's dream and maybe yours too! However, there are a lot of things to know before taking the plunge to adopt a dog and even more when adopting a big one. We'll tell you everything in this article.

Before you go ahead and adopt a big dog

What do we call a big dog?

A large dog is a dog that weighs more than 40 kilos and measures more than 60 centimetres at the withers. So we're talking about beautiful dogs! Beneath this category, we talk about medium size dogs: read our article on the adoption of medium-sized dogs.

A negative article?

The following article will essentially focus on the negatives points when adopting a large dog. Not because we don't like big dogs (we love them!), but because our role is to inform you as much as possible so that you don't regret your choice and make a dog unhappy.

Big dog, expensive in maintenance

First but not least, adopting a large dog is more expensive than adopting a small one.

If, at the time of purchase, the costs are equivalent – allow between $800 and $2000 for most dog breeds – the difference is made on a daily basis.

Thus, the accessories and equipment for large dogs are more numerous (muzzle, crate…) and more expensive (larger equipment) than for smaller ones.

Where the difference is greatest – and where the cost is clearly higher – is with regard to food. For some breeds, you may end up with a budget of $100 to $200 of kibble per month (or even more if you choose the BARF or household ration).

Big dog, difficult to move

If you are planning to have a large dog and like to travel abroad and/or in hotels, find a solution for guarding him now (dog sitter, kennel) or agree to change your travel and accommodation arrangements.

Indeed, a majority of means of travel are likely to be refused to you (or to be more expensive) with a large dog.


  • The bus and subway require you to put a muzzle on your dog and buy him a ticket;
  • On the train, your dog will also have to wear a muzzle and his ticket will cost half of yours;
  • On the plane, your dog will not be able to stay in the cabin with you and will have to travel in the cargo compartment, or even freight. You will also need a cage big enough to contain him.
  • In restaurants and hotels, finally, large dogs are not always accepted – even if dogs are said to be “allowed”. Always remember to specify the size of your dog to avoid unpleasant surprises.

In general, it will be easier to travel by car to a place that has been informed beforehand of your dog's size and breed.

Big dog, a dog that needs to be trained early and fully

chien de grande taille

Every dog deserves to be well-trained to make his own life easier.

But this is especially true for large dogs, which should be trained as early and as well as possible. Not because they are meaner than others or more disobedient… but because they are more and more difficult to handle as they grow in size!

Just as you will be able to hold on to your 3 kilos stubborn Bichon without difficulty, your 50 kilos Cane Corso will be more difficult to manage!

You and your big dog

In general, avoid opting for a large dog if you are not tall and/or if you have health or back issues. Walks can be difficult!

Big dog, more fragile

Last but not least: the bigger the dog, the more fragile he is. Not only is his lifespan shortened (expect an average life expectancy of 8 to 10 years for largest dog breeds) but certain pathologies affect mainly large dogs such as twisted stomach, back and joint fragility, etc…

It's a sad fact that is important: if you buy a dog to accompany your child, you may not want to have to confront your child too soon with old age and the death of his best childhood friend …

Big dog breeds are adorable and enticing. However, adopting a large dog will have a big impact on the next few years of your life, that's why you have to think about it.

Don't hesitate to read our other articles on the adoption of small and medium-size dogs to choose the breed that suits you best!

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