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Adopting a small dog: all you need to know

Author: Rémi

There is a tendency to think that adopting a small dog is easier than adopting a large one. This is true. But a small breed dog is still a dog – not a plush toy!

In this article, we tackle all the preconceptions and give you our advice on how to adopt a small dog.

What size for a small dog?

In general, a small dog weighs less than 15 kilos – or even less than 10 kilos. Find our list of 10 small dogs breeds and our list of different breeds of dogs.

Statement #1: A small dog does not require as many walks as a large dog

That’s not true.

It depends on the race. There are some small dogs that actually require few outings and little exercise. This is the case with Bichons, Yorks or Chihuahuas. But other breeds have a great need to spend their extra energy: Shibas or Westies are very athletic and won’t adapt well to a sedentary life!

Statement #2: A small breed dog needs less space than a large dog

That’s right. And it’s not.

Again, it’s going to depend a lot on the race. For example, a Shiba will certainly need as much space as a Bernese Mountain Dog – a large but much quieter dog. In this sense, this assumption is quite wrong.

That being said, it is true that it is easier to share your 10m2 apartment with a small animal than with a big one! Indeed, a Labrador will tend to occupy the entire sofa, while a small dog will only require a small space!

Statement #3: A small dog is easier to transport

That’s right.

If you opt for a large dog, a car is mandatory. This is not the case with a small one. Indeed, you can easily take public transport and other means of transport:

  • You’ll have to carry him in a bag if you take the subway but won’t have to pay anything extra;
  • On the train, you can also put your dog in a bag (if he weighs less than 7 kilos);
  • On the plane, you can take your dog with you in the cabin as long as you choose a company that accepts dogs;
  • Hotels and restaurants, on the other hand, are often fine when they see a small dog in a bag or on a leash – they sometimes have more issues with bigger ones.

Statement #4: A small dog costs less than a large dog

When you buy a dog, both small and large dogs cost a lot of money (count between 800 and 2000€ for most breeds). The difference is mainly felt on a daily basis.

First of all, accessories for small dogs are cheaper than those for big dogs. Normal: a small dog’s basket is smaller!

The difference in costs will be reflected in the food diet. Feeding a large dog will be much more expensive than a small one. For example, some breeds eat nearly 500 grams of kibble per day where small ones eat only 50 grams!

Speaking of kibble…

Namely, it is not absolutely necessary to buy specific brands “adapted” to small dogs. In fact, small dogs do not have different dietary needs than large dogs. The only difference can be in the size of the kibble (smaller for small dogs and larger for large dogs).

> Discover all our articles that will help you choose the right dog food for your dog.

Statement #5: A small dog is easier to raise

It’s true and false.

A small dog can have as much (or more) character than a large one. So, you will certainly have more difficulty training a Jack Russel Terrier than a German Shepherd. Therefore, this common belief is generally wrong.

BUT the advantage is that a poorly trained small dog remains easy to handle on a leash! Thus, you will certainly have more trouble with a 60 kilos poorly trained Dogo Argentino than a 3 kilos disobedient mini Dachshund.

In the end, while a small dog is certainly a good first dog to have, as he is easier to manage and transport on a daily basis, he is nonetheless an animal with character. Think about this when you adopt a small dog!

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