Does Size Matter? The Differences Between Owning A Large or Small Dog and How To Know Which is Right For You

Are you thinking about becoming one of the 60% of American households that own a dog?

If so, then you already know that there are so many different factors to consider. You need to make sure you have enough cash on hand to properly care for your pet, that you have enough time in your day to take them out for walks, and that you’re willing to go through the hard work of training them.

Perhaps the most important decision you’ll make, however, is choosing between a little dog vs big dog breed.

It can certainly be tough to understand how to know what size of dog to get — so this post is here to help make your choice of breed size easier.

Read on to learn more about large dogs vs small dogs so you can make the right choice for both you and your future four-legged friend.

The Pros of Small Dogs

When you’re choosing between large dogs vs small dogs, it helps to know the pros of both options.

Small dogs are ideal for humans with high energy levels because they love to play outside and spend time with their owners. However, even though small breeds are energetic, because of their size, you’ll usually only need to take them on one long walk per day.

They can also end up costing you less than a larger breed, as they don’t need as much food and may require less veterinary care.

They also usually have a longer lifespan than large dogs, and they don’t need as much space to be happy. This especially makes small breeds ideal for city/apartment dwellers.

Plus, it also makes them much easier to travel with.

Some of the most popular small dog breeds include Jack Russells, Yorkshire terriers, pugs, Shiba Inu, and French bulldogs.

The Cons of Small Dogs

Of course, there are a few drawbacks to owning a little dog vs big dog.

Small dogs are a bit more of a challenge to train, and can sometimes have their fair share of behavioural issues. They can also be a bit happier than larger dogs, which could pose a problem to neighbours or those who work from home.

They may be territorial, especially indoors, and behave aggressively towards other dogs that they don’t know. This means that, especially if they’re up against bigger dogs, they could get injured easily.

Though, as stated above, small dogs do generally have fewer health issues than larger breeds, they’re still at risk for problems like hypoglycemia, kneecap injuries from jumping and playing, or even a collapsed trachea from pulling on their leashes too much.

The Pros of Big Dogs

So, are big dogs better than small dogs?

The truth is that it all depends on your preferences and circumstances.

Large dog breeds are known for being especially protective, but also extremely loyal to their owners. Despite their size, they’re often much calmer and more gentle than smaller dogs (though of course, this can vary by specific breed.)

They’re ideal for owners who love the great outdoors, as that’s where larger breeds prefer to spend most of their time. They’re also ideal exercise companions, as they have much more endurance than smaller dogs.

Finally, you’ll have a much easier time training a large dog than a small one because of their temperament and their desire to make you happy.

Make sure you read more about some of the most well-loved big dog breeds to pick the one that’s the best fit for your home.

The Cons of Big Dogs

Big dogs also come with their fair share of downsides.

First of all, they may initially frighten other people or animals due to their size (even though those fears are almost always unfounded.)

They’re also a bit more difficult to travel with and take inside of stores, and many hotels may not allow pets that weigh over 25 pounds to stay there. They also shed a bit more than smaller dogs, so be prepared to do some serious vacuuming!

They’ll need to be taken out and exercised more often than small dogs, though they’re also able to spend more time outside on their own than smaller breeds.

Also, be aware that health conditions like hypothyroidism, arthritis, ligament tears, hip dysplasia, and even bloating are all much more likely to impact larger dogs than smaller ones.

Perhaps the two most important factors to consider if you’re thinking about a larger breed are the amount of space that you’ll need and the cost of raising a bigger dog. Make sure you have both the finances and the indoor/outdoor space to give them a great life.

Large Dogs vs Small Dogs: What’s Right for You?

When you’re making the choice between large dogs vs small dogs, you’ll need to think about the time you can spend with your animal, the space available in your home, and your financial resources above anything else.

While of course, you want to get the dog of your dreams, you need to be responsible and ensure that the animal will truly be a good fit with your lifestyle.

Still, need a bit more advice to help you make your decision? Curious to learn more about how to give your dog the best possible diet? Want to pick up a few training tips to help keep your pup under control?

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