Posted on by claire mccarthy

So, you've decided to buy a dog but you're unsure about whether a big or a small dog is right for you. Hopefully this article can help. It's an exciting time but with big responsibility and there are lots of factors to consider, some of which are obvious and others less so. Here, we'll consider whether size really does matter and compare the pros and cons of big dogs and small dogs to help you feel more confident in your decision-making and find the perfect match for you.

Seven of the most important factors to think about when buying a dog are:

  1. Cost
  2. Space
  3. Lifestyle
  4. Exercise
  5. Maintenance
  6. Training
  7. Lifespan

Advantages of small dog breeds

  1. Less expensive
    Dogs can be very expensive, so it is always a good idea to consider how much you can afford before thinking about what type of dog you'd like to get. Typically, smaller dogs tend to be less expensive to look after. They require less food, compared to a larger dog, as well as smaller toys and housing too, which means lower costs.
  2. Less space
    If you have a smaller house, or live in a flat or apartment, then it is probably a better idea to have a smaller dog as they probably won't need as much space to run and play.
  3. Easier to transport
    Small dogs are easier to transport too and you're less likely to have to think about buying a new car. If you're a family that like to go on staycations, or will probably be taking your dog on buses or trains, then it is typically easier to handle a smaller dog in these circumstances.
  4. Easier cuddles
    Another great benefit of having a smaller dog is that they are great to snuggle and cuddle up with on the sofa. They're the perfect size to pick up and have them in your arms or on your lap for some comfort (you for both).
  5. Lower maintenance
    Smaller dogs are lighter and easier to handle, which makes grooming and bathing easier and quicker too. They are create less mess than a bigger dog!
  6. Live longer
    If you're looking for a longer-term companion, then a small dog may be the best option for you. It has been scientifically proven that larger dogs age faster than small dogs. Small dogs may live for 12 to 14 years on average, compared to larger breed at only 8 to 10 years.

Advantage of larger dog breeds

  1. More love and affection
    The bigger the dog, the bigger his heart? This is known to be true. Although some big dogs can look quite intimidating, they really do have the biggest hearts and show the most affection. You certainly will get a lot of joy, love and pleasure out of your big dog, without a doubt.
  2. Better protection
    As well as being really loving, they can act as your protector and can be a deterrent for any unwanted intruders or burglars. It is known that most burglars would stay away from a household where there is a big dog. Bigger dogs are both clever and very protective with a very intimidating bark.
  3. More emotional intelligence
    Some researches have concluded that big dogs are able to judge what type of mood you're in based off of your behaviour. They can tell if you're upset, sad or happy. Not only can they tell your behaviours, but also the behaviours of strangers. So maybe if your dog isn't very friendly to a stranger, that could be a warning sign to you!
  4. Easier to train
    Another great benefit of having a larger dog is that they are known to be easier to train, compared to smaller dogs. Larger dogs bond and tend to get attached to their owners more quickly, making it easier for their owners to train them.
  5. Love to exercise
    Big dogs need big exercise time! If you love exercise yourself, or you need the motivation to get a bit more active, then having a large dog is an excellent idea.
  6. More independent
    Big dogs tend to be more independent, compared to smaller dogs who often crave more attention. They require less monitoring and don't get injured as easily as small dogs.

As a final point, it's also important to think about breed and temperament as well as size and, in the end, it's up to you! No one can tell you that one dog size is better than the other and everyone's circumstances, lifestyles and personalities are different. With thorough research and plenty of thinking time, you are sure to find the right dog as your lifelong companion and best friend.

Healthy Paws for smaller breeds

Did you know Healthy Paws has a range of recipes designed just for smaller dog breeds? Healthy Paws Game & Millet for smaller breeds has a mixture of duck, venison and rabbit, which dogs find irresistible. The recipe is wheat and wheat gluten-free and contains high quality oils for a healthy, shiny coat. The range is also designed with smaller, crunchier kibble, which helps to promote good oral and gum health in smaller dogs.