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Small dog vs big dog: which is right for your family?
You’ve decided to adopt a new furry family member, but you’re faced with a dilemma: do you want to adopt a smaller dog breed or a larger dog breed? There are so many different breeds of dogs out there and finding the right one for your family might take some time.
One of the best ways to find your new family member is to head to your local shelter and spend some time with the dogs that are there. That might help you find the right dog that fits in perfectly with your family.
But if you want to narrow down your list of potential breeds before you get to the shelter, here are some factors that you’ll want to keep in mind when choosing between a small or large breed.
Where you live
Consider the amount of space you have in your house or apartment, as well as your yard space. Large dogs need plenty of room to move, both inside and outside. While certain breeds of smaller dogs also need room to run around, many smaller breeds do fine living in an apartment and going on walks. And if you live in an urban area full of cars and people, remember that it is easier to pick up a smaller dog while going on a walk than it is a larger dog.
How much you travel
If you’re planning on traveling frequently with the family dog, smaller breeds tend to travel better on long car rides and are easier to take on planes. This is because their small size means that they take up less space. They’re also easier to transport in pet carriers. Many restaurants and hotels are more willing to accommodate smaller dogs than they are a larger dog. However, keep in mind that you will still need to take frequent stops with small breeds so that they can run around and go potty.
What your budget is
Most pet owners will find that they spend less money on their small dog than they do their large dog. This is because small dogs eat less food. Their vet care also tends to cost less money. The cost to take a larger breed to the vet is often more because larger dogs require extra handling time and may need to be sedated. So when you go to adopt a dog, think about long-term finances and if you’re financially secure enough to properly meet the needs of a larger dog.
Activity level of your family
The activity level of your family may also determine what size dog you should get. Extremely active families that spend lots of time outside and like taking frequent hikes with their dog may want to consider a large dog breed. Large dog breeds tend to have more endurance and stamina than smaller dog breeds. However, keep in mind that certain smaller breeds also require plenty of exercise and some large dog breeds that are couch potatoes. Some large dogs are also prone to overheating when outside.
Age of your children
Large dogs might look scary, but many parents find that larger breeds are protective over children and gentle. And if you have an energetic young child, a larger breed might have an easier time keeping up with your child. Large breeds also tend to be easier to train, so keep that in mind if you’re trying to find a dog that you can quickly incorporate into your family or that you can have your children help train. However, there are also smaller dog breeds that do just fine with children.
What kind of love you want
Both small breeds and large breeds have plenty of love to offer! However, small dogs tend to curl up on your lap, while larger breeds might curl up beside you or by your feet. Larger breeds also tend to be more protective and loyal over their owners. You might also find that large breeds are more relaxed, while smaller breeds are more likely to get under your feet or want to be constantly around you. No matter what size dog you get, though, you’re going to get plenty of cuddles!
The above factors can help you decide whether a smaller dog or a larger dog would work best for your family. However, keep in mind that there are always exceptions and the above statements are very general! Researching specific breeds will give you an even better idea of whether or not that breed is right for you.