London Living with an Alternative Twist!

Small, Medium or Large: What Size Dog Is for You? *

*This is a collaborative post.

One of the first things that you need to think about if you’re considering a dog is what size dog is right for you. The size you choose won’t just affect how much space your dog takes up at home but also their strength, activity levels, and how suitable they are for families with children too. Dogs come in all sizes, from the tiny breeds to the huge ones and everything in between. You don’t necessarily need to have a certain breed in mind when choosing a dog, but knowing what size to go for can help you in your search. When you’re thinking about what size dog might work for you and your circumstances, there are a few different things to take into account.

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Your Home

Firstly, you’re likely to want to think about the size of your home, your garden space (if you have any), and the places nearby where you can exercise your dog. Your home isn’t going to be the only thing to factor in, but if you live in a small flat, it’s likely that you’re not going to want to get a St Bernard or a Bernese mountain dog. On top of possibly not having enough space, some building management companies and apartment building owners might ask that residents (whether owners or tenants) don’t have dogs over a certain size.

When it comes to your home, it’s important to be realistic about how much space a larger dog will need. Just having a bed big enough for them could take up a lot of space, and that’s without thinking about the other things that they might need. A smaller dog is likely to be more appropriate for a smaller home. It’s also important to think about energy levels – the size of the dog doesn’t necessarily dictate their energy levels but might influence it. A small dog running around in a smaller home could be a lot easier to handle than a larger dog doing the same.

Think about outside of your home too. Are there nearby parks and other outdoor spaces that are suitable for a dog of the size that you’re considering? Bigger dogs generally need more outdoor space, although small dogs may need plenty of space for exercise too.

Getting Around

As well as your home, it’s also worth considering transport and how to get around when you’re choosing what size dog to get. Of course, most dogs are perfectly capable of walking some places, but you will have to think about energy levels. Many smaller dogs might not be able to go far without getting tired. On the other hand, some particularly large dogs might not be capable of going too far either.

When you’re not walking, you’ll have to think about how else to transport your dog. Dogs are sometimes allowed on public transport, although they are often not unless they’re guide dogs or service dogs. It’s definitely handy to have a car, especially if you’re thinking about a larger dog. But then you have to be sure that there’s enough space for your dog, and you might have to think about how to get them in and out of the car too. Smaller dogs can possibly be carried in pet carriers or sometimes in your arms if necessary. Other options could include a bicycle trailer, which might work for small to medium dogs.

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Children are a major concern when you’re thinking about adopting a dog. You need a dog that’s suitable for your children, and size can definitely factor into that. However, there isn’t necessarily a clear-cut line where a dog might be too big or even too small for children. Some small dogs such as mini teddy bear puppies are excellent for families, while other small dogs might have the tendency to nip and yap, which can be scary for children. Some large dogs don’t know their own strength and can easily bowl over small children, while others are very gentle.

It’s not just your children’s safety that you need to think of, either. Small dogs can be accidentally hurt by children who might not be aware of the damage that they can do. Small breeds such as chihuahuas can often be temperamental and not suitable to have around children, whereas larger dogs can be tougher and very social too. So it’s not all about big dogs being too boisterous.

Care and Feeding Expenses

What about how much it costs to own a dog. Well, for the most part, you could expect to pay more to take care of a larger dog. To start with, big dogs generally eat more food, which means you’ll be paying more to make sure your dog gets the right nutrition. On top of that, it’s important to consider that your dog could end up requiring a special diet for a number of reasons. Grooming costs could be more expensive too, especially if you have a large dog with a shaggy coat or a coat that needs special care. Big dogs can also go through toys and other items more quickly, plus you could be paying more for things that fit them, from beds to harnesses.

Veterinary bills are also generally higher for bigger dogs. However, it’s important to keep in mind that dogs of any size can have health problems. Breeds of all sizes can experience problems specifically due to their size because they have been bred to be very small or very big. Another thing to keep in mind is that smaller dogs generally live longer than larger dogs, which can make them more expensive long-term.

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Lifestyle Considerations

How do you picture life with a dog? Are you looking for a buddy to go hiking with you, or perhaps a furry friend to cuddle with at home? This is something to think about when you’re considering what size dog could be right for you. For example, larger dogs are going to be better if you want a hiking companion, although they don’t have to be very large. Smaller dogs make better lap dogs or dogs you can cuddle in bed with. Of course, that’s not to say that a big dog can’t be cuddly too, but they do take up more space.

Old Age and Disability

Even if you’re getting a puppy, you should think about your dog when it’s older. Older dogs can get arthritis or simply lose energy, which can leave you having to provide them with a little assistance. If you end up having to carry your dog, it’s going to be a lot easier if your dog only weighs a few pounds. Of course, there are ways to get around this with larger dogs, but it does make things a bit more difficult if your dog weighs almost as much as you do – or maybe even more.


The strength of your dog is important too, particularly when you’re still training. Once your dog learns to walk to heal, it will be a lot easier to have them on a leash. However, even then, you could find that there are times when you need to get your dog under control, perhaps when they spot a squirrel or another dog. It’s worth considering whether you have the strength to hold a big dog back if necessary. Some smaller dogs can even be surprisingly strong too, even if they don’t weigh as much as their larger counterparts.

Choosing a size for your dog means thinking about more than the space that they take up at home. Make sure you cover all of these different factors before making a decision.

I'm Squibb Vicious, better known as Haydy!
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