Why Extra Small Dog Breeds Make Perfect Pets

Cute French bulldog sitting on sofa in living room

Key Points

  • Small dogs don't have the same destruction levels as large breeds.

  • There are less strenuous exercise requirements for small breeds.

  • Keep up a good grooming routine to keep your dog healthy.

  • Small breeds make great companions for seniors.

In ancient times, smaller dog breeds were considered a resource. They not only served as companions but also as working partners in killing vermin and as bed warmers. Their popularity has skyrocketed in recent years due to their adaptability to apartment living and changing lifestyle needs.

Plus, how is anyone able to resist such cute faces, like little Bleu discovering his first bark is more of a whisper in an August 2023 video. This little puppy has some growing to do to get into his big-boy bark.

Extra small dog breeds come packed with many benefits. They're simple to travel with, require less exercise, often have longer lifespans, and are excellent companions, especially for seniors. In this article, you delve deep into these facets and more.

Welcome to this in-depth guide exploring the advantages of extra small dog breeds, how they fit seamlessly into various living situations, and why they could make a perfect pet for you.

Less Destructive

Destructive behavior in dogs often includes chewing, digging, or scratching household items. Extra small dogs, due to their size, have lesser inclinations towards such destructive habits. When they do chew on things, their tiny jaws cause less damage. While a larger dog causes significant damage to furniture, small dogs usually can’t reach most surfaces. Their potentially destructive habits are limited by their height, providing a relative safeguard for your belongings above their reach. 

That doesn’t mean don't put away potentially dangerous items. Accidents happen. Things get knocked off tables and counters, so it is best to make sure anything dangerous is put away.  Remember, that little tyke can't stand on his hind legs and steal the ham from the dinner table, but he can grab the tablecloth and tug, and tug, and tug to achieve the same result.

Nipping destructive behavior in the bud begins from puppyhood. Make sure you have durable chew toys to create a charming and appealing space for them. Training and adequate physical and mental stimulation also go a long way to discourage unwanted behaviors. 

Easier to Groom and Handle

Small dogs don’t have as much surface area as the larger breeds do. This makes bath time quicker and drying easier — unless you have a very wiggly dog. Their manageable size also means less fur to shed on your furniture and clothing. Regular grooming is easier, leading to better hygiene and health for extra small dogs. Their small size makes handling simpler during veterinary examinations, encouraging more thorough health assessments and treatments when needed.

As always, approach grooming with gentleness and use the appropriate grooming tools and products. Having an area with a table, or something to prop your small dog on, makes it easier to groom your dog. When grooming, make sure not to tug on their fur.  Small breeds get colder faster, so keep that in mind when bathing your dog.

The American Kennel Club reminds, "Keep your household scissors in the drawer where they belong. Do not attempt to cut mats out of your dog’s coat yourself. One wrong movement from a nervous pup could result in serious injury. Often, the best way to remove a mat is by using your fingers, some dog conditioner, a couple of different types of combs, and a lot of time and patience."

Easier to Travel With

Whether you travel by car, train, or plane, your extra small dog usually has no issue accompanying you with greater ease than a large dog. They conveniently fit in a pet carrier, and many airlines permit them in the cabin under your seat. Imagine enjoying a cross-country road trip with your tiny dog comfortably nestled on your lap or stowing them safely in a small pet carrier in your plane cabin on an international adventure. For boat lovers, extra small dogs are easier to secure in carriers suited for sailing.

Remember that preparation before any trip is key. Equip your travel pack with snacks, water, a leash, poop bags, some toys, and a blanket. Before going anywhere, get your dog accustomed to a carrier long before setting off, and remember to pacify their anxieties during travels by keeping a soothing presence.

You may even want to consider investing in an anti-anxiety dog product or two.

Calming Dog Ad

Easily Adaptable to Apartment Living

Extra small dogs adapt well to apartment living due to their small size and frequently low energy needs. Many get their exercise requirements indoors with occasional short walks or a run at the local dog park. Bigger dogs often require a spacious yard to run off energy and many struggle with close quarters, especially when the residents are away during the day. They also tend to be louder, causing more potential disturbance to neighbors in proximity.

To ensure your extra small dog thrives in apartment living, provide mental stimulation through fun indoor activities or toys. Regular but limited outdoor jaunts curb any potential boredom. As always, keep their safety in mind, watch out for any potential hide-and-hurt spots in your apartment, and never leave a window unsecured.

Excellent Lap Dogs and Snuggle Buddies

Many extra small breeds started life as dogs primarily for companionship, leading them to enjoy human closeness. Their small size, soft fur, and love for warm spots make them perfect for curling up on your lap or even sharing your bed if permitted.

Pet ownership has numerous health benefits, including lowering stress levels and improving heart health. The physical contact and emotional bond with these extra small dogs increase your oxytocin levels, which aids in stress relief. Their soft breathing is a natural sleep aid.

It is important to ensure the safety of your tiny pets while cuddling to avoid accidentally squashing them. Encourage them to stay on a designated pillow or blanket during bedtime. Just as you love your "me time" and "sanctuary of solitude," so does your dog. Respect their need for independence by providing them their own special place and time to ponder all the wonders of doghood.

Great Companions for Seniors

Extra small breeds make great companions for seniors due to their manageable size and compatible energy levels. They're easy to care for, travel with, and require less exercise — ideal for older individuals with mobility issues. Seniors often report improved vitality and purpose in their lives after adopting an extra small breed.

The need to care for their pets provides a daily routine, companionship prevents loneliness, and having a small dog encourages light but beneficial exercise. Having an extra small dog positively impacts seniors' physical health through increased activity and cardio strength. It also improves mental health by combating feelings of loneliness and providing a sense of purpose.

Less Exercise Requirements

The exercise requirements for extra small dogs are more manageable than those of larger breeds. These small bundles of love typically need shorter and less strenuous walks and enjoy simple games of fetch or tug-of-war, which is easily done indoors. Owners don’t have to worry about fitting these short bouts of play or short walks into their busy schedules.

This balance actually promotes better overall dog health, as consistent short playtimes are more easily maintained and beneficial than infrequent longer durations of exercise. Incorporate play into your day by throwing a small ball for your dog to catch or having a fun game of indoor hide and seek. Plan 15-minute walks in the neighborhood or provide interactive toys that promote physical involvement and mental stimulation.

Lower Food Costs

Larger dogs require more calories per day, which means more food. Extra small dogs have smaller stomachs and consume less food, which contributes to considerable savings over their lifetime. For extra small breeds, it's not just about quantity but also quality. Invest in high-quality dog food specifically designated for extra small breeds as they have specific nutritional needs. These may cost a bit more but the reduced quantity balances it out considerably.

Purchasing food is a significant contributor to the overall costs of owning a pet. Extra small dogs' reduced food consumption significantly brings down these recurring costs.

Often Have Longer Lifespans

Studies show smaller breeds often outlive their larger counterparts. With many small breeds living well into their teens and into their 20s, they're known for their longevity. Several factors contribute to longer lifespan, including their slower rate of growth which reduces strain on their bodies, their lower susceptibility to certain health issues, and reduced likelihood of injuries caused by excessive strain during exercise.

To help your extra small dog live a long, healthy life, keep up your routine veterinary checks, adhere to a balanced diet, get regular exercise and maintain healthy teeth. Most importantly, spend quality time bonding because stress-free companionship promotes overall health.

Small Packages Packed With Love 

No type of pet is perfect for everyone, but extra small dog breeds offer great benefits for those prepared for their unique needs and characteristics. These tiny packages of cuteness and love fill large spaces in their owners' lives, bring great joy, provide companionship and love, and don't demand a huge living space or intense exercise commitments.

Before deciding, consider your lifestyle, personal finances, available time, health, and living situation to be sure you are able to provide the appropriate care they deserve. If you conclude that an extra small breed fits your lifestyle, then look forward to a rewarding and adorable new family member.

Each breed within the extra small category has its personality and specific care needs. Researching breed-specific information is highly beneficial for a potential owner.

The richness of love, life, and companionship these tiny creatures bring can be a heartwarming experience worth taking seriously.

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