Big or Small? How to Know Which Size Dog is Right For You

When selecting a dog to adopt, the options can feel overwhelming. After all, there are hundreds of breeds of dogs of all shapes and sizes. So, where do you start? I recommend figuring out what size dog will work best not only for you and your family, but also for the dog. Here are a few questions to consider to help you figure it out:

1. How big is your home?


A big dog needs space, not only space outdoors to run around, but also ample amount of space indoors as well. If you’re living in a small, one-bedroom apartment in NYC, then a Great Dane might not be the best option for you. The last thing you’ll want is to make your dog feel like they are in the way when there really isn’t anywhere else for them to go.

2. What can you afford?


Big dogs can eat and boy, do they. Before you consider a dog that can grow to be upwards of 80 to 100 pounds, be sure to consider your budget. Will you be able to afford buying them enough food? If the answer to that is no, then you may want to keep an eye out for dogs of the smaller variety, since their stomachs tend to need less constant attention.

3. How strong are you?


Now this may seem like a silly question, but it deserves serious consideration. Training a large dog can be difficult, and walking an untrained large dog can be downright impossible if the dog weighs more than you do. Just because you are small doesn’t mean you have to buy a small dog, I’m only suggesting you look into puppy training programs and a nearby gym to make sure you can handle the commitment you are making before you sign on for a dog that will outweigh you in just a few months.

4. Do you live alone?


Big dogs tend to need more attention and want to play more often than smaller dogs, since they don’t get tired as quickly. If you live in a neighborhood and have several children, a bigger dog could be a great fit. The large dog would always have someone to play with and a bigger yard would allow them to run as much as they want. If you live alone, a smaller dog might be the better option for both the dog and you since they require less playtime and room.

5. How much of your day do you spend at home?


This is something you should ask yourself regardless of what type of dog you get. If you live in Manhattan and spend a majority of your time running around the city or putting in long hours at the office with no one left at home to give the dog proper love and care, then now might not be the best time to adopt. Or, you could look into how expensive a dog-sitter or dog-walker is and if that is something you would be able to afford. On the other hand, if your job allows you to work from home or spend a majority of your day at home, then a large or small dog could be the perfect canine companion for you.

Deciding between a large or small dog when adopting can be a difficult decision. Make it simple by asking yourself these five questions to ensure you make the right choice for both yourself and your potential new pooch.

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