Dog ownership adds so much to our lives — bonding, play and protection in return for love and it would be great if they are low maintenance small dogs. There are some dog breeds that do ask a little more than others in return when it comes to “maintenance”, or the upkeep in grooming and special health needs, including exercise.
Small dogs in general require less upkeep simply because of their size. They require less space and exercise relative to larger dogs, and if they do shed, they shed less than their larger canine siblings. Still, several small dog breeds require extra special grooming attention and special medical attention. If you work long hours but still want to enjoy canine companionship, you will want to start looking at the best low maintenance small breed dogs. These breeds may or may not be “kid-friendly.” Here are the most popular ones:
Best Low Maintenance Small Dog Breeds for Adults
Topping most low-maintenance lists for all breed sizes is the Chihuahua, both short-hair and long hair. These are hearty small dogs with a larger-than-life personality. They are devoted and protective of their owners, so they are not the best pick for home with small children unless socialized early.
The Dachshund is low maintenance on grooming and delightfully comical. They tend to develop back problems as they age, but generally they are a very easy breed to maintain, needing less strenuous exercise than other breeds and ideal for apartment or condo living.
If you are an active person, or have active family members with lots of play area, the Jack Russell Terrier might be for you. They are one of a number of low-maintenance house dogs. The Jack Russell is strong and sturdy with a smooth coats needing minimal brushing.
The Toy Fox Terrier also makes the low-maintenance small house dog list, and is described by iheartdogs.com as “easy to take care of as a cat.” Aside from a very short coat requiring little grooming, Toy Fox Terriers are intelligent, active, and very attached to their owners. These qualities make them especially suitable for older adults and those with disabilities. Their instinct to chase makes them not suitable for homes with smaller pets.
The Miniature Pinscher, or “Min Pin” is another hardy, low-maintenance short hair breed that doesn’t even require a large amount of food. While the Min Pin resembles a Doberman (although not related), this breed can actually be injured with too much rough play. Known for its guard dog instinct and desire to be the leader, the Min Pin is not a popular pick for kids or homes with small pets.
Best Low Maintenance Small Dogs that are Good with Kids
You can enjoy the best of all worlds if you already have a busy household with one or more kids; there are small dog breeds that are low-maintenance and kid-friendly at the same time. The Beagle is the most popular small dog breed in the U.S. if you go by the number of registrations, according to the American Kennel Club. The only health consideration to be mindful of is checking his ears as is required for all dog breeds with droopy ears. They can develop mites and infections if not checked regularly. The Beagle coat needs only occasional brushing, but he does need exercise!
Two more family favorites on most all lists are the Pug and French Bulldog. Unlike the Beagle, who thrives on active exercise, the Pug and Frenchie are so content to be couch potatoes that you must make time for canine exercise or these little breeds will put on pounds. Both the Pug and French Bulldog have flat muzzles, so their owners will want to be mindful of any breathing issues. They are moderate shedders but need to be kept from overheating. All in all, these are two great low-maintenance breeds for families.
The Boston Terrier is both a kid-family favorite small dog breed, and a superb watchdog at the same time. Their added bonus is that they require minimal maintenance. While they love to cuddle, they also need mental stimulation. But like the Pug and Frenchie, they cannot tolerate temperature extremes.
A daintier small dog breed, the Yorkshire Terrier, meets low-maintenance standards when their coats are kept short. The Yorkie is small enough to be exercised indoors in cold weather, which makes them more of an indoor pet. This little breed will add a lot of personality to your home!
The Basic Maintenance Requirements
All dogs need some basic grooming and health checks to feel good and also be a pleasure to their owners. One of these routines is brushing teeth. This takes a little getting used to, but once you have the simple routine down, this little bit of maintenance can save time and money down the line — and keeps your dog healthy.
Finally, all dogs with hair need regular brushing even if they are low-maintenance. Brushing also makes a nice bonding activity for you and your dog. The most basic brush is a slicker brush, and there are many more kinds for specific coats.
None of these activities are time-consuming.
Finding the Right Low Maintenance Small Breed Dog for your Lifestyle
When looking for the right canine companion match for your lifestyle, consider grooming requirements, health considerations and exercise needs. It stands to reason that a small dog breed naturally requires less maintenance, but some small dog breeds require more grooming. Additionally, some small breeds have particular health sensitivities to keep with, and some small dog breeds are high energy and need more frequent exercise than other breeds.