Best Small Dogs for Families: Pets & Kids

Almost since the beginning of time, people and dogs have been inseparable. It’s natural to choose a dog as your family’s companion, and small dogs for families are often a great fit.

In this quick guide to the best small dog breeds for families, we’ll take a look at five small dog breeds that are kid-friendly and well-suited to family life.

What Can a Child Learn from Pets?

Time and time again, research has shown that pets teach kids important lessons about responsibility. Experts at Michigan State University report that dogs for kids give many other important life lessons children learn from pets including:

  • Compassion
  • Patience
  • Respect
  • Trust

There’s more. The experts at vetSTREET mention that kids can learn many valuable lessons and come to understand how important they are to others by serving as caretakers to their pets.

In addition, kids can learn how their behavior affects others in positive and negative ways when they see the impact their actions have on their pets.

When children learn how to properly interact with a dog and give commands, they can learn valuable leadership skills that will serve them for a lifetime. In their role as a dog’s caretaker, a child can also learn important lessons about health, nutrition, and the importance of physical activity.

How Pets Affect A Child?

According to experts at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, dogs for kids can help them develop a healthy sense of self-esteem. Being in a leadership role with a pet and caring for a pet has a positive impact, too. Children who interact with pets often develop a healthy sense of self-confidence. In addition, pets can help children develop important character traits like empathy and compassion.

6 Most Friendly Small Dog ​​Breeds For Children


With velvety-soft fur and a smiling face, the pug is easily one of the best small dogs for kids. Thanks to its easy-going personality and relatively low exercise requirements, the pug can be an excellent small dog for families with busy lifestyles.


Poodle, Small Dogs for Families

Miniature and toy poodles are great for active families – and as a bonus, their coats shed very little. These adorable pups love to play with children. Highly intelligent, they are capable of learning lots of tricks so pay special attention to this breed while choosing small dogs for kids.


Maltese, Small Dogs for Kids

Just like the poodle, the Maltese offer minimal shredding and an alert, friendly personality. Maltese are a little less active than poodles, but just as much fun for families who are looking for small dog breeds for kids.


Beagle, Small Dogs for Kids

If your family enjoys lots of outdoor activities and long walks, then a beagle might be the ideal choice. While these pups (like many others!) can get in trouble if they are left alone for too long, their coats offer minimal care and their friendly personalities make them one of the most popular dog breeds for kids.


The cavapoo dog is a cross between a poodle and a Cavalier, and is a delightful and friendly breed. They’re good companions for new dog owners, and easy to train, which makes them excellent for kids.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Small Dogs for Kids

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a mellow, easy-going attitude and an eagerness to please that makes this breed one of the best for first-time dog-owning families. Their soft silky coat requires occasional brushing – it’s a great job for a child who is ready for a little more responsibility. These small dogs for families are moderately active, requiring a little more exercise than a pug and quite a bit less activity than a beagle.

2 Tips for Adults about Small Dog Breeds Care

Once you’ve selected the right small dog for the family, the ASPCA stresses the importance of seeing to it that your pet receives regular veterinary care and stays up-to-date on parasite control. Your four-legged friend will stay healthier, and you’ll have fewer worries about fleas and ticks making their way into your home.

Choose healthy food for your dog, making your selection based on the dog’s size and nutritional needs, it is highly important while choosing small dog breeds for kids. Veterinarians at PetMD mention that high-quality dog food can make a big difference in the overall health of your pet, helping them thrive and live their best life. When your child is old enough, teach them how to feed the dog and if this is a chore that has been assigned to them, be sure to supervise to ensure that the dog is receiving the right amount of food at the right times.

To Sum Up Choosing Best Small Dogs for Families

Even a small dog is a big responsibility. If your kids are ready to learn important life lessons and add more healthy activity to their days, one of these family-friendly small dog breeds is likely to be the ideal addition to your household!

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