Small Dogs, Small Breeds, and How to Keep Them Healthy in an Apartment

Learn about the best types of puppies and small dogs for apartments and how to manage their weight and exercise to keep them healthy. Small dogs are beloved by many people for their small size and lovable personalities. It’s especially well-suited to city life, as it can adapt to limited spaces like apartments. Let’s take a closer look at the types of small dogs that are great for apartments, their life expectancy, and how to keep them healthy.

Types of Small Dogs for Apartments

1. maltese

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  • Characteristics: Maltese have a low shedding coat and a small, cute build. They have a great affinity for people and a gentle disposition, making them great for families with young children.
  • Note: They can be sensitive to strangers and puppies, so socialization training is required.
  • Average lifespan: 15 to 18 years

2. poodle (toy poodle)

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  • Characteristics: Poodles are low-shedding, very intelligent, and highly trainable. Their gentle nature makes them easy to care for, even for novice owners.
  • Note: Curious and needs walks and playtime.
  • Average lifespan: 12-15 years

3. shichu

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  • Characteristics: Shih Tzus shed little and have a gentle, calm personality. They are good with children and, with basic training, are an easy breed to keep in an apartment.
  • Caution: They can be sensitive and stubborn, so discipline requires effort and persistence.
  • Average lifespan: 10 to 16 years

4. chihuahua

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  • Characteristics: Chihuahuas are very small, suitable for indoor living, and have affectionate and playful personalities. They are very obedient and loyal to their families.
  • Note: This dog can be wary and may jump on other dogs or people, so socialization training is required.
  • Average lifespan: 14 to 18 years

5. pomeranian

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  • Characteristics: Pomeranians are small in size, have active and courageous personalities, need regular exercise, but don’t require a lot of space.
  • Warning: Grooming is required, and they may bark a lot.
  • Average lifespan: 12 to 16 years

6. yorkshire terrier

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  • Characteristics: The Yorkshire Terrier is small and intelligent, with beautiful golden facial hair and a long coat. They are owner-focused and tend to be on the healthy side.
  • Caution: Be aware of health issues such as dislocated kneecaps.
  • Average lifespan: Approximately 14 years

7. bichon frise

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  • Characteristics: The Bichon Frise sheds very little hair, is independent and affectionate. With his energetic and cheerful personality, he always brings a smile to his guardians.
  • Note: Requires grooming and is very active and needs time for walks.
  • Average lifespan: 12-15 years

These are all great small dogs for apartment living, and with the right care and training, you can enjoy a happy pet life with proper knowledge of each breed’s characteristics and precautions.

How to keep your small dog healthy for a long life

Weight management, regular health checkups, dental and oral care, vaccinations and deworming, regular exercise, stress management, and a proper diet are all important for a small dog’s longevity. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

1. weight management

Obesity is one of the leading health risks for small dogs. It’s important to manage your weight through proper diet and regular exercise. Obesity can lead to diseases like arthritis, high blood pressure, and diabetes, so it’s important to keep your small dog’s weight at a healthy level.

2. regular health checkups

It’s important to constantly monitor your small dog’s health with regular health checks. It is recommended that older dogs, especially those over the age of 7, have one or two wellness exams each year. This allows you to detect potential health issues early and create appropriate prevention and treatment plans.

3. teeth and oral care

Small dogs are prone to oral problems and need regular brushing and tartar removal. The buildup of oral bacteria can lead to heart valve problems and kidney infections, so it’s a good idea to brush your teeth once or twice daily.

4. vaccinations and deworming

Vaccinations are essential to protect small dogs from a variety of diseases. They should be vaccinated regularly, starting at 8 weeks of age, and dewormed periodically to prevent internal parasites.

5. exercise regularly

Regular exercise not only helps small dogs manage their weight, but also provides mental stimulation to reduce stress. You should keep your small dog healthy with proper daily exercise and control their activity level to prevent excessive weight gain.

6. Manage stress

To reduce stress, small dogs need a stable environment, regular affection, and positive reinforcement. Stress can cause behavioral changes, loss of appetite, and skin and digestive issues in small dogs, so it’s important to manage it.

7. Provide a proper diet

Small dogs should be fed a balanced diet appropriate for their age and health. Choose food made with high-quality ingredients and make sure they get the nutrients they need. For neutered small dogs, you should feed a low-calorie, high-fiber diet to prevent weight gain.

How to Exercise Small Dogs to Manage Their Weight

1. weight management and behavior modification

Exercise plays an important role in helping small dogs manage their weight, burn off excess energy, and prevent behavioral problems. Regular exercise has a positive impact on not only the physical health of small dogs, but also their mental health.

2. personalized workouts by breed

Small dogs need vigorous exercise for fitness and weight management. However, for breeds with weak joints, excessive exercise can be harmful. For example, small dogs such as Pomeranians are prone to problems such as patellar luxation, so it’s better to exercise them frequently in short bursts rather than for long periods of time at a time. For example, we recommend going for two 30-minute walks a day.

3. workout plans based on age

  • Young puppies: They have a lot of energy and need to get plenty of exercise through walks and indoor play at least twice a day. Indoors, you can release energy through play, such as throwing a ball or playing tug-of-war with dolls.
  • Senior dogs: Joint protection is important, so keep them exercised with light walks and indoor play. Avoid overexertion and move frequently for short periods of time.

4. weather-dependent indoor workouts

If the weather isn’t cooperating, you can take your workouts indoors. For example, playing Frisbee, tossing a ball, playing tug-of-war with dolls, or playing nozzlewalk with treats can all provide plenty of exercise indoors. However, we recommend that you only roll the Frisbee on the floor and retrieve it.

5. workouts that take your health into account

You should adjust the amount of exercise based on your dog’s health. If you have a health condition, it’s important to consult with a professional to plan your light exercise. For example, small dogs with joint problems may benefit from gentle exercise, such as swimming.

How to take action

Daily workout plan

  • Walks: We recommend taking your dog for two 30-minute walks a day. During walks, choose different routes to allow your small dog to explore new environments.
  • Indoor play: When the weather isn’t cooperating, get exercise indoors by throwing a ball, playing tug-of-war with dolls, or playing nozzlewalk.
  • Playtime: Play for short periods of time several times a day to release your small dog’s energy.


  • Avoid over-exercising: Avoid over-exercising small dogs, taking into account their joints and health conditions.
  • Health monitoring: Carefully monitor your small dog for fatigue and discomfort during exercise and adjust the amount of exercise as needed.
  • Consult a professional: If you have a health condition, consult your veterinarian to create an appropriate exercise plan.

These tips will help you effectively manage your small dog’s weight and keep them healthy and happy. Small dogs are loved by many people because of their small size and lovable nature, and they’re great for city life because they can adapt well to confined spaces like apartments. For a happy life with your pet, take care of your small dog’s health!

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