Top 5 Benefits of Traveling With a Small Dog

Some people wonder if you can travel with a small dog. Or why you might want to.

Besides the many benefits of traveling with your dog, traveling with a small dog, specifically, has several advantages.

Miniature Dachshund on a lounge chair in front of a cabin

When you compare a big dog vs a small dog, here are the reasons I think traveling with a small dog is better.

5 Reasons Why Traveling with Small Dog is Better

I love dogs of all sizes but there are many times I think, “I’m so fortunate to be traveling with a small dog.”

So why are small dogs better than big dogs in this department?

Before I get into the explanation, let me qualify that I’m using the commonly understood definition of a small dog – dogs typically under 22 lbs but not over 25 lbs max.

As a small dog owner that travels a lot with her dogs, here are the reasons I’m thankful.

1) You’ll Need to Bring Less Stuff

Small dogs eat less so you will have to pack less food when you travel with them.

You also will save space by being able to bring a smaller dog bed and gear bag (with dog jacket, leashes, harnesses, etc.).

2) Small Dogs Won’t Exceed Hotel Weight Limits

Even though there are many dog friendly hotels, most have a weight limit.

If your dog weights more than their limit, they won’t allow you to stay with your pooch.

Except in very rare cases (which I have never heard of but for disclaimer reasons I’m mentioning it), small dogs don’t exceed the maximum allowable size.

3) Your Small Dog Can Fly Inside the Airplane With You

The #1 benefit of traveling with small dog on a plane is that many of them can fly in a cabin carrier with you instead of in cargo.

Who really wants to put their dog in the cargo hold to travel? With a small dog, you don’t have to!

However, one of the lessons I learned about flying in cabin with a dog is that the ability to do so is limited by size more than weight.

In order for your dog to fly in an airplane with you, unless they are a service dog, is that they have to fit inside a carrier that can tuck underneath the seat in front of you.

Since that is mostly dependent on height and length, there are rare cases where a small dog that is between 12 and 25 lbs won’t be able to fly in the airline cabin.

4) Car Travel With a Small Dog

There are several benefits of traveling with a small dog in a car.

  • They don’t take up a lot of space so you can use to bring more luggage or camping gear
  • They don’t attract as much dirt so your car remains cleaner
  • They can ride on your lap if you want (if you’re not driving and remember this is not the safest way for your dog to travel in the car)

5) Camping With a Small Dog

If you take your small dog camping, there are several advantages over big dogs.

  • They can sleep inside your sleeping bag, or under the blankets, with you
  • They aren’t as heavy so it’s less likely that their nails will puncture your inflatable sleeping pad
  • If they do end up tearing the wall of your tent, the damage will likely be less and it will be easier to fix
  • You can tie them to your camp chair to keep them from wandering off because they won’t be strong enough to pull it…. at least not far
  • You can put them in a playpen to contain them at camp

Final Thoughts

If you want to know why small dogs are better than big dogs, one of the areas you should be looking at is travel.

There are several things that make travel easier when your dog is under 25 lbs.

The above list is, of course, not exhaustive but I touch on most of the biggest benefits.

It’s for these reasons I’m not sure I’ll ever own a large dog.

I don’t dislike them. I am sure there are some advantages to traveling with a big dog too.

There was a day that I was obsessed with getting a big dog but I ended up inheriting a small dog and never looked back.

If you are looking for a dog who can be your travel buddy, I hope this article helped you make your decision on what size you should get.

Planning a vacation with your dog? Check out or Travel Packing Checklist (it’s printable!)

5 Times traveling with a small dog is better than with a big dog

About the Author

Hi, I’m Jessica. I’m a Dachshund sitter, President of the largest social Dachshund club in Washington State, a dog trainer in training, and I’ve been a Dachshund owner for 20 years. I have over 150,000 hours of experience with the breed. When I’m not working, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.

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