🐾 Lifestyle

What Are the Best Small Dog Breeds for Anxiety?

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February 17, 2021

Key Takeaways

Fun Fact: Therapy dogs ‘trigger similar neural pathways to the parent-baby bond and reduce loneliness and depression’.

Unsurprisingly, many people adopted small dog breeds for anxiety during quarantine to benefit from their therapeutic side. If you are planning to join this bandwagon, we have a list of suggestions. While any therapy pet can do wonders for your mental wellbeing, small dogs are the best.

Their portable size and low-key lifestyle needs make them a convenient companion. They also love cuddles and playtime.They’ve got everything you need in an emotional support animal without high-maintenance strings attached.

Sounds great, right?

Now, let’s look at the best small dogs for anxiety support:  

1. Yorkies

(Picture Credit: Valeriya21/Getty Images)

Yorkies serve as excellent caregivers for people with anxiety. They’ve got a friendly personality and energetic nature. Unlike bigger dogs, you can live with them anywhere you want without breaking any rental policies. They are also welcome at restaurants and other indoor spaces.

Their positive behavioral traits bring joy whenever you are feeling out of sorts. While their small physique ensures that your playful pet is with you at all times.

2. Chihuahua 

(Picture Credit: Carlina Teteris/Getty Images)

If you’re looking for a pooch with confidence, Chihuahuas are the ones for you. Often mistaken as purse dogs, these little ones make ideal emotional support animals. They are smart, alert, and they stick by you no matter what happens. These qualities make them feisty pets to have by your side when you feel anxious.

Additionally, they live for more than 15 years when they are provided with proper care.  Their healthy lifespan eases your fear of losing them too soon.

3. Havanese

Do you want a cuddly canine companion?

Havanese is one of the best small dog breeds for anxiety support that requires extra hugs. These fluffy little lap dogs love pats and other displays of affection. Their sweet temperament resembles Bichon Frise when we compare social skills and people-pleasing personalities. These qualities make them excellent entertainers for days when you’d like a healthy distraction from your anxious thoughts.

What makes them different is that they don’t shed as much as Bichon Frise. Their minimal grooming requirements are advantageous for busy pet parents.

4. Mini Schnauzer

Regal, sophisticated, and sharp as a tack, mini schnauzer exudes grownup energy.  These dogs slip into a caregiver role quickly and are easy to train. Their obedience makes them exceptional therapy dogs.

That said, don’t fall for their stubborn grandpa look. These dogs do enjoy playtime and have a friendly disposition. Due to this, they manage to strike the right balance between fun and discipline.  That way, you get a dog that is non-clingy yet fun.

5. King Charles Spaniel

(Picture Credit: Banepx/Getty Images)

Last but not least, we have the royal King Charles Spaniels.These loyal lapdogs are prim, proper, and well-trained are amongst the best small dog breeds for anxiety support. If you are interested in a canine companion that doesn’t mind peace and quiet, then they are the right pet for you.

Like the mini schnauzer, they will eagerly go on strolls and explore the great outdoors. They are also low-maintenance pets, though they do love attention. These tiny traits go a long way for pet parents prone to anxiety.

Parting Words


In the end, any one of these best small dog breeds for anxiety support has what it takes to be your therapy dog. We recommend comparing their needs to your lifestyle when you make the final decision. That way, you will find a companion that suits you.

Don’t know how to make the selection? Read this article on how to choose a small dog for tips.

Best of luck!

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