Living in Small Spaces with Pets


Many years ago, a very wise veterinarian told me that any breed of dog can live in a small place. All dogs want is to be with their humans, no matter where they live.

The secret to keeping a large breed dog in an apartment is giving your dog enough stimulation and exercise. Different breeds may require different types and amount of time spent exercising. But all dogs need walks, hikes or jogs to keep them happy and healthy.

Choose a breed that matches your energy level. High energy dogs will exhibit destructive behavior when not exercised sufficiently. Sometimes, even within specific breeds you can find a couch potato. But it’s best to do your research and find a breed that you’re comfortable with.

Most miniature, toy and small breeds are easier to care for in a small living area. They can even be trained to go potty on potty pads. Breeds to consider are toy poodles, shih tzus, maltese, pekingese, chihuahuas, pugs, dachshunds, papillon. Don’t exclude large breeds though. If you have your heart set on a larger dog, go for it. Just keep in mind your dog’s needs and the amount of exercise you’re willing to provide. Believe it or not, even the giant Great Dane can happily live in an apartment and Greyhounds love being couch potatoes.

How about a cat? A cat doesn’t require much room and will be content living with you in something as small as a studio apartment. Don’t forget the litter box. And you should create playtimes for your cat as they need some exercise and mental stimulation too.

Terrarium dwellers like turtles, geckos, salamanders are good small space dwellers. You can design and create an eye-pleasing habitat and enjoy a pet at the same time.

Small mammals like rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, gerbils and hamsters are all people-friendly and will interact with you. They also satisfy the need to cuddle with something furry. These pets require more care – cleaning cages weekly, grooming, feeding daily, but they are worth the extra effort.

You can create an aquarium habitat of sea creatures that is both attractive and soothing. Just be sure that all the creatures and fish in the aquarium are compatible.

A bird is another pet that fits into a small area. Birds are entertaining and many species can be taught to talk and make great company.

These pets don’t need as much care as a dog or cat and are especially good for people who spend long hours at work. They won’t be destructive as they will be caged while you’re away.

Be sure before renting or buying a small apartment that pets are allowed. Many places although allowing pets limit size and number. Read your agreement carefully to be sure you understand all the rules and regulations.

Of course it’s important in small living quarters to keep things extra clean and avoid odors.

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