More people than ever are embracing tiny house living. While tiny house life has many desirable aspects, people often wonder if it’s possible with pets — to be more specific, with man’s best friend.
The good news is you won’t need to get rid of your four-legged friend, but having a canine in a tiny house could provide its own set of challenges.
Fortunately, these challenges are not deal-breaking, and you can easily avoid them with proper research and planning.
10 tips for successful tiny house living with dogs
When adopting this lifestyle, there are many considerations to keep in mind for both you and your furry friend. Here are ten tips for tiny house living with dogs.
1. Design with your dog in mind
When you are designing your tiny home, keep a few things in mind to make life easier for you and your dog. While most tiny houses have stairs, you’ll want them to be accessible for your pet. Ensure the stairs are not too big — especially if you have a smaller dog, like a tea-cup French Poodle — or too steep for them to climb.
2. Workaround potential challenges
Before embarking on this tiny home journey, think of any potential problems you might encounter. A common problem people face is what to do with their dogs when they are out. The best course of action is to use a foldable crate or a gate to block them off from the rest of the house — remember, space is limited so use something you can store easily.
3. Bath time for pets in a tiny home
Bath time with pets could be challenging if you have a shower instead of a bathtub. The easiest way to remedy this situation is to wash them outside if that is an option. Otherwise, consider taking them to a doggy parlor for their grooming needs.
4. Daily exercise
Your canine requires daily exercise. The recommended approach is to take your dog for a walk or to let them roam freely outside. If leaving your dog alone outside is not an option, consider investing in a large playpen they can use outdoors if they are on the smaller side.
5. Everyone needs their own space
Like in any home, everyone still wants their own space. Give your dog a designated area that they know is theirs. This can be done by putting their bed in a space you do not need — such as under a staircase.
6. Use space wisely
This is a given when it comes to tiny house life, but ensure that you utilize space efficiently. For example, consider keeping all the items you need to take your dog for a walk in one space. Maybe keep all the equipment in a bag you store behind a couch or on top of a closet.
7. Utilize outside space
Many people are so focused on using the space they have inside that they forget about outdoor space. If your tiny home has a porch, consider putting your dog’s bed outside during the day if the weather allows it.
8. Consider neighbors
Depending on the location of your tiny home, one factor to consider is wild animals. In some areas, there might be other critters nearby that don’t appreciate being barked at. Ensure that your dogs are safe to do their outdoor activities when the mood strikes — having a closed-off area or supervising them when outdoors.
9. Choose durable floors
Utilizing every inch of space your tiny home offers will naturally mean that your floors will see constant movement. When choosing floors ensure you choose something that can withstand heavy movement and is made of a non-slip material. This will ensure the longevity of your floors and prevent serious slipping injuries — great options are ceramic tiles or hardwood floors.
10. Feeding time
Where you decide to keep the dog’s feeding bowls is essential. If it is in a space you use regularly, your beloved fur balls can become a tripping hazard. Make a habit of feeding your dogs in areas you don’t use frequently and pack their bowls away afterward.
Live comfortably with your dog in a tiny house
With proper planning and research, both you and your furry best friend can comfortably live in a tiny house. Be sure to follow these tips so everyone can enjoy all the benefits a tiny home brings.
Jane Marsh is an environmental writer passionate about pet care and health. To read more of her work, follow her site Environment.co.