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Q&A: Tiny Houses and Pets; Big dogs in a Tiny Home?

The other day I got this great question from a reader on the topic of tiny houses and pets (big dogs) so I thought I’d use it for a tiny house Q&A post.

Hey Alex and crew I was wondering as I’m in the very

beginning stages of starting my Tiny House, But I have pets I have 3

dogs to be exact they range in size from 45 pounds 65 pound to 120

pounds, as I don’t plan on parting with them, I was wondering what

others have done that seem to have bigger animals then say a cat a

tiny dog or a bird…..

Thank you

Big Dogs Living with you in a Tiny House?

Pets and Dogs and Tiny Houses

Photo by Juko Martina (Flickr)

Could You or Do You Live in a Tiny House With One or More Dogs or Pets?

Robert- thank you so much for the question.Β I’m not the best person to ask because I live and work full-time in a ~500-square-foot apartment that I share with my girlfriend and an 8 pound dog. So it’s a little different.

Do you live in a tiny house, small house, RV, houseboat, or other small space with larger dogs?

Is it easy to live with several large dogs in a tiny house that’s 100-200 square feet? How much space do you really need for big dogs?

Please share your experiences, thoughts or questions on big dogs and other pets in tiny houses in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post on pets and dogs in tiny houses please “Like” and share using the buttons below. Thanks!

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 68 comments… add one }
  • Amy March 12, 2013, 8:46 am

    I have a friend who lives in a very small apartment with two full-grown Labrador retrievers. The key seems to be making sure they have plenty of time in wide open spaces outdoors. Since she has no yard, this means she spends a LOT of time letting them run around like maniacs at the local dog park, in all kinds of weather. πŸ™‚

  • et March 12, 2013, 12:04 pm

    I live happily with my 85 lb dog in our 140 sq ft home. Lots of outdoor space. We’ve lived here for almost 2 years and it works very well.

    It’s a question of personalities – canine and human.

  • D Stickney March 12, 2013, 12:19 pm

    My girlfriend and I have 3 dogs (1 golden, 1 black lab mix, 1 mix) and just moved into a tiny studio (189 sq ft, not counting 150 sq ft enclosed parking spot with storage). I often encounter people who have put no more than 5 seconds of reflection into this question, and they automatically assume big dog = big house. I find that is a very shallow analysis. Of course dogs need room to play, but how about playing in a nearby park or field (we live next to a huuuuge park which contains 2 dog separate parks among other things) ? The tiny house/studio is for calm time together, eating, sleeping, etc, not bouncing balls off the walls and bothering the neighbors. With enough time outside every day I think having furry children (of whatever species) is fine. Being in a tiny house and not having debt allows someone to work only part-time and live full time with their pets, giving them the emotional attention and exercise they need. Someone who has a huge house has (very likely) a huge debt and is forced to work all the time, so their dog is alone often, and the owner is likely not available enough (too tired after work, etc) for regular exercise. Of course these are just generalizations, but I think it shows that house size does not determine quality of life.

    • LynAnne March 16, 2013, 12:39 pm

      I have to agree w the comment here. Big dog, small house equals a great time and loving relationship if you are home to enjoy it. A large dog can and will wreck any home if he is not exercised, loved and attended. So will a small one. People don’t use common sense aquiring an animal. It’s an animal not a possession. A soul and not a thing.

      • Amy April 18, 2013, 10:27 am

        Thank you, LynAnne! If only more people understood dogs like you do. God (and dog) bless you.

    • Krysta March 4, 2014, 3:20 am

      I have to agree as well. I have been living in a 100 sq. ft. nomadic home with my Mom, 2 cats and 2 Australian Shepherds (75lb & 50lb). My home is by no means fancy- just a utility trailer with electric and a counter and 2 cabinets in the nose. Mom and I have make shifted the rest into a home (11 cu. ft. 1.6a refrigerator, glass bowl oven, induction stove top (single burner), Nature’s Head Eco-toilet, Washer/dryer combo that we hook up to a garden hose, 2 long coolers for clothes bins, 2 tables about 24″X48″, 2 computers, cat box, etc.). We need no more than a 5X10 storage locker for seasonal items (winter gear, reel mower, galvanized cans of spare food and household supplies like bulk toilet paper, etc.) One dog sleeps under each table, Mom and I sleep on floor mats- wherever we fit, and the cats always find some place to settle in (usually on me!).

      Cesar Millan once said that ‘some of the most well adjusted dogs are those that live with the homeless.’ Now that my pack is living in 100 sq.ft., I understand that statement better. In a house the dogs and cats generally had the run of the house (physically) without much quality attention given to them and with little being done outside. Now we’re forced to be outdoors more and the dogs as well, and we have to walk a lot more… filling jugs of water, hanging laundry, washing dishes outside, emptying the composting toilet, etc.- we’re in and out of the trailer all day long and sometimes can’t kick up our feet until after sundown. I find more time to take the dogs for walks too, and to teach them new things like Frisbee and hide-and-seek (it’s really hard to hide from a hound). They even have harnesses to pull my utility sled around so I can load it up with jugs of water or packages of mail and head up to the front office. People who vacation here often comment on how well behaved my dogs are; I agree that living this way permanently has allowed so much room for growth (for all of us) in so many ways. I even take the cats for walks on leashes (unfortunately spending most of 8 years indoors has taken its toll mentally- I have to work slowly with them because they scare so easily) and I put them on tie outs when working around the yard. We’re all getting more vitamin D and whatever else is needed to be healthier and happier! AND… when we were in South Dakota, we’d joke that if Mom and I get upset with each other we have to settle our differences quickly- if we didn’t one of us would freeze to death! (Living in a small space really does not allow room for hoarding grudges.) We thank God every day for teaching us to live with less and appreciate it all the more!

    • Amiche Hilligehekken August 3, 2014, 6:29 am

      LOL you write: “I think it shows that house size does not determine quality of life.” You showed explicitely how the size DOES determine the quality: the bigger the house the less quality of life, as in working hard and not enjoying and sharing with your pets for instance. πŸ™‚

  • Rebecca B. A. R. March 12, 2013, 12:19 pm

    I agree with the previous two comments, that you would need plenty of space and time outside, and it would depend on the personalities of the people and pets. I don’t live in a tiny house currently, but if I did, I know I would have 2 dogs and 2-4 inside-only cats living with me and my husband.

  • Lorraine M March 12, 2013, 4:23 pm

    I live small in a studio apartment with two huge cats and a litterbox. ‘Nough said :-/

    • debbie March 14, 2013, 2:12 am

      You need to go to walmart to get the floor to ceiling cat tree they need exersise. there 39.95 they last bout 6mths specially if there big you can also recarpet it if your handy spray adheisive and a staple gun.and all set.

    • joan April 12, 2016, 10:01 pm

      Are your cat’s indoor cats.mine has to be cause my last one got into poison and I found her dead the next day.if the neighborhood people are putting out poison I can’t let this one out however I live in a 200sq.ft.tiny house

      • joan July 9, 2016, 3:27 pm

        My house is 210 sq.ft.it is all one level.no loft.would it be mean to have a medium sized indoor cat.people keep telling e me my house to small but he has plenty of room to run around.I don’t what the problem is.any comments would be appreciated
        Joan

  • LadyTenazby March 12, 2013, 4:28 pm

    I lived in a 24′ travel trailer with 5 children and a Golden Retriever. When I was a child we lived in an 18′ travel trailer and I had 2 large dogs, my mother had a poodle, and the 2 large dogs ended up having 14 puppies…(Even I think that was a little extreme)
    Anyway, So long as you teach your dog that indoors is quiet, mellow time, and make sure to take them outside or have a yard outside for them to have rowdy, rambunxious time, there really is no problem. My golden would come in and go directly to her “spot” and she was perfectly happy to do so. She was close enough to all of us to be “included” in everything, and disciplined enough to be out of the way. We had a spot for her under the entertainment center so she was not in the walk way and she also had a spot at the foot of my son’s bed (some people would probably not want a dog on the bed) We had adjusted the shelves on the entertainment center so that her large kennel would fit in it. We took the door off once she was trained that that was her spot. She was always very happy. She had her food/water all within reach of her spot. I hope this helps. (Another travel trailer we had, we simply raised the bed and the dogs had all the room under the bed as their spot.

  • Ryan Elizabeth March 12, 2013, 4:44 pm

    I currently live in an apartment with my husband and our pets, Psycho (cat), Sunshine (cat) and Daisy (dog). Our apartment is maybe about 500 feet and we all get along just great. If and when we down size to about half that I don’t see why space would be an issue for the cats…but for my dog as long as she gets her daily recommended amount of exercise, I don’t see a problem with her living in a small space.

  • Robert Mitchell March 12, 2013, 5:50 pm

    Thank you for posting my question Alex

  • sunshineandrain March 12, 2013, 10:47 pm

    I have a 65 pound bull terrier and a siamese -mix cat in 132 to 180 square feet. Missy Sue, dog, has her bed space on the floor at the foot of my bed and a space beside the fireplace in the living area. Sumiko, cat, has her bed space at the foot of my bed and then she likes to hang out on the edge of the storage loft or beside the fireplace. We too have quiet, relax time in the house. We go outside into the fenced yard to play.

  • Campngirl March 13, 2013, 1:30 am

    I live in a 1989 5th wheel. I have no idea what the sq ft is but I can tell you it’s small. I make it work with my….ready for this….7 yes 7 dogs who range in weight from 70#’s – 100’s. I also have 3 cats!! For the cats I attached a 6’x12′ dog pen to the side of the 5th wheel outside the bathroom window side and they come in and go out via said window. I don’t allow them to roam wild because I’m in wild animal country and they would become a snack for the Coyotes, Bobcats and God knows what else is out there. The dogs have a fenced in yard and when I’m at work they are placed in dog pens so that they too are safe from said wild critters. My puppers love to be in the house with mama and so for the most part they are on the couch, laying on the floor or in my bed. They all pretty much sleep in the bed with me and it makes it very cozy in the winter time πŸ™‚ In the summer time I will leave the door of the 5th wheel open since I also have a screened in room on the side of the 5th wheel where the door is. A lot of people think I’m nuts but my fur-babies are my children and so we make it work. My oldest dog will be 14 years old in May and my youngest will be 5 this year πŸ™‚

    • sc March 14, 2013, 1:52 am

      What??? my g0d, campngirl you need to post pictures or a video on youtube!

      • steve March 16, 2013, 3:52 pm

        Yes, I want to see pictures. I have 3 cats and one very large dog and I’m looking at adopting another dog…I would love to sell my home and build a tiny/smallish house. The pets have been my major concern. My cats are inside only, and the pen you described sounds great. Thanks πŸ™‚

      • Campngirl March 17, 2013, 11:30 pm

        SC, I have a picture of all my dogs up in the bed but have no idea how to post it here πŸ™‚ I took it cause my friends wanted to see too πŸ™‚

    • Jody March 16, 2013, 11:13 am

      Thanks for posting that info! I am moving to my tiny house in May and have a very large cat who loves to run through the apartment/house whatever I am living in! I don’t let her outside and when I move will be near the woods and don’t want her roaming around. I have considered an outside pen of some sort to let her out in but am not sure how to fashion it so that she can’t get out! I am also on a very limited budget, have any ideas? Thanks and I envy you with all the wonderful animal family you have.

      • Campngirl March 17, 2013, 11:28 pm

        Jody, what I did when I lived in a ‘real house’ was when it was being built I had them put in a dog door in the bedroom wall and then I bought a dog pen. I used the 3 of the panels to create the pen and anchored it to the wall of the house. The 4th panel I put on top for a roof. I had a kitty condo out there a litter box and they loved to be able to go outside whenever they wanted and I knew they were safe from anything that might want to eat them πŸ™‚

    • Helen March 21, 2013, 4:59 pm

      How did you manage to do this?! Where are you located? I’m amazed! I, too, have 7 dogs and because of them I’m still stuck in a brick and sticks house. I have an old travel trailer that needs renovation that I would love to get set up for the road but money is my problem right now. Are you in a trailer park near a forest….hence, the wild critters… or what? I’d love to hear how you’ve managed all this!

  • debbie March 14, 2013, 2:01 am

    If I ever can afford a tiny house.It has to be big enought for my 3 kittys I thought the lusby might be big enought.but I need room for a spring loaded floor to ceiling cat tree.and 3 boxs so maybe a modifyed version.they do need to run and case each other. I may be able to put a litter-box in the loft.but buddy cant get up there,He can hardly get up in bed He is a 26pounder. So do you learn at the workshop how to coustomise

    • CiCi March 16, 2013, 1:33 pm

      I, too, am still in the infancy stage of planning and contemplating how in the world we would be able to transition with our fur’kids. We had 2 large kitties but just recently, were given charge of 2 more by a family member. Holy moley, right? We already live in an apt, so it’s a challenge but I’ve been tinkering with ideas for modifications and add-ons… One plan I’m pretty solid on is building the patio a bit modified to be screened in with a built-in bench with the box inside. (I actually got the idea for this specific one I have in mind from Pinterest.) for the other side of the patio, I plan to build or place a large cat tree. Inside, I am considering doing cat-walk shelves and possibly building an enclosed “catiary” with a gangway connected to a window.
      It’s a challenge trying to plan with pets in mind, I think. But they’re the ones who enrich our lives the most, just behind our family. So it’s a happy labor.

  • Trish March 16, 2013, 11:31 am

    I live in approximately 400 square feet + loft with 5 dogs–from a big lab down to a mini schnauzer–plus a parrot and a cat. We have lots of outside space, and each dog has his or her “place” when they are inside. No problems!

  • mingling ideas March 16, 2013, 1:01 pm

    We lived in 23 ft Class C RV with 3 dogs, ranging from 35 pounds to 65 pounds. Besides making sure they had a lot of time outdoors we found it critical to have a designated bed and feeding spot for each. Then we trained them to go on command to thier designated space when we needed to do a task such as cooking. This worked for us for the nearly 3 years we lived and worked in the RV and the dogs loved spending 24/7 with us.

    ing. This
    provided a way for all of us to

  • Victoria March 16, 2013, 2:27 pm

    There is a video of someone’s tiny house where the front porch has two benches, the bench on the left you lift the lid and it is shoe storage. The bench on the right, you lift the lid and you have the kitty litter box. They have trained their indoor only kitty to use a kitty door which goes from inside the house into the bench which is fully insulated so the kitty can use the litter box year round. I thought this to be a brilliant idea.

    I am building a tiny house and I have two medium 25# dogs. I am framing in a doggie door to the enclosed porch so they can go outside sit in the sun or shade. I’m hoping my landlord will allow me to put up a small fence so they have a potty area off the porch, I clean up after them really well. I live in the country so have a big field for them to play in, sometimes I take them to the dog park in town for socialization.

  • Jerry March 16, 2013, 11:49 pm

    For some of us, it isn’t even a question, what’s life without our furry little companions?

  • Swanee Owen March 17, 2013, 9:13 am

    All of the comments here seem to be from pet owners so I thought I would make a comment as a non pet owner who loves tiny houses. The one thing that everyone hasn’t considered is how will having pets in a tiny house affect guests in my tiny house? I can tell you immediately that anyone with dander allergies will not want to visit you if you have dogs or cats in such a small space. Unless you are obsessive compulsive about cleaning your tiny house a it will convert form a tiny house to a very large dog house . Even if you bathe your dogs they still smell like dogs and with 3 in a space that small I doubt your non pet owning friends will be thrilled about visiting .Unless your dogs
    are trained to stay off your furniture it will smell like dogs too. As a person who has purchased and remodeled 9 homes for rental income I can say with certainty a house that has had large animals inside sells for less because of the smell as well as the damage to the floors. In some cases considerably less. We all know dogs don’t wipe their feet and cant open the door if they get sick to go outside to the bathroom. would you wnat to buy a house where people never wiped their feet and had accidents on the floor? my guess is no. Also, maneuvering around large dogs in a tiny space would make that space uncomfortable to me. I say stick to small dogs or preferably no dogs at all in a tiny space and make sure you keep them clean. As for cats and birds, it’s the same. You have to be obsessive about cleaning in a small space or it will stink. And just so everyone doesn’t get in an uproar because they think I’m an animal hater let me quote my veterinarian ” God gave big animals fur , thick skin and a complex sweat gland system because they are meant to be outside not on your sofa.” Before having an animal in a small house I would ask myself am I really a neat person? Do I want visitors to feel comfortable in my house? And last , Do I want to make sure I get top dollar for my tiny house when I get ready to sell?
    Love the tiny house movement and I really appreciate all the hard work Alex puts into it keeping all of us informed!

    • billy March 17, 2013, 9:57 am

      i don’t have any friends and when we sell the house we won’t call you. peace. billy

      • Swanee March 17, 2013, 10:16 am

        No offense Billy. I know people get sensitive when it comes to pets but you asked so I told you based on what I’ve seen from my experience buying and selling small houses. Wasnt trying to insult you . All of my friends have dogs, I dont because my husband has severe allergies to animal dander. It’s just a fact when it comes to resale dog damage lowers the price. Ask any realtor and they will tell you a tiny house is a hard sell by itself because the average person doesn’t think outside the box and cannot part with their belongings. I’m just saying its something to consider to get your best resale price. Plus, I can’t believe anyone who’s opened minded enough to consider tiny house living doesn’t have any friends! Hope tiny living works out great for you!

        • Angela March 19, 2013, 8:11 am

          Dogs can be trained to do most anything. We had a GSD when I was growing up, he was trained to stop just inside the door when he came in and we wiped his feet. If we didn’t wipe his feet right away he would just stand there until we did. So dirty feet shouldn’t be a problem. I agree that you need to be more vigilant cleaning when you have pets.

        • Lynn April 20, 2013, 8:40 am

          I understand what you are saying and I believe it to be true. However, there always seems to be a price to pay in life for living the way you want to be living. It’s far better to be happy with my animal friends than to get top dollar for my home if I move. It’s a no brainer for me and worth the price I will pay.
          I like people too but I will not live my life the way my friends want me to if it infringes on who I am. We’ll have to do lunch somewhere or sit outside at my picnic table or patio.
          When we move in to our house we will make sure that our Boxer/Lab, Gabe, has a nice space outside as well. He loves to be outside.
          We also have a cat that comes in and out as she pleases. We are in a semi-rural area having a couple of farmers as neighbors.
          The house we’ve lived in for 31 years and raised 4 children in is 768 square feet. We’ll be moving into a 476 sq. ft. home.

        • breid1903 March 3, 2014, 3:50 pm

          swanee. i apologize i was being a smart ass.

          peaceup raz

        • Swanee August 3, 2014, 11:45 am

          Apology accepted!

    • Mary March 19, 2013, 2:09 pm

      Thanks, Swanee. You are so right. I have two hypo-allergenic pups and even though they have less scent than regular dogs and do not shed at all, I can detect the effect. My cat allergy is so bad that I can tell if a cat has been in an empty rental or home for sale. I just turn around and walk away. It does not surprize me that loners have dogs. It keeps people away from them. Maybe they don’t realize it, but I rather think they like that. I know I do. I also know that if I turn over my tiny home, I will need to empty and repaint it all over. No carpet in my home, but if there was, it would be removed upon exit.

    • Elayne January 21, 2014, 3:39 am

      I would like to address you answer if I may.First, I wouldn’t have a vet that would say that big dogs need to be kept outside.There are quite a few breeds of dogs that may be large,but can not take weather extremes.My vet tells me that pets are our companions,as such they need to be inside with the family to interact with us.
      The second issue is the cleanliness of the home.Yes you need to keep your home clean when you have pets,no doubt about it.You also need to do the same when you have small children in the house,or are care taking for the elderly, etc.The fact is that I find people stink by far worse than pets.Your pets can only do so much to keep themselves clean,then they depend on the owners.People can go and take a shower as they wish.When trying to sell a house,it is always preferable to remove said pets from the premises and do a total paint job along with a complete top to bottom cleaning.That would remove any scent unless the owner has allowed things to sit on carpeting.If so the carpeting needs to come out when you have pets no matter what.I will not have carpet in my home.There is just no sense in it.I know that no sooner than I put it in,one of my animals will vomit or potty on the brand new carpet.No way I’m messing with that.Quick and easy clean ups for me all the way.Really its no different than a cigarette smoker trying to sell a home.Your gonna have to clean EVERYTHING to be rid of the odor. Plus I know that I’m looking for my tiny house to be my forever home,not something I want to build then sell off,but thats me.

      • coffeewitholiver August 2, 2014, 4:34 pm

        I think Swanee makes valid points for people up in the air about having pets in a tiny space. Of course, people who love their critters already know all this, and have chosen to live with a furry family despite any “issues”. I know I have. In fact, my own tiny home Oliver’s Nest is named after my wonderful (and very sadly deceased) little black kitty.

        Not having carpet is important. That stuff gets nasty even without pets ~ I won’t have it in any home of mine. When you don’t have to deal with that, deep cleaning and repainting is an effective way to rid a home of dander etc. Damage of course, needs repair whether in a Tiny Home or a large one.

        Friends with allergies will have a problem no matter if you live in a large home or small. In fact, it’s easier to get a small space clean than a large one….so there’s an argument *for* a Tiny Home!

    • sgmaps August 2, 2014, 8:25 pm

      sgmaps=I wouldn’t be too anxious to quote your vet, pets can certainly spend a certain amount of time outside every day for exercise & fresh air, but I think the question here is why do you have pets in the first place if you are just going to keep them outdoors & if the resale value of your house is more important than the companionship of your pets than you shouldn’t have pets in the first place. As for visitors feeling comfortable in my house, it is my house & my pets live here, get used to it. If you want to come to my house, be aware that I have pets & if that is a problem for you than don’t come to my house.

      • Swanee August 3, 2014, 11:44 am

        Sgmaps, actually the question here is not why do I have pets in the first place if I’m going to keep them outside (if you read the post you will see I don’t have pets at all) and secondly since your home is your largest investment I would certainly be concerned about resale . Life changes. A tiny house may suddenly not be enough room when you find out your wife is pregnant with twins. My concern is getting top dollar for anything I sell. Part of the whole tiny house movement is finacial freedom. If I can sell what I own quicker then the next guy then I’ll be ahead. Condition is always a factor in anything you sell. I’m not saying I hate dogs . I was just making my point that animals can make a difference in resale if you don’t work hard to keep your home clean and damage free.

  • MsDawn March 17, 2013, 4:38 pm

    I do dog rescue and live in a 16×24 cabin. I share my cabin with 6 to 10 dogs of all sizes at any given time. Exercise and love them. Have firm boundries. It works for me.

  • sue brittain March 17, 2013, 6:30 pm

    I find that my black cat, with a cut off ear, is more accepting of humans then most humans are of him or me. So as far as I’m concerned – I’d rather buy a animal smelling house then one from a human who’s personnality stinks

  • Robert Mitchell March 17, 2013, 7:06 pm

    It was I who asked the question in the first place an Alex graciously posted it, My main reason for asking the question is because I have a service animal that is used with our police force across Canada she is trained as a police dog her other two companions are being trained as search and rescue dogs I live in a very mountainous region where people go missing all the time the typical response time to get any kid of search dog in my area is minimum 7 hours, my tiny house is for my comfort when we are working in the woods and so my animals can have a stable environment, in order to do what they do best. My animals are more then just pets they save lives, but our comfort is what we need in order to do the best job that we can, I do understand about the reselling of any home after having pets but I’m sure with adequate training and maybe a little touch ups here and there, the tiny house could be made like new again. It is good to see that there are others out there that do live in the small spaces with their pets…Thank you all for the terrific responses to my question

    Rob

    • Stacy B. June 27, 2014, 2:09 am

      Rob,
      Thanks for asking thus question! It was what I was wondering about, because I also have a SAR dog and am looking to downsize so I can spend more time doing what I love with my dog. I’m thinking about a tumbleweed style tiny house, and my pup sleeps next to me, so I was worried about getting her out of the loft. Dogs can learn ladder ascents easy enough, but the descent is a lot to ask, so we’ll have to look into slanted stairs.

      The only other question I have is temperature regulation for the animals while the humans are off on bipedal pursuits. Does anyone have feedback on safe ways to keep the tiny house at a reasonable temp in the really hot or really cold?

      Cheers!
      Stacy B.

  • Alice Huff March 18, 2013, 2:44 pm

    When I lived and traveled in an 18′ camping trailer I had a 40lb. & 12lb dog. They stayed for the most part outside, as did I, but at night or on rainy days they chilled out either on the floor or in bed/couch with me. Later I added a cat. One advantage I had was neither dog was a yapper or agressive. They adapt very well and seemed to love the extra closeness and attention. I might add…don’t leave just cooked stuffed peppers on a counter where even a small dog can get to.

  • Cindy July 16, 2013, 3:31 pm

    We recently moved from a 3,000 sq. ft. home to a 1,100 sq. ft. home and have 11 Alaskan Malamutes that live inside full time. We have 2 small yards (we do want a bigger home eventually) but for now it’s working. I have a tiled porch where all their beds are and they take turns rotating between the main part of the house, outside in the yards, or in their crates (nap time!). It works…though the hair sometimes is a bit much and I hate muddy days. I would suggest tiling everything you can for ease of maintenance, even some walls. That was the smartest thing I’ve done to this little house.

    • Alex July 16, 2013, 4:19 pm

      Thanks for sharing Cindy! That’s a lot of doggies but sounds like you’re in good company πŸ™‚

  • Faenwyn March 3, 2014, 1:36 pm

    I think it depends on the pets too, just this week my son and his girl friend ‘traded’ their German Shepard for 2 of the smallest dogs I have ever seen. They traded with a family member who needed an outside dog, so at least they still get to visit.

    That poor German Shepard was going crazy in that tiny RV, that big ole dog bounced like a Jack Russel Terrier and would run from one end to the other, tearing stuff up as she went. They didn’t have a fenced in yard and no matter how much they walked her, it was never enough because she was just a high energy dog. I joked that she was a Chihuahua trapped in a German Shepard body.

    All dogs have their own personality and some are just not a good fit for a small space.

  • Aleksandra March 3, 2014, 3:43 pm

    Hey, everybody! I am from Serbia and I follow this site on everyday basis. I simply can’t miss this topic, since I had discussion with my friends recently about the same thing. Here, in Serbia we love animals and nearly each household has at least one pet (mostly dogs). We are poor and live in small places. But, I can’t see that our dogs are complaining. The only thing that matters is that dog is well looked after, regularly walked and loved. When animals are calm and happy, it doesn’t matter where they live. My golden (Peggy is her name) runs a lot outside, but in the house she mostly sleeps (in one of our beds). So, I honestly believe that animals do not need large house, what matters is how much attention they get from us.

  • Alex Cadle March 3, 2014, 5:50 pm

    I have lived for a little over two years in a 400 sq foot home with a 50 pound Dalmatian and a 130 pound English mastiff. While it’s not always easy I’ve found that doing simple things like always keeping their toys in the bin and building a table with enough overhang still allowing me to work or eat on, but still to hide their kennels works very well. They both have a lot of room to run, I have about two acres in Pennsylvania, but they are always very happy to be inside. The fact that my mastiff is a lap dog doesn’t hurt either, because I’m used to having him constantly on top of me.

    • Alex March 3, 2014, 6:07 pm

      That is awesome, thanks for sharing, Alex! Your mastiff sounds great.

  • Doc March 6, 2014, 1:08 am

    I say yes to the pets! You can do anything you set your mind to, so can your pets. I had a Sheperd that also was trained to wait at the door until he was wiped off from rain, snow or mud. First his body, then he would lift each foot. That was in a big house, so it doesn’t matter the size of the house, you still have to be clean with your pets.
    Our daughter and family, one husband, one son, one bull mastiff (120#), one american bull dog (110#) and until recently one cat, all live happily in about 400 sq ft. They do just fine. All need time outside to run, and the dogs do too! Proper exercise and they just sleep and eat inside. Some inside play but quietly.
    My wife and I live in about 900 sq ft and have 4 cats. Unless you see them you wouldn’t know. We clean hair as needed, scoop litter twice daily from 2 boxes, but more importantly have an air purifier we wouldn’t be without. Not only does it remove odors it kills germs on hard surfaces and precipitates allergens of all types to the floor. Clean, yes. Guess what? That’s even easier in a tiny home. Much easier than in my old large home.
    So, Robert, yes, the dogs will get on fine in your tiny home and so will you. Dogs are den animals. A tiny house is just a Lange den. That’s why they hide in their crates when scared. Tiny house=large crate. Enjoy!
    Your dogs do great work! Thanks for having them.

  • coffeewitholiver August 2, 2014, 4:14 pm

    I haven’t yet gone through and read all the comments, so this may already have been said, but there is no reason to not have larger pets in a tiny space. The important thing is giving them time outside, either in a safe (enclosed?) space or on a leash with you.

    They adapt, at least most do ~ kinda like us folk! It is really great if they can have a little spot to call their own, maybe tucked into a corner under shelving? My biggish pup will have his own space in the sitting room, and I’ll be able to close him out of the bathroom/closet area for when I’m getting dressed.

    We are living in a teeny tiny truck camper while I’m building my tiny home Oliver’s Nest. I find that getting dressed/ready to go is the hardest part of living with him for now. He simply has no place to go to get out from underfoot, and it worries him greatly, as well as tripping me constantly. So since it’s summer, he’s basically living outside full time. If we aren’t in our new home by the start of nasty weather, he’ll come back inside and we’ll make do again.

    Parker

  • Sarah August 3, 2014, 9:58 am

    Cats a re a little different but I’d like to move into a tiny house eventually with my cat and get more cats. I’ve been reading up on their needs and my plan is to “decorate” with shelving and tunnels and a cat run along the top of the walls and cat trees, instead of pictures and things. Then a couple of litter boxes. With cats, if they have the vertical space they won’t miss the horizontal space. And I don’t mind my house looking the The Cat’s House (book). My cats are strictly indoor.

  • liz August 3, 2014, 10:57 pm

    I am still in the design stages..Heading to Deek Dickerson’s workshop next week! excited! I have an Umbrella Cockatoo(large parrot) who is happiest when she is climbing all over me or is right by my side. I think she will love life in a tiny house as opposed to the 3000 square feet I have now where I am usually not visible to her. I did a travel nurse assignment for 4 months this past winter. We share a bedroom and she LOVED having me there when she fell asleep and woke up. I plan on building her a small loft opposite to my large bedroom loft. It will have a large custom cage, a window for her to look out and talk to passers by and a curtain that I can pull closed when its time for bed or a time out. I think most pet owners can gauge how well their little bundle of love will tolerate close quarters and ways to make it work.

  • Sarah August 4, 2014, 4:38 am

    Hello! My husband and I live on a 250 sqft narrowboat in London with our about 80lb Golden Retriever. The golden has lived in small apartments or condos most of his life but has just recently moved to the boat and loves it! The small space is just fine as long as you head outside a lot, as all the others have said.

    The biggest obstacle we had in being in a boat compared to a small condo was the boat heating up in the summer. A boat, and I would think many tiny house, are a lot like giant cars. So we had to get a portable air conditioner to keep him cool and safe when we have to leave him during the summer days. Also for the winter, see if there is a local shopping spot that you can go to for some inside love and entertainment that is not outside.

    Good luck!

  • Joe Brown August 7, 2014, 6:58 pm

    My concern is having stairs instead of a ladder that the dog can climb up to share the sleeping quarters. I’ve only seen one design that featured that.

  • Patricia September 23, 2015, 8:47 am

    I never really had a long experience with big dogs in my condo as I only have a cute pug. I once looked after a friends Saint Bernard and it didn’t cause any problems for me. As long as they don’t move around much, there are some breeds of dogs that just lay there and so relaxed. Though my condo is not that small, I think it can accommodate a few big dogs, as long as they’re not the type that’s too energetic.

  • Hannah October 19, 2015, 12:12 pm

    My fiance, 5 yr old son and 6 medium sized dogs live in a 576 sq ft apartment. It was once my parents two car garage but when jobs were lost and we had no where to go it was our saving grace, we’ve chosen to continue to live here. Before the move I rescued heelers. We came here with six and we love it! They range in size from 35-60 pounds. We also have them created at night. What I can say, from experience, walk, walk, walk. And then walk some more. Tired dogs are good dogs and if they’re anything like mine, they’ll sleep anywhere.

  • Melshin October 27, 2015, 6:55 am

    I have a persian cat and a labrador dog in my house, it doesn’t matter how big or small is your house for as long as you have the time to bond with your pets, like going outside.

  • joan July 9, 2016, 3:19 pm

    My house is 210 sq.ft.it is all one level.no loft.would it be mean to have a medium sized indoor cat.people keep telling e me my house to small but he has plenty of room to run around.I don’t what the problem is.any comments would be appreciated
    Joan

  • Tasha Ghozali January 12, 2017, 11:55 am

    I live in a 33′ fifth wheel trailer with 3 slides, around 350 square feet. We have four dogs. A husky, a boxer pointer mix, a puggle, and an Australian shepherd beagle mix. We have pretty much designated the loveseat as a dog bed. We also took out our dinette and used the space for a cozy 42″ dog crate with pillows, toys, and blankets. We also have a cat, but she barely takes any space at all. Her litter box is tucked in a corner and she sleeps on the loveseat with the dogs, or on our jackets top of the crate πŸ™‚

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