Tips for keeping pets in smaller homes
Not all of us can afford spacious properties with large gardens. But, that does not mean we cannot harbour our furry friends comfortably within our tiny homes. "Pets are a huge part of making a space feel like home. However, if you do have a smaller space, you should make sure your property is located near a park or a beach, or is within a safe neighbourhood where you'll feel comfortable to let your cat roam around freely and take your dogs out for regular walks," says regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett.
Goslett suggests a few other things homeowners can do to make their tiny homes more pet-friendly:
Install a pet door
"For security reasons, it's not ideal to install a pet door on your front door unless you live in a well-patrolled security estate or have a security fence around your property. However, if you have even just a small outdoor space in the back of your property, installing a pet door will allow your pet some extra space in which to roam around during the day and is safer than leaving a back door open while you're at work."
Create a pet corner
"According to our research, dogs generally feel more at ease when they have their own dedicated space. This is easier to achieve in larger homes where there is space to spare, but it can be tricky to find such a spot in smaller spaces. Consider tucking a pet bed underneath the staircase or renovate some cupboard space to create an open pet station where one might otherwise have installed a shoe rack - just be sure to gain permission from your landlord if you're renting the space."
"Keeping pets in smaller spaces can lead to your home developing a rather strong pet odour. Be sure to keep your space well ventilated throughout the day. “If you feel uneasy about leaving a window or two cracked slightly open at all times, install burglar bars so that you're able to keep some air flowing through the space. You will also have to clean regularly to ensure that the pet smell never becomes too overbearing." Goslett reminds homeowners that it is often not the size of the home that makes pets unhappy, but rather the quality of life that their owner can offer them. "Provided you spend enough time with your pet and allow them to get fresh air regularly, most smaller breeds won't mind being kept in smaller spaces. I would just suggest that you check with your vet to make sure your living space is adequate for the needs of your specific pet," he says.