If you have a pet, chances are you love them like a regular human family member. Sometimes maybe even more, but that’ll be our little secret. Loving your pet means making sure they’re happy and healthy, so naturally, you’re going to do whatever you can to maintain their health and well-being. What if you live in a smaller space like a tiny apartment or even a tiny house? There could be the natural concern that your pets could go stir crazy in confined spaces. Mainly because part of their natural instincts are to run and play a lot, especially when they’re young. Exercise and play are so important for cats and dogs because they have so much energy. You could even see some adverse effects when your pets don’t get enough play time in. No matter where you live, you can make sure that your furry family members are content.
Here are 7 ideas to keep your pets happy in a smaller home:
1. Outside Time
Both cats and dogs need outdoor time throughout the day, especially if they’re cooped up in a small home. For indoor/outdoor cats, you could install a cat door for them to come in and out during the day depending on your living arrangements. You could also do this for dogs as long as you have a fenced in yard. Taking your dogs for a walk at least once a day for an hour will be very important, or more if you can. If you’re out at work all day, another option is to hire a dog walker to walk your dog while you’re at work or come home to walk your dog on your lunch break. An option for indoor only cats is to build them a small protected outdoor area that they can enjoy, or bring them outside on a leash, but be sure that you supervise this at all times to prevent accidents.
2. Play Time With You
Playtime is extremely important for both cats and dogs. Your pet needs play to wear off some of their energy, and they need to bond with you as well. Get your pet some cool, non-toxic toys and play with them whenever you can. This should be fun for you too and will also bring you a ton of enjoyment as well.
3. Indoor Toys
There are so many great indoor toys for pets these days from scratching posts to chew toys. These toys will be the ones that can keep your pet happy if you’re busy doing something else or you’re off at work during the day. Again, make sure that they’re non-toxic toys, so they’re healthy for your pet. For cats, things like scratching posts, balls, and string are great. For dogs, chew toys and balls are a good option. You can also make some DIY toys.
4. Sleeping Space
Create a safe, comfortable sleeping and napping space for your pet and designate it to be just for them. There are so many nice pet beds out there, and there are even ones you can make out of recycled materials. This could be by your bed or in the main area of the house, or even both. Use nooks and corners in your smaller space that otherwise aren’t used.
5. Meal Time
Just as your pets need a special place to sleep, they also need a designated eating space too. For smaller places, this could be in any little nook of the kitchen area, by cabinets or in a tiny house on wheels, under the stairs. Just find a place that they feel safe to eat in where they won’t be bothered. Here are some neat food station ideas from Buzz Feed.
6. Private Litter Box
This one is for the kitties. A private space for your cat to do their business is a must. Whether it’s in a closet that they have constant access to, or a nook under a set of stairs that’s easy for them to access. You can also turn a nice wooden cabinet into a private litter box. Here are some awesome DIY litter box ideas from Apartment Therapy.
7. Love Them!
This one’s a no-brainer. Of course what matters most is that you love your pets and give them a lot of positive attention and reinforcement. Treats are always nice, petting them and cuddling with them are awesome too. Anything you can do to make your pet feel loved and cherished!
So as you can see, it doesn’t really matter what size of home you live in; you can make it work for your fur babies so that they are the happiest they can be.
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