A pet can be the perfect companion, but when choosing the right animal, you need to realistically think about how much space you have to share. Dogs, cats, hamsters, and even larger animals like alpacas or pot-bellied pigs all need their freedom. But how much square footage that actually requires will vary. While we won’t go into all the details today, we will share some basic rules of thumb for pet ownership.
It’s a well-known fact that all baby animals are absolutely adorable. But don’t let their size fool you! Puppies, especially, will only stay that way for a short amount of time. So, what seems like a good-sized room for a 10 lbs. puppy will quickly grow undersized as that same dog reaches 50, 60, or 70 lbs. From a mathematical standpoint, you should be able to add 6 inches to the length of your furry friend, and transfer that to square footage. So, if you have one dog that’s about 3 feet in length, you’d need a minimum room of 10 square feet dedicated to your pet. Keep adding onto that number for each additional pet you decide to adopt. Obviously smaller pets like birds, fish, hamsters—and even cats to some extent—won’t require as much space. But you should still ensure that they have more room, as opposed to less, to exercise.
As a responsible pet owner, you want to make sure your furry friends have enough space to play both inside and outside. Especially if you’re planning on keeping your dog/cat/etc. outdoors for extended periods of time, you need to provide ample room for them to roam. There are many dog owners with limited access to yard space who manage just fine, but they maintain exercise is the key ingredient—not square footage. If you’re currently living in an apartment or small home, then you need to budget enough time to get outside with your pet. Depending on the age and energy level of your dog, you may need to spend a few hours walking and playing with them each day. If you can’t commit that time in your schedule, then you should create an outdoor play area for your pet(s) that’s fenced in for security. Most animals will actually benefit from time outside, so don’t limit these interactions to just dogs.
To better protect your pets, friends, and neighbors, have a plan in place! Whether it’s with barriers and/or cages inside, or a full-yard fence outside, it’s important that you keep everyone secure. Fencing is a great option, especially for larger breeds, since it allows them the freedom to stay outdoors—even when you can’t be there alongside them. For larger, more exotic pets (like alpacas, goats, or pigs), they’re a necessity! We can help you construct a fence best suited to your pets’ needs, once we know what we’re working with. Even inside, it’s a good idea to dedicate a specific room or area, so when guests come over your animals have a place to go.
If you know your pet, then you should know what they need to be happy. More energic animals will obviously need more room than other lethargic breeds. If you notice problems like destructiveness or whining, then listen to your furry friend(s)! This is their way of telling you they need something more. We can help you create a dedicated space—inside or out—that your dog, cat, gerbils, etc. will all love. Call us today to get started!