Here at La Casita a surprise was in store for Cedric this holiday season. A young Corgi pup named Asher Bear was my gift to Cedric for Christmas and now we are adapting to tiny house living with an adorably fluffy, tiny being! It’s quite the learning experience, both enriching and challenging and well worth the extra effort! So far, we’ve found the transition from two to three quite smooth and La Casita is proving to be just as nurturing a space as a big home can be.
People have asked us about having pets in a tiny house and many seem skeptical of the possibility. I believe many things you can do in a larger home you can creatively accomplish in a tiny house. For me, this means tweaking my lifestyle and asking for help. Over the summer a friend of ours house sat La Casita and he owns a 50 pound dog. Rather large for the size of our house but with a little help from our community it worked out beautifully. We put Zach in touch with a friend and neighbor who had just lost her dog a few months back and was more than happy to dog sit during the day while he was at work. That way, Ani-dog was able to have a larger space to spend the day and both human and pooch had much desired company. It was a great compromise that worked for everyone and is one example of how you can make having a pet in a small space work for your tiny lifestyle.
As with any pet purchase, it’s important to seriously consider what creature best fits personal lifestyle and, for dwellers of tiny houses, the animal’s adaptability to living in a small space. Cedric and I thought long and hard about a dog. We’d been looking at breeds and talking about potentially have a pup for over 2 years. We selected a breed for size and personality as well as a breed whom we’ve lived with in the past. We always knew a small to medium sized dog with plenty of energy would best suit our lifestyle. We are active people who enjoy biking to the park, kayaking the marshes and going on walks after dinner. We wanted a pet who could enjoy these activities along side us. We knew Corgis need lots of outdoor time so we felt that we’d be able to meet the breed’s need for activity and in terms of size it wouldn’t outgrow a tiny space as s/he moved in to adulthood. So far, La Casita has proven a great environment for Asher since it pushes us daily out of our home and into our community. It allows us to assist in his socialization but there’s still enough space in our home to invite over friends for puppy parties which are great fun.
We’ve made little adjustments to our home space with the exception of a few dog toys scattered about, shoes stored off the floor and a kennel that fits snugly under our built-in seating in the bump-out. We found a kennel that not only fit perfectly in our home but that fits our dog nicely as well. It’s right by the door, so easy access for pup and us as we stumble outside during housebreaking sessions at 3:30 in the morning! If we are leaving the house and can not bring him with us, we keep him kenneled but only for a couple of hours at a time. Although the house is tiny and there really is not much to get in to, we don’t want to run the risk of him getting in to trouble and for a curious pup like Asher, that’s easy enough to do!
Our tiny home allows us the financial means to afford a pet as well as the quality time to give a new puppy. Since we have minimal rent that includes utilities, we are able to budget for a pet. We are also able to split our time in order to meet Asher’s social and physical needs. Cedric works seasonally and while not on bike tours he works from home so he has ample time over the winter and summer to care for a pup. As a substitute teacher I often work 8 to 5 but have time off, such as 2 weeks at Christmas, to spend quality time with Asher. Thanks to LaCa it’s possible for Cedric to keep the schedule he keeps and allows me to work full-time, part of the time. It’s a great schedule for a young dog who needs lots of attention and we love the flexibility the tiny lifestyle affords us.
There are certainly drawbacks to owning animals in tiny dwellings. One is pretty much our pet limit. La Casita will not hold any more living beings comfortably so unless we place our home on a farm, we won’t be able to accommodate any more pets. Although, a tiny house atop lots of land is looking more and more appealing to us. City dwelling and puppy raising is much more of a challenge than having lots of space immediately out the front door to frolic in! All in all, it is proving a doable task that brings more play and fun into our daily life and living environment here in La Casita.
- Do you think pets are doable in a tiny house?