Pets Perfect for Small Spaces

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OK, so you’ve been eyeing your friend’s terrier forever and you’ve decided that it’s time for you to bring one of those little tail waggers home for yourself. Well, congratulations! There’s nothing like having a mascot—the sound of muffled scuffling and scratching at your front door can’t be beat at the end of a long day. And you’ll be providing a home for an animal that thrives on human companionship and care.

But, hold on! Your pet doesn’t have to be a dog. If you’re given a thumbs-down on your canine companion by your apartment management, you’ve got to narrow down your search to those animals that do well in small areas. Let’s examine your options.

What’s the First Step?

First, check with your landlord or management office about the rules regarding pet ownership. Some landlords or rental managements flat-out forbid pets, while some are thoroughly pet friendly. Once you know the parameters, you may proceed to…

Make a list of the pets you CAN have in your small dwelling. Did your landlord say you can’t have cats because he’s lost too many window shades to their shenanigans? It may not be easy to turn your back on cat ownership if you had your heart set on one, but there are still plenty of other animals you can house.

Look at our list of animals especially suited to small abodes. Do any appeal? Make a short list of possibilities. For instance: birds, chinchillas, geckos, frogs, fish, and toy breeds of dogs. There might be additional restrictions. For instance, perhaps you’ve been warned that snakes, even the harmless kind, won’t be tolerated.

For ideas, visit your local pet adoption centers. Do your due diligence and find out the cost of adopting, spaying, chips, etc. If a species appeals, do research on the specific care involved.

Pets Suited To Small Spaces

If the animal is on this list, then chances are it’s OK to bring into your small apartment. This means that other pet owners have given the green light on this pet for a small space, and your landlord or apartment manager shouldn’t have an issue with your keeping these animals as pets: rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, ferrets, fish, and birds.


If your landlord doesn’t balk at their high activity level and sharp nails, great! Even those things are manageable. Buy your kitty a scratching post and make sure she has toys to chew on to cure her of any destructive habits.

Small Dogs

Keep in mind that a few dogs suited for small apartment living will tip the scale at a bit over 15 pounds, but if your would-be pooch is ample in size, mention other positive attributes about the breed to your apartment manager.

A few dog breeds you might consider: chihuahua, cavalier king charles spaniel, dachshund, french bulldog, shih tzu, xoloitzcuintli, terrier, tibetan spaniel, pug, poodle, maltese, lhasa apso.

You’ll know your new little furry or feathered friend when you see them!


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