Are they a good idea?
by m.j. boyle
According to the Humane Society, 62% of all US households have at least one pet and in 2012 more than $50 billion dollars (yes, with a “B”) was spent on their care.
Do you have a dog? Then you have a lot in common with the 47% of the population who own one.
Prefer a more mild-mannered companion? The number of cat owners reflects, rather amusingly, that we are as likely to own a cat as a dog; since 46% of us do.
If you’re thinking of downsizing, and moving into a tiny house you probably have a pet. And given that 82% of you also have children, this makes the decision just that much more complicated. Where will they all sleep? Eat? “Go”? We worry about all the little details of their lives. It’s no wonder why so many of us refer to our pets as “our children”.
I am an animal person. I love them all. I have owned and raised horses, cats, dogs, gerbils, hamsters, parakeets, goats, chickens, geese, ducks, rabbits, and even raised pigeons for a time. Given, however, my currently hectic raise-kids-work-build-tiny lifestyle I only have two cats now. One is mine, and one is my daughter’s.
A cute little gerbil in a tiny little sweater…
I guess you could say that having animals in my tiny house is a given. I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn’t have at least one, and I sincerely appreciate the “life” they add to a household.
So, where will they all sleep? Eat? “Go”?
Litter Box or Yard? – From the start of my tiny house design, I thought my litter box would hang on the outside of my tiny house (envision a “removable” shed) and accessed via a cat door. But, as the design has morphed, I recently discovered that I have enough space under one section of the stairs to add a litter box there. Easier to clean and access. Yay! And even though my cat loves the outdoors, he won’t “go” out there. So, an indoor litter box it is. Sometimes I think about getting another dog. (my 13 year old Golden Retriever died last year) And while the where-to-go decision is obvious (aka outside) I have to admit that having marmoleum flooring in my tiny house makes the idea of having another dog closer to a reality. Carpets and dogs (and especially puppies) don’t mix. Accidents happen. And, dare I say, wood floors don’t always fare well either. Continue reading