Best Pet Options for Renters

Pet Options for Smaller Spaces

Living in a small space has a unique set of challenges, from privacy issues to storage problems.  Many renters say their number one frustration with living in a smaller home, or apartment, is lack of space.  A small living space can feel overcrowded at the best of times, and owners who want the companionship of a pet may often feel out of luck.   To help with this common challenge, we’ve assembled a list of great pets to own when living in smaller spaces.

  1. Birds

Birds can make a great pet for smaller spaces as they don’t require a tremendous amount of room. You can usually hang a cage from a ceiling, eliminating the need for use precious floor space.   Birds do require a bit more attention than some pets and enjoy being let out of their cages for a few hours daily.   There are several things to consider when choosing the right bird.   Noise and cleanliness are both big factors when choosing the appropriate bird for your home.

  1. Fish

Fish can be a great calming addition to your home.  Fish are fairly easy to take care of and most fish tanks fit on top of tables or other existing surfaces.  In many cases, a simple 5 to 20-gallon aquarium fits nicely in a smaller home.  Note that a saltwater tank needs more equipment to run than a fresh water tank so you’ll have to decide between the two if space is an issue.

  1. Rodents

Rodents can be great pets for small spaces.  There’s also a variety to choose from such as hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats.   The Hamster is a classic “go to” pet, but the downside to having a hamster is that they typically only live about 3 years. While similar in size and maintenance to a hamster, guinea pigs are typically mild mannered and are much more affectionate than a hamster.  They also survive about twice as long, usually between five and seven years.   However, the guinea pig does require more food than a typical rodent.  Rats are also very mild mannered and typically do not mind being handled.  Rats are also very intelligent and are able to learn tricks and solve puzzle toys, but they do suffer the same short lifespan as that of hamsters.

  1. Reptiles

Reptiles are also a very common type of pet for smaller homes and spaces.  Typical reptile pets include turtles, iguanas, and snakes.   Turtles have an incredibly long lifespan, running anywhere from 10 – 80 years so there’s a chance that your pet turtle might outlive you.  Turtles are also very low-maintenance and don’t require a great deal of space.   Iguanas are very beautiful creatures and are somewhat temperamental.  They have life spans of about 8 years and a low to medium maintenance but require quite a bit of space to keep them comfortable.  As for snakes, depending on the species they can live up to 50 years in captivity and require a diet of live animals so the maintenance factor is fairly high.  However, snakes do not require a great deal of previous space in a small home.