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Small Space Big Dog: Can This Be A Win-Win Situation?

There are no surprises when it comes to the love dogs and humans share. However, not a lot of people are fortunate enough to live in a big home with a backyard where their furry friend can run freely. Many people live with the misconception that sharing a smaller space or an apartment with a bigger dog may come off as cruel, but with the proper care for the dog and regular exercise, everything is possible.

Dogs are very resilient and adaptable to many situations, and while living in a small space with them may be a little challenging, it doesn’t mean you and your friend will be less happy.

Hey, who knows – maybe it can even be beneficial!

Here is some advice on how to make your and your dog’s life more bearable in these situations.

Small Space Big Dog, Can This Be A Win-Win Situation

Can You Live in a Small Space with a Big Dog?


This single item is central to enjoying a happy life with a big dog in a small space, whether you live in a studio apartment or a small house.

Simply put, a tired dog is a happy dog!

Veterinarians agree most large breeds are happy to live in whatever square footage you possess as long as you’re willing to satisfy their need for physical activity.

Living in a small space with a big dog can be challenging if you don’t let them exercise regularly – all dog breeds, especially the big ones are usually energetic and have to spend their energy somewhere.

You probably know how much exercise is best for your big furry baby.

While some need an hour of vigorous, heart-thumping activity every day of the week, others are content with a leisurely walk in the park only to return home to their favorite chew toy.

Small Space Big Dog, Can This Be A Win-Win Situation

Keep him occupied inside

While daily outdoor activities are a must, you can’t just leave your pooch on the couch and expect them to just sit and wait for dinnertime.

Choose some toys that you believe will keep them occupied for longer periods of time, all the while they can use up a little more energy inside the house.

You can also avoid any furniture destruction at that (especially if the dog is going through that annoying teething phase).

Avoid dog toys or treats that are likely to be ripped apart or easily consumed.

Small Space Big Dog, Can This Be A Win-Win Situation


If the condition in which you live is critical, and by that we mean you’re tripping over your dog, all the while he’s tugging things over with his wagging tail, it’s time for the good old-fashioned decluttering of your home.

What does that mean?

Get rid of stuff you no longer need and make room for movement in your own home.

You can make donations, sell something or simply get rid of it, and your pooch will be grateful for having more room.

A simple solution like a storage unit can solve all your problems, especially if you want to put away some things you don’t need right now until you move to a bigger place.

That way you can make room for personal space for your pooch, and they will be a happy camper.

Small Space Big Dog, Can This Be A Win-Win Situation

Stick to routine

Dogs are creatures of habit like humans are.

You can set up a schedule that includes time outside, feeding time, exercise, and playtime, and keep the same schedule every day.

Your dog will soon catch on, and once he understands the routine, chances are excellent he won’t make a mess every time you leave.

If you can’t leave work for a midday walk, hire someone to do it for you – you can’t expect the poor pooch to hold it for 8 hours or more.

Another excellent solution is to ask your employer to let you bring your dog with you to work.

Of course, if it’s allowed, you’ll have to follow the company’s guidelines, but your mind will be put at ease because your dog will be safer with you.

Small Space Big Dog, Can This Be A Win-Win Situation

Final thoughts

Almost any dog, regardless of size, can be happy anywhere if the owner is willing to satisfy the animal’s needs.

That means that running or a game of fetch lasting for at least half an hour a day is imperative.

Apartment living is not cruel – it’s only cruel when people don’t take care of their pets the way they should.

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April Monty

Sunday 27th of August 2017

These are some super pointers for the person who is limited on space.


Sunday 27th of August 2017

Good comments and suggestions to help make dogs and their people comfortable with smaller living spaces. I do think the key is making sure the dog gets a daily walk.

Debi H.

Sunday 27th of August 2017

I agree that space isn't necessarily the issue but making sure they can exercise and use up some of that energy. I only work part time but I still try to take my dog for a walk before I go to work. ...depending on the time of day. If we don't walk before then we go for one after I get home.

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