How Much Space Does My Pet Need?

Pets, like people, often need their personal space to rest. Otherwise, they may take out their frustration on other people or animals. Pets need enough room to move around easily and comfortably. 

If you need to figure out how much space your beloved pet will require, Clearly Loved Pets is here to help! We can provide tips on how much space various types of pets need because we specialize in making comfortable, safe pet pens for dogs, guinea pigs, and other adorable pets.

Guinea Pigs

Most people assume guinea pigs don’t need much space because they are relatively small pets compared to dogs or cats. Guinea pigs require much more room to live a healthy and happy life. Guinea pigs need considerable space for a nest, bathroom, feeding, and water.

There are several factors to consider when looking for your guinea pig's ideal cage. The most crucial element is the enclosure's total size. Your guinea pig’s health can suffer if the pen isn't large enough. A guinea pig needs 7.5 square feet of living area. 

Our Recommendation for Guinea Pigs

If you have a pet guinea pig, we highly recommend the Clearly Loved Pets 27" Medium Lucidium Pen. Its 48” x 48” design gives your guinea pig a total of 16 square feet of real estate, which is more than double what experts recommend. The clear panels let your family interact with your guinea pig throughout the day, and the drop-down bar for the door provides easy walk-in access when you need to replace bedding or handle your pet. Also, you can fully customize the pen in any shape needed to fit into your living space.

Rabbits

When selecting an enclosure for your rabbit, ensure it has enough area to bounce around and spread out. The rabbit will feel uncomfortable, bored, and agitated in a house that is too tiny because it will resemble a little jail cell. Also, your rabbit’s size can make a huge difference in what size pet pen you need since two-pound Netherland dwarf rabbits need less space than Flemish Giant Rabbits, which rival the height of some small dogs.

For most common house rabbits, you need an enclosure that provides at least 8 square feet of space for your rabbit to live and an additional area of 24 square feet for daily exercise [1]. The enclosure must have walls at least 30” tall to prevent your bunny from jumping out. Additionally, rabbits should not live in an enclosure with wire flooring because it can be rough on their feet. 

Our Recommendation for Rabbits

If you have a pet rabbit, we highly recommend the Clearly Loved Pets 36" Medium Lucidium Penor 36” Large Lucidium Pet Pen. The medium pen’s 48” x 48” design gives your rabbit 16 square feet of space, and the 36” tall panels will prevent your bunny from jumping out while the large pen provides 24 square feet. None of our pet pens include wire flooring, so your rabbit’s precious paws will be safe in our enclosures.

Teacup Dogs (under 17 inches)

Teacup dogs don't need much room because they get by with little exercise and strolling. They simply require a small area outside for a daily stroll and otherwise like remaining indoors.

For example, the Yorkshire Terrier falls in the teacup category. As one of the tiniest dog breeds, most Yorkies only reach 6-7 inches. As a result, a small and compact environment would adequately accommodate these little dogs. 

According to the US Department of Agriculture, you can use this formula to determine how much space your teacup dog needs [2]:

  1. Measure your dog's length in inches from its snout's tip to the end of its tail
  2. Add six inches
  3. Square the amount 
  4. Divide the amount by 144 

Once you have that total, you can choose a pet pen that meets these requirements.

If that seems like a lot of math, don’t worry. Since teacup dogs must be 17 inches or less in size to meet the “teacup” requirement, you can assume they need around 4 square feet of indoor space. 

Note: This is the size recommendation for their indoor enclosure living space. You must still give your dog time to exercise on walks or in open areas like a backyard.

Our Recommendation For Teacup Dogs

For teacup dogs, you can easily buy the Clearly Loved Pets 27" Small Lucidium Pen, and meet the requirement of 4 square feet of space. This pet pen is ideal for people who live in apartments or other tiny homes because it doesn’t require a lot of floor space but still provides adequate living space for your little dog. 

However, if you’d like space for a larger pet bed and other items, the 27” Medium Lucidium Pen also works well for teacup pups.

Small Dogs (30 lbs or less)

Several small dog breeds can thrive in urban environments. The most significant consideration for these pups isn’t their size compared to their living space but their energy levels. Many small breeds, like Jack Russel Terriers, love to run and play. They need a larger enclosure to enjoy their toys and feel space to roam.

That said, small dogs sleep in small, enclosed places. They feel safe in these spaces and appreciate having their enclosure to retire to at night. 

As we mentioned with the teacup breeds, you can measure your dog and do the math to determine its exact space requirements. In most cases, small dogs need at least 9 square feet of space, sometimes more.

Our Recommendation For Small Dogs

The Clearly Loved Pets 27" Medium Lucidium Pen and 27” Large Lucidium Pet Pen are great options for small dogs. The medium pen provides 16 square feet of space, while the large pen offers 24 square feet of real estate. Most small dog breeds cannot jump over the panels, so the 27” inch height is a good fit. 

Since these pens are a modular design, you can customize either of these pet pens to fit into the space you have within your home. They also provide enough space for toys, a dog bed, and other pet accessories.

Medium Dogs

Medium dogs are larger than small dogs, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they are more active or need large enclosures within your home. As long as you have space outside for them to get in plenty of daily exercise, they only need a space to relax, sleep, and stay safe inside the house. 

However, unlike small dogs, medium dogs will be naturally taller, meaning they need pet pens with more height. They will also need more space than small dogs to lie down, so you will want to account for that. At a minimum, you will need a pet pen with at least 9 square feet of space, but ultimately about twice that size is a better estimate.

Our Recommendation For Medium Dogs

We highly recommend the Clearly Loved Pets 36" Medium Lucidium Pen or 36” Large Lucidium Pet Pen for medium dogs. These pens will give your dog 16 or 24 square feet of space, and the 36” tall panels will keep your taller dog enclosed. Remember, these pet pens are not made for aggressive, rambunctious dogs — you still need to give your dog time and space to play and run around. 

Kittens

Whether you live in a one-bedroom condo or a home with six bedrooms, kittens don't need that much space. However, they do need a secure area that is comfortable, temperature-controlled, isolated from other animals, and easy to clean.

For the first few weeks, as your kitten grows, you should restrict it to one area. This can be especially important if you are caring for an entire litter of kittens, because they need to stay close to mom for nourishment and to learn everything they can about being a cat. You’ll also find it easier to teach a young kitten how to use the litter box if you confine them to a small area.

Our Recommendation for Kittens

The 27” Small Lucidium Pet Pen will work fine for your tiny feline if you have a single kitten. If you have a mother cat and a litter of kittens, we recommend the 27” Large Lucidium Pet Pen so there’s adequate space for multiple kittens to walk and play. The 36” Large Lucidium Pet Pen can help to increase the amount of time you will be able to contain the kittens before they can jump out - this size is very popular for those who foster kittens.

Keep in mind that as kittens grow, they will learn to climb and jump. Our pet pens will likely not serve as a way to enclose cats once they mature. However, if you have a cat and a dog, the pet pen can provide a way for the cat to separate from your dog or vice versa.

Adult Cats

Cats don't need the kind of space you'd think they do. It's reasonable to believe that your cat will want as much space as possible, but they are more concerned with the arrangement of your home than with space. However, cats love to hide and have a “zone” to stay within [3]. Since cats enjoy climbing and hiding, you will want to furnish your home in a way that allows this.

Our Recommendation for Adult Cats

While healthy adult cats can jump out of our pet pens, cats love our HeartFelt Cat Beds because they provide a cozy space to hide and nap. These pet beds can go anywhere in your home, and the variety of color options means you can find something that goes with the aesthetic of your house.

Give Your Pets The Space They Deserve

Your pets deserve plenty of space within your home. They also deserve comfort and security. Luckily, you can provide all of this for your sweet four-legged friend with a pet pen from Clearly Loved Pets.

Our pens keep your pets safe inside your home while ensuring they feel included in the family. The clear panels allow you and your pet to see each other regardless of what you’re doing at any given moment. Also, the modular, aesthetically pleasing design ensures that our pens look great in any location inside your home.

Visit our online shop to see all of the size options available so you can decide which Clearly Loved Pets pen will work for you and your furry friend. If it turns out that you get a second pet, don’t worry! Just expand or reconfigure your modular pen with a Universal Kit and enjoy your new family member!

References

[1] https://rabbit.org/care/housing/

[2] https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/downloads/canine-care/minimum-space-requirements-for-dogs.pdf

[3] https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0223492

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