According to a January 2016 article in REALTOR Mag (http://realtormag.realtor.org/home-and-design/feature/article/2016/01/power-pets), the number of homebuyers who want pet-friendly residences is climbing. And with close to 50 percent of U.S. households owning at least one pet, it’s not surprising more homebuyers want to accommodate their four-legged family members.
Of course, a pet-friendly residence isn’t limited to a fenced yard or easy-to-clean interior surfaces. Consumers are often demanding products and features that not only cater to their pets, but to the consumers’ lifestyles and aesthetics. From simple conveniences to luxury amenities, some of the items consumers are looking for include:
- Integrated feeding stations that slide into cabinetry when not in use.
- Built-in kennels and beds, often concealed in public areas of the home.
- Specialty areas for litter boxes, food storage, and accessories.
- Installed dog doors, including retrofit units like the Deluxe Aluminum Pet Door by Ideal Pet (www.idealpetproducts.com), and units with electronic key tag technology that stay locked until the pet approaches.
- Half-height pocket doors for keeping dogs in or out of specific areas (a great feature for families with small children as well).
- Washing stations and pet showers. For mudrooms with space, a dedicated pet washing station makes it more convenient to bathe pets and keeps the mess out of family bathrooms.
- Indoor/Outdoor enclosed runs for cats or dogs. These constructed spaces allow pets to enter and exit the home at will, but much like a screened porch, protect pets from the elements and prevent them from leaving the safety of home.
- Raised catwalks. Most cats love to climb, so some cat owners have created custom spaces in their homes to give their felines space to run, play and perch above the main living spaces. Check out this YouTube video on HouzzTV for an example (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okOVxfuSYPk)!
- Built-in aviaries and aquatic systems. While most built-in pet amenities are for dogs and cats, some bird, fish and reptile enthusiasts have opted to include home features to make their feathered and scaled friends more integrated into the family space.