BUILDING Pet-Friendly HOMES
The open concept kitchen/living area is something almost every family is requesting in a new home today. They also want functional storage in every possible location. And a luxury master suite on the main floor. Builders take all this and much more into consideration when designing floor plans for new homes. They seek to attract buyers through offering homes that are designed according to latest style trends and include the popular amenities.
Photo courtesy of Wood-Mode
Photo courtesy of Wood-Mode

One important aspect that is often overlooked when designing homes is the huge number of families who currently own household pets. Sixty-eight percent of U. S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). Tim Wall of PetFood Industry reported in April: “Pet ownership, in general, is up and the Survey shows a new generation of pet owners contributing to that growth. Gen Y/Millennial pet ownership has officially surpassed Baby Boomer ownership by three percentage points to now account for 35 percent of all pet owners.”

Owning a pet has a lot of benefits. It helps keep people in shape, can result in lower blood pressure, and brings smiles

to their faces. Research indicates that pet lovers consider their furry friends to be valuable members of their families. This humanization of pets has developed in owners a deep concern for their pets’ wellbeing and a desire to pamper them. Pet owners wish to lavish the same creature comforts on their 4-legged companions in their homes that doggy daycare centers provide. They want to lovingly accommodate their pets’ needs and desires.

In reality, though, homeowners tend to purchase their new homes without taking these needs into consideration. After the fact, they become frustrated when they realize they have neglected to include basic essentials, such as a convenient place to bathe and groom their pets. As a builder, you are in the perfect position to help pet owners achieve their desires from the get-go. You can incorporate into the overall floor plans for your new homes many thoughtful design features that offer not only convenience and accessibility for homeowners, but also for their beloved pets.

Questions to Ask Potential Clients

Here are some questions you can discuss with your potential clients, once you have established the fact that they will be bringing pets into their new homes:

1. Where will your pets eat and drink? Homeowners need

to avoid letting food and water bowls become a tripping hazard, yet make sure they are convenient to refill.

2. Where will your pets’ food be stored? The food should be organized and protected, yet easy to serve.

3. Where will you store your pets’ collars, leashes, toys and clothing? Homeowners need to organize these items so they may be located quickly and prevent clutter.

4. Where will you groom your pets? Consider ergonomic solutions that work for both the homeowners and their pets.

5. Where will your pets relax during the day and sleep at night? Provide a comfortable spot for each activity, especially if the homeowners want to keep pets off the furniture.

A luxury pet retreat can be located in a separate room near the back door, or it can be placed in a corner of a mudroom. An exterior window that extends to the floor affords pets endless bird and squirrel watching possibilities, as well as a perfect place to snooze in the sun. On an overcast day, a radiant