Nov 18, 2023 - Economy

A "dood cave" and dog showers: Americans seek more pet-friendly homes

Data: National Association of Realtors; Chart: Axios Visuals

Nearly one in five recent homebuyers say they factored in proximity to parks and the vet when picking a neighborhood, according to a new report.

Why it matters: Pet owners are increasingly eager to cater their homes to pups, cats and other companion animals.

Driving the news: Searches for "pet bedroom" on Pinterest rose 132% from October 2022 to October 2023.

  • There was also a surge in searches for other pet-friendly designs, including dog shower utility rooms and DIY cat patios, according to data the platform shared with Axios.

What they're saying: Willmar, Minnesota, goldendoodle Artie has a "dood cave" stocked with toys, family photos, a ball pit and a tunnel.

  • "I had an extra room to spare, and with long winters, I thought it would be fun to create a space for Artie and us all to play," owner Britta Diem tells Axios.

The big picture: "We definitely have to take [pets] into account. It's not an afterthought," says Nathan Kipnis, founder of Kipnis Architecture + Planning, based in Chicago and Boulder, Colorado.

  • "It's a member of the family, really."
  • Clients often bring "typed-out lists" that include a pet wash or built-ins to conceal food and water bowls, Kipnis tells Axios.
custom dog shower and crate
A Chicago dog oasis. Photo: AJ Brown Imaging, courtesy of Kipnis Architecture + Planning

The latest: The global market for pet accessories is expected to reach $55.4 billion by 2030, according to a new report.

  • Pet furniture is also expanding. Next year, pet product company Fable is launching a large version of its minimalist dog crate, which is made with wood (instead of plastic) and can double as a side table.

The big picture: A growing share of consumers view pets as family members, Jeremy Canade, Fable co-founder and CEO, tells Axios.

  • Pet lovers "are looking for the same things they look for in their own products: quality, function and sustainability," Canade says.

The intrigue: Dogs can even get in on the sharing economy. Rental marketplace SniffSpot lists private dog parks in over 5,000 municipalities nationwide, founder David Adams says.

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