Dog showers and cat stoops: Chicago pets live in pampered homes
This custom Skokie shower boasts dotted tiles, hinged glass doors and an attached crate for one lucky pup.
Why it matters: Pet owners are increasingly eager to cater their homes to dogs, cats and other companion animals.
Zoom in: "We definitely have to take [pets] into account. It's not an afterthought," says Nathan Kipnis, founder of Evanston-based Kipnis Architecture + Planning.
- "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.
The big picture: 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: Chicago homeowner Marci Grunert landscaped her front yard with pea gravel and river rock, which are easier on her dog Oscar's and the neighborhood pups' paws.
- Jenny Carney's two cats can keep tabs on birds from a shelf she installed under the window of her home's back door.
- Mr. Chips, a white cat "especially annoyed by being inside," uses the stove as a ramp onto the perch, says Carney, who tells Axios that black cat Lucy sometimes gets a turn, too.
The latest: 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.
- Unmarried couples were the most influenced by their pet's needs when buying a home, per the report by the National Association of Realtors.
The bottom line: A growing share of consumers view pets as family members, Jeremy Canade, co-founder and CEO of pet product company Fable, tells Axios.
- Pet lovers "are looking for the same things they look for in their own products: quality, function and sustainability," Canade says.
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