Nov 18, 2023 - Real Estate

"Dood cave," music rooms: Twin Cities pets live in pampered homes

a goldendoodle sitting in a blue bedroom full of toys
Artie's room. Photo: Courtesy of Britta Diem

Willmar goldendoodle Artie has a "dood cave" stocked with toys, family photos, a ball pit and a tunnel.

Why it matters: Artie's dog mom is part of a cohort of pet owners who are increasingly eager to cater their home 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: "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," Artie's owner Britta Diem says.

Zoom in: Retiring Minneapolis City Council Member Lisa Goodman hired a contractor to build a dog wash in her basement.

  • A removable faucet and stairs leading up to the bathing area are key so she doesn't have to pick up Milli, her 50-pound English sheepdog poodle mix.
  • "If I use it extensively, it would pay for itself over time, because I had been going to places where I washed my dog myself, in addition to grooming, several times a year," Goodman tells Axios.
custom dog closet storage area with built-in crates
Chase and Sunny's space. Photo: Courtesy of Tim Olsen

Woodbury homeowner Tim Olsen had a closet company install a custom nook for pups Chase and Sunny. The toe-kick drawer slides out to reveal the dogs' bowls, and the others are loaded with shampoo, leashes, treats and more supplies, he says.

Such spaces can also be therapeutic. Ralph Bernstein's rescue dog, Helen, is blind and "can be dog-aggressive, which means that she can't share living space with our other two dogs," he says.

  • When they moved into a new house, the Bernsteins set aside a lower-level bedroom for Helen, featuring a dog door out to the patio and a dedicated music player for the jazz-loving pup.
Data: National Association of Realtors; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: National Association of Realtors; Chart: Axios Visuals

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.

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.

Go deeper: Dine out with your dog at these three Twin Cities restaurants

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