Axios Twin Cities
November 18, 2023
🐾 Today's issue is going to the dogs, because we can't get enough of the custom spaces we're seeing for pets these days.
Today's newsletter is 770 words — a 3-minute read.
1 big thing: 🚿 Pet-pampering home design
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.
Zoom in: "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.
- She painted rows of triangles on the walls, using rulers and "lots of math."
What they're saying: 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.
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.
The latest: The global market for pet accessories is expected to reach $55.4 billion by 2030, 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.
2. 🐾 Who's being pet-fluenced
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.
Zoom in: Unmarried couples were the most influenced by their pet's needs when buying a home, per the report by the National Association of Realtors.
3. 🐕 Our best hack
👋 Torey here, with an affordable, game-changing home upgrade for dog owners with a fenced-in yard.
- When my husband and I started house hunting in 2018, one of our top wish-list features was a yard that we could fence in.
Why it mattered: We had a very large and very active golden retriever. After five years of living in apartments in New York and the North Loop, we were ready for a break from early-morning and late-night potty walks, especially in Minnesota winters.
Yes, but: Once we moved in, we discovered a hiccup to this aspect of homeowner life: The dog wanted to go in said yard all the dang time.
What we did: Spent about $300 on a new storm door with a dog flap and installed it ourselves.
Reality check: It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. More access to the yard meant more trampling of grass, digging of flower beds, and, occasionally, more barking.
The bottom line: Kirby, now 11.5, uses his dog door every day and loves running around the fenced-in yard. To us, that's worth it.
4. ✨ A sweet setup to go
Woodbury homeowner Tim Olsen had a closet company install a custom nook for pups Chase and Sunny.
How it works: The toe-kick drawer slides out to reveal the dogs' bowls, and the others are loaded with shampoo, leashes, treats and more supplies, he tells Axios.
5. 🏠 Your success stories
If you recently bought a home, we want to hear how you navigated this wild market.
- Did you take advantage of a mortgage rate buydown?
- Score a deal on a house that sat on the market for weeks?
Email [email protected] or hit reply with your name and hometown. We might feature your insights in an upcoming newsletter.
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We're grateful for your trust and continued readership.
🦴 Sami is saving Koda a seat at Thanksgiving.
🐶 Bri is ironing Roy's tux for holiday paw-ty season.
Thanks to our editor Ashley May and copy editor Bill Kole.