8 Pet-Friendly Home Features Pet Owners Prefer
According to 2021 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, almost half of occupied housing units (63.8 million) have at least one pet. And a recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey shows that consumers spent more than $100 billion on pet-related expenses in 2021, far exceeding other categories.
As pet ownership continues to rise, so does the demand for homes that cater to the unique needs of four-legged companions. From fenced yards to pet-friendly interior designs, the emphasis on creating a harmonious living space for both home owners and their pets is reshaping the concept of an ideal home. The integration of pet-friendly features not only enhances the quality of life for home owners but also presents new opportunities for builders to meet the diverse needs of today’s home buyers.
According to NAHB’s What Home Buyers Really Want, here are a few home features that play a crucial role in attracting pet owners and influencing their home-buying decisions:
- Fenced Yards: Many pet owners prioritize homes with fenced yards, providing a safe space for their pets to roam freely.
- Gardens and Landscaping: Pet-friendly landscaping, such as a well-maintained lawn or a garden, can be an attractive feature.
- Pet-Friendly Flooring: Durable and easy-to-clean flooring materials, such as hardwood, tile or laminate, are often preferred by pet owners.
- Built-In Pet Spaces: Features such as built-in pet beds, feeding stations or even designated pet rooms can be a draw.
- Easy Cleaning Features: Homes with features that make cleaning up after pets easier, such as mudrooms, pet washing stations or homes with minimal carpeting, can be appealing.
- Pet-Friendly Entryways: Features such as mudrooms or side entrances that make it convenient for pet owners to clean and care for their pets before entering the main living spaces.
- Pet Monitoring Systems: The integration of smart home technology, such as pet monitoring systems or automated pet doors, can be an appealing feature for tech-savvy pet owners.
- Space for Future Additions: Some pet owners might be interested in homes that offer the potential for future pet-related additions, such as a pet-friendly addition or the ability to install a pet door.
Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington, NAHB assistant vice president for forecasting and analysis, provides more details — including important community features to consider — in this Eye on Housing post.