Pet-Centric Home Design
Pet ownership continues to rise in the United States with dog ownership at an all time high. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 57% of households owned a pet at the end of 2016 with 38% of households owning more than one dog. As younger generations are leading the growth trend, it does not appear pet popularity will decline anytime soon. At the same time, today’s pet owners are more likely to treat their pets as part of their family, which often leads to spending more money on their pets. Not surprising, this has spilled over to home design.
According the American Institute of Architects’ Home Design Survey Q2 2018 report, 20% of respondents reported an increased popularity in pet rooms and indoor kennels. This is up from 4% in 2017.
Here at AFT Construction, we have experienced this same trend in a few of our recent Scottsdale home builds with our clients incorporating a dedicated pet room or a pet washing station into their home design. Installing a pet washing station can be a fun addition that adds convenience, is time saving, and may even provide cost savings by eliminating or reducing the number of professional grooming services. For your beloved pet, doing the washing yourself can be less traumatic that hauling them to a groomer. If space allows, incorporating a more robust dedicated pet room can add additional benefits such as better organization.
There are many different ways to design and incorporate a pet washing station. The first step is determining the best location. One of the most popular locations is the laundry room. What makes the laundry room a sensible location is that it already has plumbing, is generally designed with water-resistant flooring such as tile, and is often located near an entrance such as the garage. Being near an entrance helps reduce the amount of dirt that is tracked through your house.
Once you decide the location, you can start designing the station and tailoring it to your needs. Factors to consider are whether you want the actual wash station to be floor level or elevated so you are not bending over to wash. If you choose to elevate your station and are unable to lift your pet up, make sure you plan for how you are going to get your pet into the shower/tub such as having a detachable ramp or adding stairs.
If you want a simple, fast solution, you can buy and install a premade washing station. These are often times stainless steel stations that are similar to what you will find at a professional groomer. However, a more aesthetically appealing (and fun) approach is to design your own. This can be as simple as selecting a shower wand, deciding whether you want just a shower pan or also a tub, and then choosing some tile that compliments the room’s décor. If you want to go all out, there is a wealth of inspiration online of how to incorporate features such as storage, hideaway stairs, etc.
A pet washing station is not the only pet-centric element to consider when designing your home. Other things to consider include:
- Durable flooring that is resistant to scratches and holds up in high traffic areas
- Pet doors that allow your dogs to go outside on their own using a collar sensor
- Incorporate a window seat or piece of furniture to allow your pet to look out windows
- Stain resistant carpets, rugs, and fabrics
- Incorporate a “pet den” into lower level cabinetry
- Utilize tile flooring at entrances for easy clean up and durability
- Storage space for pet supplies
As pets are increasingly being considered members of the family, more and more people are incorporating pet-centric elements into their homes – many of which can be incorporated at minimal extra cost while adding comfort and convenience.