A Look at the Growing Trend of Dog Friendly Home Design
With pet ownership at an all-time high, more and more people are thinking about how they can create a pet-friendly home environment. To many, this may simply mean using hardwood floors to prevent dirty carpets, using stain-resistant fabrics, and bathing their pet often to prevent dirt transfer within the home. Some dog owners though, and even cat owners, take this a couple steps further.
Consider Mario and Julie Greco of Chicago, IL. They set out to accommodate their five dogs when they built their 6,600-square-foot, Tudor-style house. The house was oriented to maximize yard space, and they used a system of internal doors to keep everyone in their own area. They even added a custom-built washing station featuring heated stone floors.
Architect Chris Walsh, who designed the home for the family, stated “Pretty much any time a design issue came up it was, ‘How is it going to work with the dogs?’“ He actually consulted his dog-groomer brother-in-law for advice on how to best satisfy the Greco’s brood, which includes two Bernese mountain dogs, a shepherd mix, a Shih Tzu and a Pomeranian. Mr. Greco, a real-estate broker, says he spend about $3 million building his Chicago home.
The Greco’s are not the only family with a focus on dog friendly home design. Studies have shown that many Americans are delaying getting married and having children until later in life, which may be correlated to the increase in pet-ownership. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), in the U.S., 68% of households, or 82.5 million, included at least one pet in 2012. Spending is hitting highs as well. In 2012, $53.33 billion was spent on pets, up from $41.2 billion five years prior. As a result, architects, builders and interior designers say there is increasing demand for pet-centric spaces that are outfitted with everything from “dog spas” and grooming centers to lounge areas and rooms with pet-size furniture.
The good news is you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money to focus on dog friendly home design. Dog owners can visit sites such as Pinterest.com for great, affordable, pet-friendly home ideas. For example, one homeowner created a door-less dog bed niche in an unused cabinet of their laundry room. Another family re-purposed an old dresser to hold their dog’s toys, leashes, bathing products, and treats. There are many great options for owners to create a more dog friendly home design.
Many families today are treating their dogs as family members. However, it’s important to remember that no matter how well behaved and acclimated to family life a dog is, they still have the potential to bite. This is why it’s imperative for dog owners to be covered with Dog Bite Liability Insurance. At the Federation of Insured Dog Owners, or F.I.D.O., we offer the Covered Canine Policy, which will protect you should your dog bite and individual and cause harm. Please contact us for more information at (855) 534-6495.