Published at Monday, April 01st, 2019 - 06:11:36 AM. Home Decoration. By Aili Otto.
When you talk with clients looking to find the right house, condo, or apartment, you probably inquire about their cooking and entertaining needs, how important outdoor living is, and whether elderly relatives may move in someday. But theres another question that savvy real estate professionals should pose: Are pets part of your family equation? In more and more cases, the answer is yes. In the American Pet Products Associations 2017–2018 National Pet Owners Survey, 68 percent of U.S. households owned a pet, which works out to about 85 million families. Ownership is up from 56 percent in 1988, the first year the survey was conducted. While 48 percent of all households now own dogs, 38 percent have at least one cat. Fish, birds, reptiles, small mammals, and horses represent smaller numbers.
Home layouts can also be optimized so animals can comfortably hang out with their human owners. Spring Creek Designs Smutko found that she and her husband were constantly needing to walk around their 60-pound German shepherd, Tess, in the kitchen. When the firm redesigned the room, she requested a larger aisle between the work island and sink. “We wanted Tess to be with us, but without being stepped on,” she says. She selected a hard quarter-sawn floor that would withstand Tesss claws. Technology and internet-enabled products can also help. Smart cameras and lights allow homeowners to keep tabs on pets and ensure theyre comfortable when alone in the house. New electronic collars can activate pet doors so that homes remain secure. Winter Park, Fla., architect, builder, and licensed interior designer Phil Kean incorporated that technology when he designed the New American Home in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders. He also used an artificial turf called K9Grass that is designed specifically for dogs and eliminates the challenge of muddy paws and dead spots on the lawn.
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