Approximately 63.8 million (49.6%) of the 128.5 million homes in the United States have at least one pet, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey. And many of those pet-friendly households want features in the home that help keep their pets safe and happy.
Dogs are the most common pets, with one or more dogs found in 49 million U.S. homes, while 28.2 million households have one or more cats. Other common pets include fish (4.9 million homes), birds (2.7 million), small mammals (2.7 million), and reptiles (2.5 million).
The desire for pet accommodations in the home creates an opportunity for home builders and remodelers who are willing to meet those needs. Think about it: How many people with Labrador retrievers have dreamed of having a dedicated entrance to a dog-friendly mudroom where they could more easily clean their pet and consolidate pet-related accessories?
Design Ideas for Pet-Loving Homeowners
That’s just one example. The National Association of Home Builders’ most recent “What Home Buyers Really Want” survey series offers a broad range of design ideas that will satisfy the needs of millions of pet-loving Americans:
• Many dog owners want a home with a fenced yard that provides a safe space for Buster to roam.
• Dedicated mudrooms for pets have become increasingly popular. Side entrances also make it easier for pet owners to clean and care for their pets before they enter the main living spaces.
• Many households want features that make it easier to clean up after pets. In addition to mudrooms, this may include pet washing stations (42% of buyers say these are essential or desirable in a home) and pet-friendly flooring.
• A well-maintained yard is another feature that both pets and their owners can enjoy together.
• A growing number of pet-positive households want a home with built-in pet beds, feeding stations, and rooms designed and dedicated to pets.
• Smart-home technologies, such as pet monitoring systems and automated pet doors, make it possible for pet lovers to interact remotely with their favorite fur babies.
A recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey found consumers spent more than $100 billion on pet-related expenses in 2021. That’s serious money, and it demonstrates how much households are willing to spend on their pets.
Pet ownership is on the rise, and so is demand for homes that meet the needs of our animal friends. From pet monitoring systems to dog-friendly entryways, the emphasis on fun, safe, and convenient living spaces for humans and their pets is continually influencing consumer preferences in home design.