The latest home design trends are going to the dogs

By Marilyn Lewis
This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet.

Some eras are defined by bumper crops of new babies, like the 1980s and ’90s, when baby boomer parents birthed the millennial generation. Today, a new twist: We’re in an era of pets — dogs in particular. Sixty million U.S. households have a dog, and dog ownership grew 29% in the last decade, according to a recent survey from the American Pet Products Association.

Pet-crazy millennials, now ages 18 to 34, lead the pack, say pet products researchers, who keep a keen eye on dog demographics. And they spoil their pets. From calming shirts and fashionable attire to supplements and allergy-free organic foods, pet owners will go to just about any length for their beloved “fur babies.”

The next phase in extreme pet pampering? Entire communities and custom-designed home features dedicated to the physical and emotional well-being of canines.

Read on to see how architects, designers, home builders and remodelers are adding dog parks, dog concierges, built-in feeding stations, home elevators and more to make sure dogs — and their owners — feel right at home.

1. Buying and remodeling with dogs in mind
Eighty-one percent of respondents in a National Association of Realtors survey said they’d take their pets’ needs into account in choosing their next living situation.

Fences, dog doors and laminate flooring are the most common pet-friendly improvements Americans make to homes, the NAR adds. In Sacramento, national home-building firm Taylor Morrison shows buyers how they can modify some floor plans to add a pet-washing station in the laundry room.

2. Sacramento’s a dog town
In the Sacramento, Calif., area, home builder Taylor Morrison has 15 communities. Most of its home buyers are dog owners, leading the company to design dog runs, built-in dog beds and other dog-friendly options that can be added to its properties. Aren Bazzocco, Taylor Morrison’s Sacramento division president, lives in the Calabria community in Newcastle, Calif. For the family’s Shih Tzu, Chloe, they added an outdoor pet-washing station and a laundry room dog door that opens onto a fenced exercise area with synthetic turf and a concrete walkway.

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