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    A shower just for your dog is the new home status symbol

    A puppy spa within a Highland Homes property, complete with a dog wash station.

    Courtesy of Highland Homes

    From high-quality food to top-notch healthcare, pet owners want the best for their furry friends.Some homebuilders are adding tubs and showers just for pets — and buyers are intrigued.Adding pet amenities helps homebuilders stand out in a sluggish real-estate market. 

    For many people, their four-legged friends aren’t just pets — they’re family.

    Many pet owners spare no expense for their furry friends, whether investing in high-quality food or custom-built habitats. Each year, Americans spend billions of dollars to ensure their happiness and well-being.

    While healthcare and food constitute the majority of pet owner expenses, a new trend has emerged: dedicated pet wash stations.

    These built-in showers, exclusively designed for bathing and showering animals, are becoming a common feature in many newly built homes nationwide.

    They often look like human showers or tubs but include specialized features. For instance, some have a low-profile entryway that allows dogs to enter and exit easily without requiring owners to lift or bend excessively. Some have shower heads with extended hoses for better reach and flexibility.

    Depending on the level of luxury, pet wash stations can cost homeowners between $400 and $2,000 to DIY, according to home-maintenance site The Spruce. Recognizing the demand for this amenity, many builders now include them in their newly-built homes.

    The materials that will be used in a pet shower being developed by Highland Homes.

    Courtesy of Highland Homes

    Homebuilders are now catering to dogs and other pets in their designs

    At last week’s National Association of Real Estate Editors conference, Sanju Surtani, a vice president of sales at homebuilder Highland Homes, told a crowd of attendees that pet wash stations are becoming more popular as builders design homes to cater to “multi-species living.”

    “One in five households acquired a pet during COVID, so we are creating designated areas for furry family members,” Surtani said. “We’ve got spotlight showers and living spaces for pets. This is something that’s now being integrated into utility spaces as well.”

    Feelings of isolation and yearning for companionship arose during the pandemic, prompting millions of Americans to welcome a pet into their homes. This trend has persisted even as the world recovers, with adoption rates remaining high. According to data from the American Pet Products Association, 86.9 million US households are home to at least one pet as of 2024.

    A contributing factor to the increasing number of Americans pursuing pet ownership may also be the declining birth rate in the US, as more couples choose to postpone starting a family or opt not to have children at all.

    Actually, there’s a specific term for such couples: DINKWAD — double income, no kids, with a dog. These households often enjoy higher incomes and have greater financial flexibility.

    During a period of low buyer demand and fewer home sales, competition among homebuilders has intensified. Therefore, it’s not surprising that many are enhancing their appeal by incorporating tailored features like pet wash stations into their builds.

    A dog spa in a Highland Homes property.

    Courtesy of Highland Homes.

    Highland Homes has integrated “puppy spas” into some builds. These rooms feature built-in kennels, storage for supplies, and animal-wash stations, providing homeowners with a convenient alternative to taking their dogs to the groomers.

    Surtani told Business Insider that in today’s expensive real estate market, those who can still afford to move don’t want to compromise on their new home and its amenities.

    “Now more than ever, if people are going to sacrifice selling their home and move into something else, there has to be a good reason,” she said.

    Read the original article on Business Insider

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