When it comes to housing, pets are a very big deal.
81% of households will take pets into consideration when choosing their next home. Among renters, 72% own pets. Millennials, who are renting more now than any other age group, are also among the fastest growing groups for pet ownership.
Pets are here to stay. However, they also need someplace to stay.
The benefits of pets are well-established — from buffs to human cardiovascular health and a reduction in healthcare spending to improvements in socialization and self-esteem, pets offer a wide range of health perks to their human hosts. People who spend time with pets tend to be happier and healthier; qualities that can have wider, lasting effects on an entire community.
Public health is closely tied to the environments in which we live. Spaces designed to accommodate pets, their owners, and those around them help everyone in that community to thrive.
A study of pet-friendly housing rentals found that tenants who own pets tended to stay in their units for over 2.5 times as long as tenants without pets.
While pet ownership leads to healthier people which in turn lead to healthier communities, pets offer more than just indirect benefits to real estate developers.
As the number of pet owners have grown, so has demand for pet-friendly housing. The presence of pet-friendly amenities in apartment complexes and condominiums have substantial effects on property values. Even among existing developments, retrofitting to accommodate pets by adding dog parks and pet relief stations can breathe new life into an aging complex.
Savvy property managers have increasingly been adopting pet-friendly rental policies — not only to take advantage of the growing number of pet owning renters, but to reduce tenant turnover as well. Pet owners tend to stay in their leases more than twice as long as those without pets.
Ignoring the other benefits pets have to offer, developing real estate with pets in mind is just good business sense.
It’s not just residential projects that stand to benefit from pets. Employees of pet-friendly offices and other workplaces have been shown to have higher morale, better health, and lower turnover rates than those who work elsewhere. Pet-friendly policies have become a hot item for companies looking to attract the best talent and to invest in their existing workforce. But before a company can implement policies that allow pets, its locations must first be able to accommodate them.
Not only is pet-friendly design good for communities, it is also under-utilized in most cities. This presents an opportunity for those willing to invest in more pet-friendly spaces. As the rates of pet ownership continue to increase, so too does the demand for homes, businesses, and cities designed with pets in mind.
The degree to which a property can be considered to be pet-friendly has a direct effect on its accessibility and its desirability.
With over 84 million pet-owning homes in the United States, there are still a surprising number of obstacles in many communities that make pet ownership more challenging than it needs to be.
Whether through a lack of pet-oriented benefits or a lack of pet-friendly policies, many workplaces are poorly equipped to accommodate the needs of pets and their owners.