Approximately 68 percent of households in the US own pets which translates to 85 million households, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by American Pet Products Association (APPA) – up from 56 percent of US households 10 years ago. Of these households, 60.2 million have dogs.
To say we love pets, and dogs specifically, is clearly an understatement.
In 2007, pet owners spent $41.2 Billion on their pets. In 2017 that figure is estimated to hit a whopping $69.4 Billion. We not only love our pets but we’re willing to pay for them to have the very best of everything. And that includes choosing the perfect (if slightly more expensive) apartment complex that welcomes dogs and goes above and beyond to ensure dogs and their owners have access to the right pet amenities and services.
So why the huge increase in pet ownership and the increased demand for pet-friendly apartments? To begin with, there is a shortage of homes for sale nationwide, therefore, more apartment dwellers. Millennials now account for 35 percent of all pet owners. Millenials are more prone to change jobs and move from city to city. They are waiting longer for home ownership but yet are getting pets on average at the age of 21 versus 29 for Baby Boomers. Also, many Millennials have made the conscious decision not to have children, or at least delay parenthood, and devote their time, money, and affection on their pets instead. In fact, Seattle now has the distinction of having more dogs than children!
According to the 2014 Apartments.com survey, over 70 percent of apartment renters now own dogs.
Typically, in the past, apartment communities only allowed one dog and imposed very rigid weight limits. Now, however, many multi-family complexes will allow multiple dogs and some have even raised the weight limit and, broadened the breeds allowed. The majority of tenants are of the younger generation and the Millennials come with pets. Meeting the requirements of these potential tenants, and building or adding amenities that cater specifically to the dog owner is good business.
Would you turn away a third – 35 percent of your potential market? Of course not! It makes good business sense to give possible future residents what they are looking for. And these amenities not only draw new tenants, they help retain existing resident.
In an attempt to become ever more pet-friendly, properties have added doggie daycare, grooming salons or wash stations, and sometimes partnering with local pet stores to offer their tenants goods at a discounted rate.
But by far the most sought-after amenity is the onsite dog park. Whether it be a dog park on a rooftop with artificial turf or your traditional dog park with grass and a mulch underlay. Not only does a dog park make it easier to exercise your dog, help contain pet waste, the dog parks bring about a sense of community, something Millennials typically look for.
Dogs love the freedom of running and exercising off-leash but dog parks also provide a social activity where likeminded tenants can share their interest and meet their neighbors.
All About Doody Pet Solutions designs and builds dog parks and provides DOGIPOT Pet Waste Stations and Gyms For Dogs Natural Dog Park products to multi-family communities, doggie daycare, pet resorts, and parks.