Pet spas, built-in feeding nooks to pamper pets emerge as real estate trends

D.C. real estate agents are reporting an uptick in buyers looking for features to pamper their pets in their next home purchase.

Pet spas and built-in feeding nooks are high on many search lists, said Noelle-Kristine Spencer of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

“Gone are the days of the outdoor doghouse,” she said. “People’s pets are really part of their families.”

Spencer said she has seen the trend spike over the last five years.

Fenced in yards have long been a “must have” feature for people with dogs. But some sellers are adding dog baths and custom lounging nooks for cats to attract buyers with pets.

Homes without the features aren’t deal breakers, she said, but those with them likely get a second look.

“It can move the needle,” Spencer told WTOP. “Any kind of accouterments that the house can have that shows the importance of this animal in their lives is a plus.”

There may be two reasons fueling the trend. A slew of young, professional couples poised to buy homes are spending more on their pets.

Plus, many people are still working from home post-pandemic. Roughly one-third of US workers with jobs that can be done remotely are working from home offices long-term, according to a Pew Research Center survey released earlier this year.

And home buyers with those flexible schedules want their new digs to feature perks for Fido, Spencer said.

“People are at home more and they’re no longer sticking their dogs in a crate and going to work all day,” she said. “The owners are spending more time with their pets now.”

The trend is also emerging in the rental and new construction sectors. Spencer said along with perks like high-end gyms, private office spaces and swanky roof top decks, some new luxury condominium buildings in the district are also featuring pet bathing rooms.

“People go bananas for that,” she said. “It’s like having a grooming station in your building. That,  and a Peloton, you can’t go wrong.”

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