Hey Squatch Girls!
I confess that once upon a time, I ‘swaddled’ my cat in a nursery blanket, put her in a borrowed baby carriage and snuck her into my “No Pets Allowed” apartment building.
I prayed that the elevator would come down from the 10th floor rapidly and that the doors would open to an empty car so that I could dash inside and sprint to my unit before the “super” caught me and my four-legged, fur “baby”!
I boldly hoped that I could keep my “Furry Little Secret” from the building management by never allowing unscheduled maintenance I preventing my “co-tenant” from dashing out an open door and exploring the hallways.
Fortunately, Miss Fuzzy Pants excelled at her role of Undercover Cat and we didn’t get evicted. Eventually, I became a home owner and made my own “tenancy” rules. If you are renting or even own, depending your HOA, you may still be at the mercy of pre-existing and restrictive rules that keep you in the figurative ‘doghouse’.
Thank goodness, today more developers, designers and landlords have recognized that pets are here to stay and more importantly, are family to many who choose 4 legs over 2 as companions, confidants and BFFs (and sometimes – heirs to the kingdom!).
Ignoring the needs of a huge and rapidly increasing segment of the population is opportunity lost. Paws have purchasing power!
Statistically, the number of households that include pets is climbing and I expect it will continue to climb, for so many understandable and beneficial reasons.
The American Pet Products Association published surprising stats for 2015/2016 saying that an estimated 78 million dogs and 85.8 million cats are owned in the United States. Approximately 44% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 35% have a cat. Vision forward and project those numbers over the next decade and beyond!
Planning and creating living spaces that support our needs and preferences as pet lovers and consider lifestyle and activities that include our pet’s needs and comfort is very smart business! Take note architects and builders and understand why we wear our Girl’s Best Friends tees – it’s more than a statement shirt – it’s a value.
I recently read an article about a residential, multi-unit developer that renovated its property to attract pet families (formerly the shunned or surcharged tenants and buyers!). They added a 24-hour pet spa and daycare, equipped with ergonomic bathing and blow dry stations! They created several gated play parks outdoors, water stations and fenced perimeters to keep Fido and Fifi secure and safe. Individual units were retrofitted with built in pet crate areas (oh thank dog! – no more ugly wire cages as part of the decor!) and built-in pet beds and window ‘sunning and nap” areas. Kitchen cabinets thoughtful included pet food storage and feeding stations. Units were ‘Smart’ technology equipped to keep in touch with ‘Paw Pals’ during the day and electronically adjust temperature, lighting and mood music to keep everyone feeling save, comfy and connected.
‘Squatch Dogs’ are part of our family, we’d love to hear your thoughts about how space and environments can be designed and maximized to make all the members of your pack enjoy “Home Sweet Home”.
PS - Please share your ideas, photos (and best friends pics!) with us and the Squatch Girl community on Instagram, FB and at the dog park!