ANGELES — Upstairs, the master bathroom has a spa
built for him and her modeled after a five-star resort,
with dual showers and porcelain tile. Downstairs, there’s
another spa, but this one is strictly for paws and fur.
floor plan for the new homes being built in Brea,
Calif., in a development known as Avignon at Blackstone,
includes an optional 170-square-foot "pet
suite." The suite includes a tiled washing station
with leash tie-downs and a hand-held sprayer, a pet
dryer, a cabinet with built-in bedding, a stackable
washer/dryer combo (separate from the human laundry
room), a flat-screen TV and a patio door that opens to a
developer, Irvine, Calif.-based Standard Pacific Homes,
says it’s building homes with the lap dog of luxury in
comes back to enhancing the lives of our homeowners who
are pet owners," said Danielle Tocco, a spokeswoman
for Standard Pacific.
residential design is gaining popularity as owners
become more sensitive to their pets’ needs, said
Jennifer Wolch, dean of the College of Environmental
Design at Unversity of California at Berkeley.
inclusive designs range from apartment complexes with
dog-washing facilities, cat-friendly interior design,
dog runs, trails and parks, and entire communities
oriented toward living with companion and other
animals," Wolch said.
Michael Bianchi, managing broker for Berkshire Hathaway
HomeServices California Properties, said that after
polling his network of 150 agents about the pet suites,
he thinks Standard Pacific has taken pet-friendly
offerings to a new level.
Pacific is the only builder offering it as a
package," Bianchi said. "The reality is, the
amount of money people are spending on their pets is
going through the roof. So why wouldn’t they?"
home builder is just one of many responding to a surge
in pet ownership — nearly 70 percent of American
households have pets — and spending, according to a
pet industry survey. The companies are also capitalizing
on a trend that experts call "pet
humanization." Owners now think of their furry
friends as children, and have begun to redefine what
they consider necessary supplies, services and
treatments, economists and pet industry experts say.
pet owners have long splurged on high-end offerings that
in many ways mirror what’s available for humans —
hotel-style kennel accommodations, fitness programs,
expensive veterinary treatments and organic, gluten-free
foods, some even prepared by private chefs.
at D Pet Hotels in Hollywood are boarded in
"suites," including some outfitted like human
bedrooms. Grooming options include full-body massages
and detoxifying thermal wraps, and a chauffeur service
will pick up lucky dogs in a Bentley, Rolls-Royce or
Lamborghini Gallardo. Owner Alissa Cruz said her clients
want to provide such creature comforts for dogs that
love them unconditionally, like children who never talk
Hills Caviar offers a line of caviar for dogs and cats.
It began in 2009 as a kind of a joke, owner Kelly Stern
said. But she now has about 100 regular customers for
the stuff — salmon roe for dogs and trout eggs for
cats — which runs about $7 per ounce.
dogs, you know, they’re just born into luxury,"
Stern said. Her customers include celebrities and
private chefs who cater to the rich — and their pets.
now even those who aren’t millionaires are pampering
pet spending is up across the board, not just among the
jet set, and is expected to reach about $60 billion in
2014, according to some estimates. That’s an increase
of 70 percent over what it was a decade ago.
than half the pet market — about $31 billion — is
made up of owners who earn more than $70,000 a year,
said Michael Dillon, president of Dillon Media, which
publishes an annual report on the pet industry. But pet
spending is skewing toward even higher income levels, he
long-term trends show consumers, households making over
$100,000 a year have really ramped up spending,"
suites in a range of sizes are offered at 27 of Standard
Pacific’s communities throughout the country with
prices beginning at $1,500, but typically around $8,000
or more, spokeswoman Tocco said.
Avignon community features the largest layout, which
adds about $35,000 to home prices that start at $1.3
million. A buyer from China has already ordered a house
with a pet suite even though construction has yet to
begin on the new homes, Standard Pacific said.
Dean lives in a Standard Pacific home near Dallas with
her husband and two young sons. She said the pet suite
was one of many things they loved about the house when
they first saw it, though they had no pets at the time.
They’ve since adopted a boxer named Lola.
a part of the family," Dean said. "Everybody
else has a room — so does she."
said she thought it was a unique idea, but didn’t
realize how convenient the suite would be. It has helped
her keep Lola’s things organized, she said, and has
saved her the hassle and expense of taking the puppy to
we were to move again, now that I’ve had this space
for Lola, I would want it again," Dean said.
"It’s hard to go backward."
said she didn’t know anyone else with a pet suite when
they moved in last spring. Now Standard Pacific is
building a home for her parents down the street. It’ll
have a pet suite too.