There are people who own dogs and then there are dog people. We all know the difference. While the Southern states dominate in the number of dogs per capita, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Pacific Northwest lifestyle is known for integrating its dogs into every aspect of an active family life.
Dogs are no longer relegated to the back yard or the barn. They’ve moved up into the main house with the rest of the family. According a 2013 survey, almost seven in 10 U.S. households now include a pet, with 47% having a dog and 37% having a cat. The AVMA reports six out of 10 pet owners consider their pets to be part of the family.
Rick McAlexander, president of Associated Designs of Eugene, Oregon, validates this rising trend where new homeowners are asking for more amenities that incorporate the Northwest’s dog-loving lifestyle. Rick provides house plans for new construction and he says the requests are numerous and varied for spaces that apply to a particular breed or number of pets.
“Many homeowners today don’t want to have a chain-link dog run in the backyard or throw a dog bed in the corner of the master bedroom. My clients have specific ideas on how to incorporate their dog’s needs into the floor plan before the home is even built,” says Rick.
That’s the idea behind the Nottingham Plan 30-965, a home designed by Rick’s team. This custom floor plan includes an area devoted to caring for an active dog. The dog has its very own entryway off the garage and next to the mudroom, and areas that are totally dedicated to dog duty. The rooms have concrete or tile floors allowing for muddy paws and wet fur. There’s a generously sized washing station with a walk-up, raised shower spot, and room to customize the space specifically for the size of breed. Some homeowners even install a wall dryer to fluff up the freshly washed pooch.
In this house plan, the devoted dog room opens into the mudroom to enter the home or onto the screened porch, so the pet can dry off and relax after an active outdoor adventure. There’s even room on the porch to build a custom dog bed right under the window, so Fido can either bask in the warm light or sleep under a summer breeze.
Rick believes it’s important to keep the dog-centric areas close to the utilities and other transition space where kids are dumping their sports equipment and muddy boots. The washer and dryer are only a few steps away, making it convenient to drop off dirty dog towels on the way inside. And, it keeps everyone’s mess in the same part of the house.
With a little pre-planning, a new home can be adapted to enhance a lifestyle that includes more dog days than ever. In a dedicated dog-loving home, people are more likely to take their pet with them to the lake, the beach or even out for a walk in the rain. It makes coming home with a dirty dog easier than ever.
As seen on Newswire