Keeping Fido Clean: Where to Find or Create a Luxury Dog Wash

PHOTO COURTESY OF INFINITY CUSTOM HOMES

Oonce upon a time, sent to doghouse was a bad thing.

That was before luxury pet amenities, such as custom dog showers and hidden food storage, started showing up in living spaces. These days, with 70% of American households owning at least one pet, according to the American Pet Products Association – and pet-friendly designs are only becoming more common – being sent to your friend’s estate at four legs might be more like a trip to the spa.

“People who have dogs consider them part of the family. Many of them treat their pets like their children,” says Kathryn Heinauer, real estate agent for Keller Williams, who also acts as a selection consultant for Pittsburgh-based luxury homebuilder Barrington Homes. “I think they feel like they’re doing their animals a disservice when they build these beautiful homes if they don’t include something special for their pets.”

Heinauer says Barrington is adding pet accommodations to two new client homes — and she expects more owners to follow suit. “We get a lot of questions about how to incorporate it into various homes we build,” she adds.

According to Infinity Custom Homes, one of the most popular options for pets is the dog wash station. Fitted with a handheld showerhead, tiled sinks are typically located in the mudroom, near entry points to the home. Besides being a space where you can shower your pet (especially young pets in early zoomies) without fear of flooding the rest of the house, the shower takes the outside elements out of the equation; Because it is indoors, you can bathe your pet just as easily in winter as in summer.

Heinauer says other popular pet designs are hidden food storage compartments in kitchen cabinets as well as recessed and built-in feeding stations, usually incorporated into the center island. While it’s certainly more aesthetically pleasing, removing food and water bowls from the floor also counteracts the risk of tripping over them.

“People are also excited about this aspect,” says Heinauer.

Spa for dogs 2

PHOTOS COURTESY OF KAUFMANN

An elaborate four-stall dog washhouse — whimsically decorated with a gallery of sepia-toned pet portraits — is one of the main attractions at the historic Kaufmann’s Grand Downtown apartment complex. Since renting began last April at the former department store, community manager Lisa Gorman says around 75% of the 311 units are occupied – and at least half of them are pet owners. .

Like a growing number of rentals across the country, Kaufmann’s (although it has some breed restrictions) is very dog friendly.

“I think pets are the number one thing people look for when people are looking for apartments, and we’re well aware of that,” Gorman says. “In order to respond to what is truly part of someone’s family, we simply said, ‘We are going to create specific spaces for these people and their dogs. “”

Puppy Park Feb22

As well as the black-and-white tiled dog spa – where residents can bring their own groomers – Kaufmann’s has a rooftop dog park that offers sweeping views of downtown, including the elaborate Union Trust rooftop Building. The 129-foot-long playpen is also covered with a special grass that absorbs dog urine and prevents odors.

“We allow dogs to go throughout the building,” says Gorman. “When they come into our office, we give them a bone and it makes our day. Seeing the pets around really lifts everyone’s spirits.

Hotels, aimed at those who don’t want to abandon their four-legged family members when they travel, are also increasingly accepting pets. VisitPittsburgh notes that many hotels in the city allow pets, and some downright pamper them. The Kimpton Hotel Monaco, for example, offers personalized dog treats, while the Fairmont Pittsburgh offers a pampered dog package which includes a dog-friendly map of the city’s green spaces and walking paths. Both offer pet beds as well as water and food bowls delivered to rooms.

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