According to the REIAC, there are now more pets in Spain than there are children under the age of 15.  In the US, 72% of millennials have a pet, 67% of which think of them as their “fur babies”.  They are part of the family, which means they need their own spaces.

The increased significance of pets in our lives is translating to our homes as well as offices, restaurants, and stores.  This means that we have to think about how to design these spaces so that people and pets can happily co-exist.


From ‘no pets allowed’ to pet-friendly

Over the last ten years, we’ve seen a radical change from “no pets allowed” to more and more pet-friendly places that have been redesigned to accommodate our furry friends.

It all started around 2012, when Kenya Hara, director of design at interior design firm Muji, asked twelve architects to create spaces that would change how humans interacted with dogs.  You can see the final designs here.  You can also  download them, personalise them, and upload everything to the website once you’ve finished your project.

In 2013, ten Mexican students came up with Dogchitecture with the idea of reinventing the humble dog house.  In 2018, more than eighty architects attended BowWow Haus London with the same idea, including a charity auction with all profits going to the animal protection organisation Blue Cross.

Little by little, these events resulted in big changes across different spaces, including our homes, workplaces, retail, restaurants, and even holiday destinations.


Homes with four-legged occupants

A pet-friendly apartment is already something that potential renters are looking for.  The proof is in the pudding, with rental platforms letting users filter “pet-friendly” results as well as real estate strategies focussing on this client-base.

We are living in a time when differentiation and diversity are incredibly important. With this in mind, Blackhorse Mills’ website and social media highlights how they offer an environment that is perfect for both people and their pets.


Co-working spaces: furry coworkers

Pets help us make sure that we aren’t spending too much time alone and, with that in mind, many coworking spaces are encouraging their users to bring their pets to work, where they offer pet-friendly facilities and services like water bowls and dog-walkers.  Some of these spaces also have basic guidelines that they share with users to make sure everyone can concentrate on their work and stay safe.


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Una publicación compartida de Work & Woof (@workandwoofatx)

The materials used to build these coworking spaces are chosen for their durability and their design, which make them perfect for people and animals.  Soft, washable blankets and other elements help maintain hygienic conditions.


Retail and pets: VIP customers

The retail sector wants to make sure that their human and animal clients are comfortable by including practical features, toys, and experiences just for pets.

The main concern for pet owners is that their animal is safe while they are in the store.  Dogspot solved this problem by offering temperature-controlled dog houses for their furry visitors.

Wholesome Canine came up a toy that offers sensory stimulation to keep pets entertained and comfortable while their owners shop.  This helps foster loyalty to the store, making this idea perfect for any retail space.  There’s a lot more to be gained with this approach than you might think.


Restaurants: can we have the pet menu, please?

Restaurants deserve a special mention here because, not only are they incorporating the ideas used in coworking and retail spaces, they are also offering experiences.  Many restaurants are now providing specialised pet menus and adapting their spaces so that our pets have a place to eat alongside us.

And they aren’t just offering the dog food you might buy at the pet store.  If you like to enjoy a fancy brunch at your local hotspot, why shouldn’t your dog be able to join you? Savage Garden offers this exact experience with their monthly brunch.  They have adapted everything from cupcakes to herbal teas to make the menu suitable for pets.


Holiday spots: vacation with whole family

The data says it all: 42% of people would choose a pet-friendly destination over one that doesn’t accommodate their four-legged friends.  Just like real estate agents, travel booking websites have also included ‘pet-friendly’ filters in their search functions.


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Una publicación compartida de Canine Cottages (@caninecottages)

There are also holiday destinations designed for the whole family, including pets, so that everyone can enjoy a relaxing experience together.


Will you take pets into account when you’re designing your next project? Want to share your pet-friendly experience with us? Talk to us on social media using #ConnectionsByFinsa.