When pet lovers look for a new condo, their four-legged family members might take the first priority. Pet owners look for housing features that can withstand the wear and tear of big and small animals; comfortable spaces for them to shelter, eat and sleep; room for pets to get plenty of exercise and shade; and wet/dry areas for indoor or outdoor grooming.
They also want a safe, pet-friendly community where two and four-legged family members can coexist. Lush, grassy green spaces, trails and well-maintained landscaping are all features that attract pet owners. Here are a few key features you may want in your condo.
1. Water and Stain-Resistant Flooring
Pet owners want flooring that is easy to clean, stands up to dirt and stains, and hides shedding pet hair. Ceramic tile, LVP (luxury vinyl plank) and some laminated engineered hardwoods are all great choices for pet-friendly flooring. If you choose carpet, select a stain-resistant, water-repellent brand that keeps mud, dirt, and other pet messes from soaking into the fibres and padding.
2. High-Quality Natural Materials
When it comes to high-quality condo construction, choose durable materials like natural hardwoods and stone. Natural hardwood and stone surfaces are less likely to chip and scratch and are resistant to tooth marks and the occasional paw print. Cabinets constructed of cherry, maple, pine, oak, or birch will last longer than cheaper laminates or fiberboard. Similarly, flooring and countertops constructed from quartz and granite are almost indestructible.
Remember, pets tend to brush up against or jump on doors and walls. Cabinets, entry and room doors, moulding and baseboards constructed of natural wood—stained or painted—will resist pets that like to chew, scratch, or paw. Damaged surfaces of real wood are also easier to repair—just lightly sand and repaint or stain.
3. Protection Against Rough Weather
A few standard features to look for in your condo might include an attached garage to help contain outdoor messes. You might also look for easy-clean flooring in the entryways to catch dirt, snow and mud from dirty paws.
A well-insulated entryway also means pets will have a cozy, warm and dry place to sleep (if they aren't cuddled up with you, that is). Even dogs and cats who love being outdoors can be trained to use a small pet door for ready access to the indoors. A cat door with access to the litter box will help prevent pet odours from seeping into living areas.
4. Easy, Breezy Cleanup Areas
Every pet owner wants a place to make clean up a breeze. An ideal condo floor plan hould include a mudroom equipped with a utility sink to give pets a quick rinse before letting them into the rest of the house. You can ask your developer about including a freestanding or drop-in utility sink and countertop to make bathing pets as convenient as possible. For felines, outfit a mudroom or area just inside the entrance with a litter box and scratching post to keep things tidy and odour-free indoors.
5. Easy-on-the-Knee Access
Pet owners should also consider whether an apartment, townhome or attached bungalow style condo works best for their pets. Aging animals can sometimes have arthritic joints that make climbing stairs hard. If you're in a multi-storey apartment building, check to see if your new unit has an elevator to make transporting your furry family member easy on their joints and yours! And remember, traipsing down the elevator on cold winter Calgary mornings won’t be ideal. A first storey unit with access to grassy areas or walkways might make life much easier for people who love pets.
6. Lush Outdoor Green Spaces
Depending on the pet bylaws in a condo community, most developments will offer lush green spaces for dogs to romp and relieve themselves without disturbing neighbours. Walkways and trails that include doggy waste stations help to keep public areas clean and free of debris, pesky insects, and rodents.
When shopping for a new condo, take a checklist with you and check off all the pet-friendly features you can find. With these tips in mind, you won’t have any trouble finding a place that’s fit for you and your pet.