Real State

Dog Owners Want More Space. Here’s Where They’re Finding It.

Pet ownership has soared in the pandemic, and those new pets are affecting housing decisions for owners looking to relocate, a recent analysis shows.

The analysis, a collaboration between the real estate marketplace Zillow and the pet-service firm Rover, found that many dog owners were looking for areas that were better suited to their pets’ needs. To compile a list of the fastest-growing, dog-friendly locales in the United States, the companies analyzed dog accounts added to Rover’s database from June 2021 to March 2022, and combined those with views of single-family home rentals identified as “pet friendly” from March 2021 to March 2022 on Zillow.

The list comprises midsize cities and suburbs, a sign that pet owners are not finding adequate accommodations in big cities, said Kate Jaffe, a trends expert at Rover. Topping the list was Antioch, Tenn., a neighborhood in south Nashville anchored by a creekside park. It was followed by Baltimore; Alexandria, Va.; Fuquay-Varina, N.C.; Kansas City, Kan.; Cumming, Ga.; Bellevue, Wash.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Palo Alto, Calif.; and Charleston, S.C.

“Pet parents tell us their biggest motivator for moving is more space,” Ms. Jaffe said in an email. “The cities with more homes that have pet-friendly features like fenced yards, dog doors and close proximity to a dog park are going to be popular with pet parents right now.”

In a separate survey of 1,000 dog owners conducted for Rover in March by Pollfish, 72 percent of respondents said they would consider moving to a home that better suited their dog’s needs. Sixty-one percent cited their pet’s well-being as their inspiration to move.

Of course, moving can bring pet owners a new set of headaches. “On top of the challenge of finding a pet-friendly rental, many are still up against expensive pet deposits, breed and size restrictions and a limit on the number of household pets,” Ms. Jaffe said.

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