Pets have become an integral factor being considered by homeowners when they purchase or renovate their homes. This is according to REALTOR® Mag. Specifically, these homeowners, or those still in the home hunting stage, are particular about the design and amenities. These pet-friendly features include feeding areas, washing and grooming areas, 'smart' pet doors, and even a separate living space for their animals.

Among the first to consider the comfort of pets is Standard Pacific Homes, a builder based in Irvine, California, which started offering pet suites as an option to the model homes they were building. Such suites measure 170 square-foot housing, automated feeders, storage for food and toys, access for a puppy run, wash and water stations, and comfortable bedding.

According to Camilla McLaughlin of The Washington Post, aside from the in-house features, many developments have exercise areas, dog parks, drinking fountains, and even group picnic areas to offer pet owners.

Jeffrey Lake, Standard Pacific's national director of architecture says, "Pets were a theme that kept coming up" in the livability research with recent buyers. "In one home, I actually had four dogs that piled [onto] my lap."

"Whatever people want for their pets, they are going to get. Pets are something buyers definitely take into consideration now," said Rhona Sutter, a real estate agent in Naples, Florida, in a recent write-up by The Washington Post.

A survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association reveals that the profile of pet ownership is shifting toward the millennial and young owners, who pamper and spend more for their animal buddies than their parents and grandparents used to do.

Records also show that there are 79.8 million pet-owning households in the country, with the experts expecting that more than $60 billion will be spent by Americans in the future for their pets' food, veterinary services, and other supplies.

Some weeks ago, Realty Today also featured an article on Paris Hilton's and others' luxury homes for dogs, which proves how much owners are willing to shell out for their furry, loyal companions.