Apartment Communities Have Gone to the Dogs

National Apartment Association Education Conference & Exposition - June 21-24, 2017

Atlanta, Georgia welcomed over 9,000 apartment industry people for the annual NAA Education Conference & Exposition. As a first time attendee and stepping onto the Expo floor, it became very apparent that this industry has gone to the dogs!

If you live in an apartment, you have probably already figured out that it's all about the amenities. People consider their pets their family so it's not surprising that multifamily industry has rolled out the "green" carpet for you and your pets.

In 2016, the American Pet Products Association released a report that overall spending in the pet product industry exceeded - wait for it - $60 billion. Yes - that's pawfectly correct! RentPath is home to online brands such as Apartment Guide and Rent.com. Ashley Rowland with RentPath has confirmed that, in Birmingham, the number one search by people looking for apartments was for pet friendly properties. It's so obvious why the multifamily industry is taking note and making sure you and your furiends are living the life.

Want to know the new trends and what's out there? We've got valet dog walking, doggie spas, bark parks, pet proofed carpet, and faux grass.

Doggie Spas

You no longer have to take your pet to the groomer for a bath! Bathtubs for pets and pet care stations have now come to you. Your apartment communities are building out entire designer spas with full service bathtubs, including everything you need to wash your dog, dry your dog, and make sure they're strutting their stuff when they walk out of the spa.


Dog Walkers and Pooper Stations

Valet Waste is no longer just about picking up your trash outside your door. They have rebranded and are now Valet Living and have a special department called Valet Living Pet.

I'm super pooper excited about how they're now not only picking your trash, they have pet waste stations too. What if you're running late from work and need someone to pop in and feed your dog and take him out for a walk? They've about to have an app for that!

Doggie DNA Testing

What the Ruff? Did you know an average dog generates 276 pounds of poop a year? PooPrints can help eliminate all that waste for those residents that always seem to forget to pick up after their dogs. It's pretty simple - cheek swabs are taken of all the pet residents and sent off to the DNA World Pet Registry database. If offending poo is found to be around, all it takes is a nickel-sized sample, pop it into the collection kit, and it's shipped off to the pet poo testing laboratory. The results come back and poof - busted! An apartment community in Montgomery uses doggie DNA testing and had one single incident of offending poo - the poo belonged to their maintenance man's pooch!


It's All About that Bark (Park)

Forget the tennis court's of dog days gone by - they're being ripped out to make room for the ultimate dog park experience. Today's parks are more than just a fenced in area to let your dogs run loose. Not only do they have agility equipment for your active pooch, nature has come calling for a more natural dog park experience. It's all about crawling through logs, jumping from boulders, and bringing out that natural instinct.


Pet Proof Carpet & Faux Grass

You love your pets but hate your carpet? Accidents are bound to happen and apartment communities are looking to pet proof the carpet. The carpet industry has come up with waterproof backing that keeps pet accidents from seeping into the backing and allows for easier cleanup and protection against pet accidents. It protects the cushion and subfloors. It's so great, Shaw Floors had carpet lined pools filled with water sitting on the trade show floor - no leaks!

My all time favorite is the pet turf that looks so real you have to get down on your hands and knees just to touch it to see if it's real. I may not be a property manager, but I've already reached out to their reps to see about having some of this bad boy grass put in my backyard.


It was all about the Dogs

Someone literally let the dogs out - on the Expo floor! I met Thunder, a beautiful border collie and mascot for IVC US, Ellie, a black lab hanging out under the dog park ramp, and rescue puppies up for adoption at the Apartment List booth. Some of the vendors even had dogs in their marketing - big and large!

Thunder, IC USA's border collie mascot, and me in front of their booth at the NAA conference. Thunder from the IVC US booth and me at the NAAEDU conference in Atlanta.

Next time you're looking for your new apartment home, you won't be disappointed when you discover the amenities for your furiends are just as great as those for you!

2018 - NAA is San Diego bound! Can't wait to see what other pawsome products they have in store!