(PET CARE) Want to get the best price when selling your home? Have your dog lend a paw! Studies show that homebuyers with dogs may spend more for a house with pet-friendly additions, like a doghouse or pet door. It’s a win-win – the buyer gets the best possible home for all family members and the seller gets an extra waggle with a haggle. — Global Animal

(D0g)Spired, Diana Alfonso

As more people consider themselves “dog parents,” some homes for sale are perfect for those adapting their lifestyles to their furry family members. Realtors explain that Fido plays a larger role in finding a home then one might think.

By identifying the needs of your dog while you’re searching for your next home–whether it’s an outdoor dog area or a doggy door–the property is not only enhanced esthetically, but these upgrades can also become a viable marketing feature when selling or buying a home.

According to a recent review of properties by Move, Inc., a leader in online real estate, many homeowners are rewarding their dogs with custom-built doghouses, deluxe dog runs, custom doggy-doors, pet-friendly landscaping, private patios with personal fire hydrants, and other features that add value to their owner’s property.

“Pets have become important members of the family, and their needs are often high on the list of must-haves for many buyers, sometimes even higher than priorities of the two-legged members of the family,” says Eileen Healy at Prudential Rocky Mountain Realtors® in Colorado.

“Calling out features of local dog-friendly amenities can make or break a buyer’s interest in a particular property. If a buyer knows that a home they love already has features that the family dog will also love, they’ll be more inclined to give that home a second look and consider it more than others on their list.”

While proximity to dog parks, doggy day-care centers, or dog-fashion stores are often priorities for dog owners interested in city properties, suburban properties generally offer ample space for seemingly unusual pet-friendly features.

For the sophisticated canines, a Victorian doghouse that matches an expensive home is a must see. If country living is for you, and your dog needs a warm place to chill after a long day of sheepherding on the prairie, consider the heated doghouse with a deluxe dog run.

While spaces customized to a dog’s specific needs are not uncommon, many dog lovers do go the extra mile when it comes to creating a pet-friendly environment at home. Whether it’s building a pooch palace or installing a bone-shaped pool, you can improve the value that dog-loving buyers will give your property as they search for their next home.