Dogs Are Becoming the Next Hot Real Estate Accessory

Can a cute dog make a listing harder to resist?

Beagle on couch
To be fair, this one's pretty adorable.
Getty Images

There’s an art to taking an enticing photograph of a home for its real estate listing. A lot has been written on the subject, both in terms of how to stage a room and how to properly light and photograph it. But there’s a growing sense that there’s one more secret ingredient that can warm the hearts of prospective renters and buyers everywhere: adding a cute dog into the mix.

In a new article for Curbed, Clio Chang writes that she has seen “a lot of high-end dogs in a lot of high-end listings” recently. And at least one broker Chang spoke with suggested that the presence of a photogenic poodle in one listing may have sparked interest in the place, telling Chang that half of the potential buyers who reached out asked if meeting the dog pictured there was possible.

Chang pointed out that this is, arguably, counter to some of the prevailing theories about staging apartments — specifically, that neutral is the way to go. But not all real estate professionals agree. Phyllis Gallaway of Sotheby’s told Curbed that dog photos “[give] the apartment a warmth and [make] it more inviting to come to see.”

Gallaway also argued, convincingly, that this applies to dogs but not necessarily cats — which can be explained, at least in part, by cat allergies being more common than dog allergies.

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Dogs as signifiers for high-end real real estate aren’t the only way that canines have entered the class discourse in the U.S. Earlier this year, Sam Apple wrote about visiting a growing number of luxury dog hotels for The New York Times Magazine. Apple wrote that the highest levels of this industry include spots “where the dogs sleep on queen-size beds and the spa offerings include mud baths and blueberry facials.”

If that’s where your dog spends a vacation, where might it spend its time at home? These listings offer one possible answer.

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