We’re past the no-pet accommodations in São Paulo. Today, not only are animals welcome, but they have gained their own spaces in the common areas of the new developments. All with English names, such as “pet place”, “pet park” and “pet game”, according to the tradition of the real estate market in São Paulo.
These spaces are already in 29% of new buildings in São Paulo, according to a survey by real estate platform Apê11, which was conducted last December. Among the older buildings, the platform says there is no record of specific areas for pets.
In developer Helbor, about 80% of projects are handed over with at least one area for animals, says Roberto Vegas, director of corporate affairs at the company.
The most traditional space is the gaming space, but the developer also offers “pet care,” an area for bathing animals.
“Pet care environments are usually found in projects that target a younger audience, single or pair, without children,” Vegas says. But club complexes, which are larger and designed for families, also welcome this type of space, he says.
Architect Wilson Marchi, of the Marchi Arquitetura de Soluções office, who works on projects for Helbor, sees animal areas as a “huge differentiating factor”.
The focus of these procedures is on dogs, because cats are more easily stressed and are safer indoors, explains veterinarian Aldo Macellaro Júnior, owner of Clube de Cãompo, a dog farm in Itu (SP).
He claims that having dog areas in residential units increases the welfare of the animals.
These spaces also help reduce potential conflicts with neighbours, as some residents may not like or feel comfortable with dogs who frequent other common areas. “There are people who feel uncomfortable urinating in the garden, and there are children who are frightened, so it is good to have a designated spot,” the vet says.
The perfect floor for any pet space. According to Júnior, the best option is natural turf, but depending on insolation and the size of the area, synthetic turf is more workable.
The vet does not recommend areas with soft floors, because animals can develop orthopedic problems. You should also be aware of the temperature: artificial turf can become very hot if left in strong sunlight.
Finally, as dogs use the area for their physiological needs, cleaning needs to be up to date. Natural grass stays clean more easily because the soil absorbs urine and rain washes it off. On the other hand, the synthetic material, if it is laid on the floor, must be washed, and not directly on the floor, because it does not liquefy.
There should also be clear rules of conduct, such as the obligation to collect animal droppings and the number of animals allowed in the space.
‘Pet place’ areas usually also contain structures for agility, and a circle that the dog exercises. Such is the case for Even Projects, which also includes an area to wash their feet and a drinking fountain for small animals.
The next step is to sell machines for animal products, says Marcelo Dzek, CEO of Evin’s founding, as is already the case with the automated grocery stores that have proliferated during the pandemic.
Pets are also gaining space in communal laundries, which now include a washer for animal parts only. “We think of those who love animals, but we also understand those who don’t want contact,” Dzek says.
The areas for pets developed by Even are consulted by Cão Cidadão, a company that trains trainers.
The developer’s sales booths usually also include a space for dogs, to attract teachers. “Being pet-friendly is one of our flags. We have followed this need and tried to meet it in the best possible way,” says Dzek.
After the projects are handed over, residents can create new animal services. Júnior, of Clube de Cãompo, says that in the condominium where he lives, in Itu, a kennel for stray dogs has been built.
“There are about 15 dogs that people have adopted and are kept there. I see that people are becoming more and more familiar with the animals.”
Architect Wilson Marchi assesses that concierge services and activity scheduling are a trend in condominiums and can also be applied to the needs of pet residents.
“When a pet needs the vet, they can have someone in the condominium look after them for the owner,” he says.
is the estimated number of pets in Brazilian homes
Source: Euromonitor and Abinpet (Brazilian Association of the Pet Products Industry); 2019 data