Toll Brothers’ Houston division has caught on to an important idea: Home buyers are happy when their pets are happy.

The firm has turned this notion into a design detail in some of its Texas offerings. For instance, in place of a closet, customers in the builder’s The Woodlands, Texas, development can opt for a luxurious space under the stairs for the furry members of the family. The doggie den upgrade turns an alcove into a place just for Fido.

The former storage closet has been tricked out with pass-through access to the master suite and a main hallway. Complete with an arched opening, the dog niche creatively houses a dog bed, food bowls, and toys. Here, Joyce Syed, Toll senior marketing specialist, talks to BUILDER about the new offering.

How many customers opt for this upgrade? How much does it cost?
This Houston model home featuring the doggie den opened to the public almost two months ago, and since then we’ve had two buyers include this feature in their new home. Pricing varies by home design and due to the fact that we work individually with each buyer to personalize their home based on their wants and needs.

How important is catering to pets?
Catering to pets is increasingly important as they continue to be a major part of pet-loving families. Since living with pets is part of a family’s daily lifestyle, we want to cater to our home buyers’ needs by incorporating what we call ‘convenient luxury’ elements and spaces.

Are there other ways you reach out to pet owners?
We have recently incorporated dog showers into two of our newest model homes in Houston and in Katy, Texas. Fido’s bath time is something we’ve taken to the next level in the convenience of your own home. The dog shower is a pet-sized version of an enclosed shower found in a master bathroom. The shower features subway tiles on the wall, a glass door and an adjustable showerhead that makes washing dogs, or any pet, more convenient.

SOUND OFF: Use the comments section below to tell us how your company is catering to pets and their owners.