For Australians, pets play an important part in our families and in our lives.
According to the Australian Companion Animal Council (ACAC), more than 63 per cent of households in the country own a pet. That certainly is a huge figure, but which were the most popular?
Sorry, cat lovers, but canine companions come out on top, with 40 per cent of pet owners having a dog. In 2007, this meant 3.7 million dogs. Simultaneously, 26 per cent had a cat and 53 per cent of all pet owners owned either or both.
So, why does this matter?
For one, if you're buying real estate in Surfers Paradise for investment purposes, you'll want to attract as many potential renters as possible. For many, finding your way into the hearts of these tenants might be through their animal friends. In fact, McCrindle's Renter of the Future report shows that pet-friendliness was the second most desired lifestyle feature among renters.
With this in mind, let's take a look at some ways you can make your home more accommodating of pets.
Signs of danger
The first thing home owners should keep in mind about pets is they don't perceive hazards in the same way humans do. Not only do they lack the comprehension of things like electricity, but they might be able to see or access things that completely escape our physical vision.
The best way to see what cats and dogs might come in contact with is to get on their level (literally), and go down on all fours to inspect the property.
Exposed wiring is a potential point of danger that is easy to miss, so be sure to scour corners and floors to make sure there are none. If you have rubber-coated cables in your Surfers Paradise property, ensure that the sheath is relatively thick, as you might be surprised with what particularly restless and stubborn dogs can gnaw through.
Window cords is something that can cause strangulation, and should be kept as short as possible. Remember to inform new tenants to keep them neatly put aside or tied so they don't dangle too low and endanger pets.
Hit the floor running
When it comes to furry animals, hard surfaces are generally the best option of flooring. The last thing you want is a carpet filled with fur, bacteria and dog odour. This is definitely something worth thinking about when picking out real estate in Surfers Paradise or making renovations.
However, the danger of wood floors is that animals with claws can potentially dent them. This means soft woods like birch, redwood, pine and fir should all be avoided if you want to keep your home in as good a condition as possible, ready for the next tenant to move in.
Instead, opt for floors made out of hardwood like oak, cherry, balsa, mahogany and maple, which are much more difficult to damage. Tiles are also a great choice, and are even more durable than hardwood, though not as favourable to have in every room in terms of comfort.
And interesting to note is that as seen by ACAC stats, 53 per cent of people who don't own a pet would like to in the future. This means that simply by configuring your Surfers Paradise rental home so that it accommodates pets, you're tapping into the huge market of pet owners – future and present.
To find a property and kick start your investment journey, give Ray White Surfers Paradise a ring. We'll show you around some of the best properties in one of the Gold Coast's greatest suburbs.