World's most pet friendly house to call Okotoks home

Okotoks: Project hoping to reduce destructive pet stigma

By: Roxanne Blackwell

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 06:00 am

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Some may say that Okotoks is already pet friendly with over 4,000 dogs licensed in town, but Calgarian David Beart is taking things to the next level.

He’s planning to build what he calls the “world’s most pet friendly house” here in Okotoks in hopes of changing the mentality that pets and homes don’t mix.

“It will be a 2,200-2,300 sq ft house that’s going to be pet themed,” he said. “So take the average pet owner and then put it on steroids.”

The house will be located in Cimarron and will feature ultra durable floors, a 270 gallow aquarium, a doggy shower in the mud room, and a bedroom especially for your furry friend featuring a dog treadmill as well as a slew of other pet products.

Beart said it had to be over the top to get people’s attention, and it’s all for a good cause.

“We wanted to do something fun and create some awareness for some different projects and different non profits,” he said. “What we're doing is we're going to build it, open it to the public like a show home for 30 days, and then sell it and give 50 per cent away to different organizations.”

The funds will be divided between the Kidney Foundation, Autism Assistance Dog Guides, Behind the Smile, and Okotoks Pound Rescue.

Gabriele Barrie, president of Okotoks Pound Rescue, said they’re looking forward to being a part of the project.

“It’s a great idea and having some houses that are especially pet friendly is something people will be looking for and they want to have the best for their animals,” she said. “People do kid friendly but they don’t do animal friendly.”

Particularly for those looking to rent a home, finding a place to live can be difficult if you have pets, and sometimes those animals end up in shelters. Barrie hopes that the project will open people’s minds to being more accommodating for animals.

“The idea behind building such a house means pets are part of our lives, they are our family they belong with us,” she said.

Beart said it only makes sense to build homes that are designed to fit the needs of every member of the family.

“I think a lot of people need to get over the stigma that pets are bad for houses,” he said. “Why put in a cheap floor if it's not going to stand up to a pet? Other than the flooring and the paint, pets really aren't hard on houses. So if we can help reduce the amount of pets that end up in shelters, this project will be a success.”

As to who is going to want to buy the world’s most pet friendly house? Beart said anyone who has a four-legged member in their family should come take a look at it.

“Ideally its going to be at about the $550,000 range, so its a little bit higher end but it’s just going to be a cool house because reality is its going to look like any other house, but it's going to be more durable,” he said.

But before they sell it, Beart will be opening up the house to the public and doing durability tests where they plan to get a bunch of dogs muddied up and then let them loose in the house to see how well it, and other pet cleaning products stand up. Beart will be documenting everything on his home life website for people to follow along with the project.

Construction will begin this fall and he’s planning to have the home open by May or June of 2015, and Beart encourages everyone with pets to come view the house and learn about the products that can make living with a pet easier on you and your home.

“I'd like to see everyone in Okotoks who owns a pet to come see this house,” he said. “There's going to be tons of giveaways, so come check it out and have some fun.”


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