dog apartment
Apartments should be planned with facilities in mind for pets, said Billbergia Group’s Saul Moran. Image – Canva.
  • NSW recently outlawed the blanket ban on pet in stratas
  • Two-thirds of Australian homes have at least one pet, just under half have a dog
  • Some newer developments now feature dog-friendly areas

More pet ownership should be encouraged in apartments, argues Saul Moran, the Saul Moran development director of Billbergia, on what is International Dog Day.

Mr Moran’s perspective comes with the announcement of a recent decision by the New South Wales government to outlaw the practice of strata blanket pet bans.

Australia has one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world, with two-thirds of homes having at least one pet while close to half own a dog.

Saul Moran, Billbergia Group Development Director, Planning and Design, said he strongly supports the notion that pet ownership should be more widely available to apartment owners.

He said this can be achieved by developers encouraging and planning for pet ownership, rather than solely permitting it.

An initiative employed by the group is the creation of special parking stations, tailored to pet needs, outside retail centres. The areas contain soft artificial turf, tie-up point, all-weather shelters, dog bowls, water and litter bags.

“Pets are good for us, and also good for our communities. There is plenty of research showing the health benefits of owning a pet,” said Mr Moran.

“People with dogs stop and talk to each other because dogs create the environment for interaction. Feedback from residents in the area also tells us that having pet-friendly facilities makes apartment living a more desirable option.”

Saul Moran, Billbergia Group Development Director, Planning and Design,

The developer has these pet-friendly spaces in their newer developments at Wentworth Point and Rhodes.

Emily Ross, who lives at Wentworth Point, said that after buying Wally, a one-year-old Cavoodle last year, she met new neighbours and subsequently formed a WhatsApp ‘puppy parent’ group.

“My husband and I have lived in Wentworth Point for seven years and there are a lot of puppies around. Our lounge room looks onto one of the busier main streets and every couple of minutes a dog walks past and Wally looks out to spot his friends,” said Mrs Ross.

“Having Wally has created more connections for us. We are part of a puppy parent club. A group of us met in the summer last year before lockdown hit. 

Emily Ross, Wentworth Point resident

Mr Moran said anecdotes like this show the strength of having pet friendly spaces in new developments.

“The sense of community is stronger with residents making use of the shared spaces, meeting up and getting to know each other’s canine companions. Some of the local dogs have become local celebrities,” he said.

“We need to consider the whole community and their visitors – not just pet owners. So, we ensure there is extra support seven days a week to help keep the environment enjoyable for all. We provide free doggy litter bags and ensure common areas, such as footpaths, are cleaned twice daily,” concluded Mr Moran.

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