The newest trend in must-have amenities? Apartment communities have gone to the dogs.

A recent article from Wall Street Journal writer Dawn Wotapka highlights the growing trend in the multifamily industry of offering high-end pet amenities. It caters to the younger renter demographic that is increasingly delaying having children and opting for a pet instead.

Industry giants like Camden Property Trust, Landmark Apartment Trust of America, and AvalonBay are all catering to the growing number of pet owners who are looking for the best apartment features for their pets. For instance, Landmark just lifted its 10 pound maximum restriction on dogs at its 10,000 units across the southeast. So did Camden, which went one step further and renovated its older properties to add dog park. In fact, Camden is even adding dog washing stations at its newly constructed properties.

Not only is it a marketing tool, but it’s also a nice way to add ancillary income.

Why spend so much time and money to cater to the pets? Well, if you think about all the luxury amenities owners are adding to one-up their competitors, some are just novelties. How often does the average tenant really use a theater room? But if they have a dog, they will use the available pet amenities, like a park, several times a day. Therefore it is a much more attractive amenity to your average pet-owning renter. After all, the phrase "no pets allowed" is an immediate disqualifier for many of the apartment hunting Gen Yers I know.