Builders should be encouraged to ensure properties have catflaps and dogflaps, a Midland MP has said.
Mark Pritchard (Con The Wrekin) urged Ministers to meet the Town and Country Planning Association to discuss how properties could be designed to improve animal welfare.
The Shropshire MP made the plea during a House of Commons debate on the Government's Animal Welfare Bill.
He said too many animals were stuck inside while their owners were at work, with no way out of their home.
The Bill introduces a duty on pet owners to ensure they take good care of their animals.
In the past, police could only take action if an animal was suffering. The legislation will allow them to intervene if the animal is being treated in a way which is likely to cause suffering in the future.
Mr Pritchard welcomed the legislation, but asked: "Have the Government held discussions with the Town and Country Planning Association with regard to the effects on animal welfare of the design of new houses?
"As the majority of domestic animals spend most of their time in houses, unfortunately, I hope that due consideration to their welfare will be given in the design of new houses
"Homes can be made pet-friendly . . . even as we speak, tens of thousands of cats and dogs are locked up in homes throughout the country while their owners are at work.
"The simple installation of a dog or cat flap would make their lives much easier."
He added: "I hope that the design of new homes will be taken seriously, so that people can have gardens."