Watching Jonathan Scott work alongside his twin brother, Drew on HGTV’s “Property Brothers,” the transformation from fixer-upper to dream home is often so extreme you might think there’s magic involved. In Scott’s case, you’re not far off.
Besides being a construction and design whiz, Scott is also an award-winning illusionist who once headlined his own full-sized show in Las Vegas.
Despite his love of performing, Scott realized early on that he didn’t want to be just another struggling artist, so he went into real estate. “Drew and I bought our first house for $250 down when we were 18, and we sold it a year later for a $50,000 profit.” In 2004, they founded Scott Brothers Real Estate Inc., which now services hundreds of clients and employs dozens of workers in Vancouver, Calgary and Las Vegas.
Then show biz came calling again. “As we were building our company, we’d get calls from people wanting us to host TV, who knew we’d be good in front of the camera.” Today, Jonathan and Drew have three top-rated shows on HGTV in the U.S. and W Network in Canada: “Property Brothers,” “Buying and Selling” and “Brothers C. Brother,” which pits the twins against each other coaching teams of home improvement experts (Team Drew took the win in the first season).
And while Scott’s pets aren’t listed in the credits, they often come to work with him. In fact, wherever he goes, one of his top priorities is making sure his dogs feel at home. “They’re flying in today, so I’m just getting the house set up for them,” Scott said of his Chihuahua, Gracie, and Yorkshire Terrier, Stewie. “Dogs are all about consistency, so mine have the exact same set-up wherever they go. As soon as they arrive, they’ll run and find their beds – they know exactly where they’ll be.
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As someone who carefully considers how his pets fit into a home, it’s no surprise that he strongly encourages the families he works with to do the same. “If you have big dogs that will scratch up hardwood, look for thick vinyl or laminate products that look just like wood, but are about 50% more dense,” he advises. “Make sure you have storage options for pets, so you can keep toys put away” (he frequently dolls out tips via his Facebook page and Twitter handle, where he goes by @MrSilverScott).
For Scott, pets help turn a house into a home. Surrounded by animals on the Vancouver ranch where he grew up, Scott’s first family pet was a yellow lab named, Brandy, who was a Christmas present for his mother. “Nobody wanted Brandy because she had an underbite, but to us she was the cutest thing in the world.”
A Rotweiler named Buffy soon followed. However, as Scott grew up and began traveling more, he realized smaller dogs were better for his lifestyle. “It’s hard to have a big dog and fly. Small dogs can fly right in the cabin.” Even so, Scott soon learned that small dogs can sometimes come with their own set of challenges – including oversized health issues. Stewie had to have most of his teeth extracted, although “he does have one snaggletooth left,” Scott says. Gracie is a recovering chubby pup, who needed surgery to repair luxating patellas. “Since we’ve put her on diet food and added more frequent exercise, she’s down to about 10lbs. She’s a lot healthier than she was,” Scott says.
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It’s clear that Scott, who greatly outsizes his diminutive dogs at 6’4″, takes an active pet parenting approach – even when his dogs have other ideas. “I have tried for years to get them to fetch, but they’re not interested,” he laughs. “Gracie likes using squeaky toys to ‘talk’ to me when she gets excited. Stewie doesn’t like to play with toys, but then when you’re not looking, he throws them in the air and runs away. Of course, as soon as he catches you watching, he stops.”
Because he word so much, play is an important part of Scott’s life at home. His home in Las Vegas is currently undergoing a major outdoor overhaul to reflect that, with a special synthetic lawn and built-in sprinkler for the dogs, as well as a few toys of his own: movie screens on hydraulics, a pool with a swim-up bar and water slide, and a putting green.
“My whole family comes to my house to celebrate the holidays. I love entertaining, and I wanted to have a great space to share,” he explains. It sounds like the perfect playground for the whole family —– four-legged members included!
This article originally published in Fetch! Magazine