4 tips for a pet-friendly vacation rental

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In the USA alone, it is estimated that more than 160 million cats and dogs are owned… by 320 million inhabitants. Yes, you read that right: half the population of the country has pets!

Isn’t it a vacation rental market worth getting to know and adapting to? Follow Disney’s lead on the subject and open your doors to more than just human guests.

Why should I open my properties to pets?

There are many pros and cons to opening your home to our 4-legged friends. This list should help you consider whether you’ll open your doors (or not) to pets:

  • Broaden your customer base: Read again that 1st paragraph! 160 million cats and dogs in the USA… And even more if you take into account foreign travelers. Considering most travelers won’t notice or care if a pet has been in your property before them, this will open your rental to a lot more guests.

  • Another way to make the most of the low season: Want to rent, even when August’s (or December’s) over? Why not opening your home to couples, pensioners who own dogs or cats, during the low season? Not every traveler is restricted by school holidays. This is a great way to attract unconventional guests.

  • Get more bookings and income: As the vast majority of rentals don’t accept our furry friends (e.g 77.5% on HomeAway don’t), this is the perfect opportunity for you to grab a new clientele and so, more bookings. Also taking into perspective that every night booked at your home with a pet, additional fees can be added (up to 6-12% on Airbnb, for example), this represents a real plus for your income.

But welcoming cats and dogs can have can have some downsides…

  • It can represent a bit more work for you: more hair, means more cleaning… You may need a bit more time to get your property clean again.

  • Some people are allergic to pets and may not feel comfortable with renting a house where dogs and cats can walk freely. If you choose to go pet-friendly, it may be good to warn allergic guests.

How can I turn my properties into pet-friendly vacation homes?

Opening your doors to cats and dogs doesn’t mean you have to accept everything! Before allowing pets, think and list all the rules you would like your guests to follow:

  • You can deny access to some of the rentals’ rooms, such as bedrooms or kitchen

  • Ask pet owners to clean up after their pet, especially in the garden

  • Owners can be held responsible for any damage caused - you can request an additional deposit

  • Add some specialised furniture: a kennel (doghouse) in the yard, add blankets at disposal to cover the sofa, etc.

            
                 

Have any other tips for a pet-friendly vacation rental? Share yours in the comments!