One of the features that give short-term rentals the upper hand over hotels is that they also have more to offer in terms of a pet-friendly room. These types of properties often have an enclosed, outdoor space, ideal for a small dog.
Plus, considering that it’s in many instances much easier to please dogs than their human companions, why wouldn’t you want to transform your house into a place where man’s most loyal friend can stay and play too?
All it takes are a few minor changes and you’ll be all set to welcome pets. To help you get started, here’s an overview of what you can gain and advice for making this new selling point worthwhile.
Making your property pet friendly might call for some resources, but you’ll be able to recoup the cost. Here’s how:
One of the main advantages of welcoming pets is attracting a broader range of guests. According to the American Pet Products Association, as of 2023, the majority (66%) of households in the US own a pet.
Without starting the cats vs dogs debate, stats want to suggest that dogs are more popular, with 58% of homeowners classifying as dog owners too. Only about one in every three homeowners share their home with a feline friend.
Back to the point, most households in the United States have either a dog or cat. This means that by allowing your guests to bring along their pets, you’ll appeal to the masses.
According to the Rover Trends Report, more than half of dog owners avoid traveling because they’re worried about the cost of their dog’s care. This concern is even more common among millennials, with 64% of millennial dog owners skipping traveling.
Imagine the number of bookings you can attract, especially among younger travelers, if you made your listing dog friendly. Many guests will be more than happy to pay a small pet fee. Not only will this work out more cost-effective than a pet-friendly hotel or pet sitter, but it will also offer more peace of mind.
If you’re convinced that the perks outweigh the cons and you’re ready to make your properties more appealing to a bigger audience, here’s what you need to do:
Most pet owners are experienced at traveling with their pets and know their needs. However, as a host, you can do the following to make their stay even more comfortable and memorable:
Similarly to how you would prepare your properties for guests traveling with kids, there are a few extra gestures that will make all the difference to pet owners. These include:
Aside from these essentials, it can also be a good idea to buy a selection of treats and toys. Extras like these can serve a dual purpose. Your guests will feel like you’re spoiling their besties too, while you can rest more assured knowing that the pets will be entertained, reducing the chances of property damage.
Your guests aren’t the only ones who’ll be out and about. To make it easier for your guests to explore your city, take it upon yourself to find out about nearby pet-friendly attractions. From parks to restaurants, there are several activities that travelers can share with their pets.
It can be a good idea to send this list beforehand. This way, guests will have a better idea of what they can expect and can take a moment to plan their trip in more detail.
This extra effort will also help reduce the time that their pet spends alone on your property. It’s usually when pets are left alone for extended periods of time that common issues like barking and property damage occur.
However, it’s unavoidable and your guests will most likely have to leave their pet alone at some stage. In this case, offering free Wi-Fi for streaming shows or music can come in handy. It might sound like unconventional advice, but many pet owners report that they leave the TV on for their furry, four-legged friend when they’re away.
While you’ll still need to ensure that your listing gets cleaned before the next guests check-in, there are steps that you can take to make this crucial routine task easier. You can, for example, offer:
Properties that allow pets offer a unique selling proposition that’s hard to beat. If you’re concerned about the extra cleaning and potential property damage, you can mitigate that fear by charging an additional fee. Considering that your cleaning requirements and costs will most likely be more, this is strongly recommended as well as investing in a vacation rental software solution such as iGMS that will automate your cleanings.
Aside from adding a pet fee, it can also be a good idea to update your damage policy. Booking.com allows hosts to set up a damage deposit allowing them to collect money upfront which can be used for damage to their property.
While it’s key to keep in mind the financial risk that’s linked to pets, there are many other ways that you can reduce the chances of any issues. Dogs might love to play with a stick, but the stick approach doesn’t have the same effect on their human owner. As such, ensure that your house rules are written in a positive tone of voice. Then, to encourage house rule compliance, remember to throw their dogs a bone or chew toy.
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