Pet-friendly short-term rentals are extremely popular due to an increase in long-term stays and staycations. When you combine that with the fact that around 67% of US households own a pet, you see why allowing them in your vacation home might be a good idea.
Considering how many people own pets, transforming your property into a pet-friendly rental can be a great strategy to increase your hosting income. While it may seem risky to allow pets on your property, there are certain things you can do to protect your accommodation.
Read on to find out about the pros and cons of welcoming furry friends and what you should do to make your vacation rental pet-friendly.
Before making any decisions, it’s always good to do some research and see whether that particular move offers more benefits or downsides. The first and the most obvious thing to consider is allergies.
If you have allergies, then cleaning the place post-stay would be unbearable. If that’s the case, you can only allow hypoallergenic dogs. Alternatively, you can employ a third-party cleaning company to do the cleaning for you. In any case, before you open up your vacation rental property to people traveling with pets, it’s important to weigh up all the pros and cons:
While there isn’t an exact amount that can tell you how much pet-friendly vacation rentals make, we have researched some statistical data to get a better understanding of how allowing pets can impact your ROI. So far, owners have reported thousands of dollars of additional revenue on their pet-friendly rentals.
Pet-friendly vacation rental apartments boast a significantly lower vacancy rate, and they’re 16% more expensive compared to non-pet-friendly rentals. Here are some other numbers that will convince you to welcome furry friends in your short-term rental:
A great thing about owning a pet-friendly short-term rental is the fact that pet owners already expect to see a higher price at the checkout. If talking about traditional rentals, in larger cities, most apartment buildings even charge a monthly pet fee.
As there’s so much cleanup involved, why shouldn’t you also introduce a pet fee? However, keep in mind that charging a flat fee for all guests with pets is not the best move because not all dog breeds require the same level of property upkeep.
For example, larger dogs with long hair are more prone to shedding. On the other hand, you have larger breeds that don’t shed at all — poodles, Portuguese water dogs, Wheaten Terriers, etc. Then, there are other types of pets to consider, such as cats, that usually don’t leave a lot of mess behind.
Most animal-friendly short-term rentals cap their pet fees at $10 to $50 per night, depending on the animal and breed type. You can also include a pet cleaning fee which averages at $120. Some other factors to consider include:
If you’ve decided that this investment is worth your while, the next step would be to refurbish your place and make it pet-friendly.
Not only will these hints help accommodate your new animal-loving guests, but they will also pet-proof your rental and save your relationship with neighbors.
Give a quick call to your home insurance company to check whether making your property pet-friendly can affect your insurance premium. While most insurance companies allow nearly all dog breeds, cats, as well as fish for little to no charge, it’s still wise to cover all your bases.
Check local policies on vaccinations and licenses beforehand. Create a pet-friendly policy that is clear and comprehensive to avoid any miscommunication with your future guests.
Lastly, make it a requirement that all pets must be vaccinated, tick and flea-free, have a tag, ownership confirmation, and other necessary documentation.
Use materials that are easy to clean but difficult to destroy. Even though you explicitly ask your customers to keep pets off the couch and bed, more often than not, they’ll just not listen. So, to protect your furniture, use pet-friendly materials. Choose a fabric that is moisture and stain-resistant.
Install dog fences and use mattress covers to protect surfaces and prevent pets from roaming around forbidden areas. Here are some additional tips on how to pet-proof your rooms:
Avoid carpets and textiles that easily absorb liquids or that are prone to stains and damages. Hard-floor surfaces are the easiest to clean, which is why we recommend using materials such as laminate, tiles, or vinyl.
Supply your guests with pet necessities. This move will bring better reviews, more bookings, and less mess. Here are some pet-friendly amenities we recommend to include:
Always request a deposit in case any damages occur during the guests’ stay. We suggest asking for a $150-200 refundable deposit, but you can tweak that price to your liking. Lastly, check local rules and regulations to see whether your state has any particular requirements.
Setting up your rental for pets is one thing, but attracting decent guests is a whole other ordeal. You have to make it obvious and apparent that you accept pets; otherwise, you’ll be investing your time and money in listing optimization without seeing the anticipated ROI. Here’s what you should do to market your property and attract people that hit the road with pets:
Update your listing on all booking platforms and highlight that it’s pet-friendly. As not so many Airbnbs allow animals, your listing will be more popular. Make sure to add photos and list all pet-friendly amenities. You can also market your listings in pet-owner groups and forums.
Make sure to utilize SEO principles to increase the visibility of your pet-friendly rentals. Mention that you’re pet-friendly in the title, in the description, and enable specific options which can be found on booking websites. So, when a customer types in ‘’pet-friendly,’’ your listing will be among the top search results.
Create specific rules to avoid any miscommunication between you and your guests. Explore suggestions and tips on the house rules in the section below.
You should create a list of rules for all guests to follow to ensure maximum satisfaction for both parties involved. Here are our top recommendations:
Decide what’s the maximum number of animals you would allow inside your rental.
Decide whether you will allow only dogs and cats or other types of animals like rabbits, fish, snakes, gerbils, etc.
This will depend on the size of your accommodation. However, most vacation rental homeowners cap the weight at 40 lbs.
Specify rooms and areas where pets are not allowed to go.
Create specific zones in your backyard where dogs can go potty. Let the guests know that they must collect the waste and dispose of it properly.
Make it a requirement that all pet owners must leash their dogs when walking outside through the neighborhood to avoid any unpleasant situations.
While managing a pet-friendly Airbnb requires extra effort and oversight, it’s undoubtedly a smart business move if you want to skyrocket your return on investment. If you’re worried about cleaning and other sub-tasks that come with welcoming pets in your rentals, then you should consider utilizing vacation rental software.
About the Author
Olga Vasylieva is the Content and Social Media Team Lead at iGMS. Olga is on a mission to help hosts and property managers grow their businesses and deliver an excellent guest experience. She is a travel enthusiast and is inspired by life in all its aspects.
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