It’s difficult to travel when you own pets. Pet owners have to hire someone they trust to stay or visit their home. This person is paid to feed, walk, and check on their pets. Or, pet owners board their pets at spas or kennels. Yet, these are costly options.
In the end, most pet owners skip traveling so that they can watch their pets themselves.
But, if they could find a vacation rental that was pet-friendly, everything would change! They could enjoy a relaxing vacation while keeping an eye on their pet.
According to a TripAdvisor survey, of 1,100 people, more than 700 have pets. 53% of those surveyed travel with their pets.
This means that there is a special niche of travelers looking for pet-friendly rentals.
If you look at the United States (2015) as a whole, you see that there are 78 million pet dogs and 85.8 million pet cats. Meaning 44% of all U.S. households have a dog. While 35% have a cat. This shows the potential number of renters looking for pet-friendly properties.
As a vacation rental property owner, you can market your property as “dog-friendly.” You can get more bookings if you are willing to house cats, rabbits, birds, and more.
Thus, you can prepare your vacation rental for each type of pet. If renters like your property, you can get multiple bookings. Especially since finding pet-friendly rentals is difficult.
Why are pet-friendly vacation rentals important? They allow vacationers to enjoy time off, without worrying about their pets.
Property damage is one of the fears of operating a pet-friendly vacation rental. Yet, there are preventative measures to ensure that your property is not damaged.
You can imagine that you will have to schedule deeper cleanings following a pet-friendly rental. Charging more money will cover the cost of cleaning, while still giving you a profit.
Is there too much property damage which the security deposit won’t cover? Inform the pet owner that there will be an extra fee for the repairs.
These increases in price are justified. 50% of dog owners said they would pay more money for pet-friendly accommodations.
In most cases, renters’ pets are well-behaved. These travelers know the difficulties of booking pet-friendly properties. Most will be responsible in the hopes of returning again next season.
Monetary security is one option. Another pet-friendly decision is to provide pet supplies. The basic supplies for a pet-friendly rental are marked food and water bowls. Yet, most owners will bring their own.
By providing a backup, you ensure that your kitchenware isn’t used for the pets.
If you own a dog, you most likely travel with your pet’s favorite toy. But, in the chance that the owner forgets, provide a basket of balls, ropes, and chew toys. This will keep the dog or cat occupied, so they do not chew/scratch your furniture.
Make it clear in your property description the type of pets allowed. Specify a weight limit. For instance write, “Only dogs under 20 pounds.” That way, you don’t have a St. Bernard and its owner renting your apartment made for a Chihuahua.
Also, mention any extra rules in your vacation rental contract. Remind renters of these rules in your “Welcome Book.” One example would be if you do not want pets on the furniture or in the bedrooms. Your property is still considered “pet-friendly.” Yet these guidelines prevent wear-and-tear on expensive items.
Consider having a designated pet area. For instance, put a cat bed on the windowsill so the cat can sleep in the sun. Or get a large dog bed to put in the living room where your renters spend time. That way, you allow the pets to enjoy the house, but within their own specific area.
Don’t mind pets on the furniture? Try buying couch slips and stronger materials for furniture and bedding. That way, pets are less likely to rip or damage any furniture.
Some pets are clever and sneaky. You want to have kitchen cabinets, garbage cans, and chemicals locked away from pets.
Consider buying child-proof locks for low cabinet doors. Store cleaning supplies in upper cabinets, and buy garbage cans with pressure-opening lids. This will prevent any medical emergencies and damage at your property.
Pet owners want to have as many options for their pets as they do for themselves. It is important for you to research the pet-friendly areas near your property. Market these areas for your benefit.
Such areas include:
As you can see, there is a large market of pet owners looking for vacation homes. Vacation rental owners have the power to decide the type of pets that stay in their properties. Owners can charge higher rates, and require a security deposit, for peace of mind. Adding extra features to keep pets happy and occupied will give owners repeat bookings.
Do you have experiences as a pet-friendly vacation rental owner? What tips and stories do you have to share?