The UK is a pet-loving population, with 49% of adults owning a cat, dog or rabbit. That’s 8.9 million pet pooches in the UK alone! For many different reasons, a growing number of owners are also feeling reluctant to leave their four-legged friends at home whilst they go on holiday. And guess what? These animal-adoring adventurers need accommodation. The holiday rental industry can be a dog-eat-dog world, so if you’re thinking about listing your holiday home as a ‘pet-friendly’ property, we’ve got a few tips for you that should get some tails wagging:
1. Don’t Sit On The Fence - Your Outside Space
Whilst the appeal of endless rolling grounds is undeniably romantic, this presents a bit of a sticking point for pet-owners. If you can’t really tell where your garden stops and the neighbouring field begins, we’re not sure how a dog might be expected to do this! Clearly demarcating your guests’ outdoor space with a fence helps to contain excitable animals and help their owners feel an immediate sense of relief.
Speaking of relief, it would be helpful for both you and your guests if you provide a clean-up kit and designate a certain area for waste disposal! That is in no way to say that your pet-friendly apartment can’t be just as comfortable and convenient for a self-catering holiday. Just as long as the building permits pets and your guests have a nearby exit where they can easily let their dogs out, you can also open up your doors to humans and animals alike.
2. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie - Pet-Friendly Furnishings
If you know ahead of time that there will be pets in your home, it’s important to create a space that is conducive to happy animals and owners. Providing a dog bed along with blankets specifically for the pet is a lovely way to ensure your pet guest can sleep comfortably. Alternative spaces to chill out, like size-appropriate cushions, are also a nice touch. Owners may appreciate hooks for dog leads, and perhaps a stair gate to keep certain rooms off-limits if necessary.
You may also want to consider pet-friendly furnishings for the slightly more selfish reason that is ease of cleaning. Firstly, leather furniture is far easier to clean vs. fabric, so keep this in mind when buying furniture. Carpet is also a fur-magnet and can turn cleaning up pet accidents into a real nightmare. Tiled floors make cleaning up a breeze, allowing you to sweep up pet hair. While it’s probably not realistic to re-floor your entire home right away, it might be a smart option to consider this the next time your home is in need of an upgrade. If you really want to push the boat out, dogs LOVE underfloor heating.
3. Paws For Thought - Dog Welcome Pack
Most dogs really aren’t that fussy about a lot of things, but remember, you are marketing to their owners - not their canine companions. Whilst it’s usually easy for a dog to adjust to new surroundings without the bells and whistles, a dog welcome pack, alongside a welcome pack for human guests, really indicates that you have gone above and beyond to make them feel at home. It’s extra-special touches like this that will really come shining through in those all-important guest reviews. Here are a few ideas for treats and trinkets that you may wish to include:
- Dog bowls (food, water, travel bowl)
- Dog toys (ball, chews)
- Clean-up kit (bags, bag-holder)
- Grooming kit (dog shampoo, brush, towel)
- Dog treats
- Spare leash
- Local vet information
4. Lead The Way - Share Your Knowledge
Part of the reason holiday rentals have a certain edge over large hotels, is that they can provide a really personalised experience with an advantageous insider’s perspective. Tips and recommendations about the local area are always appreciated by guests, whilst anything pet-specific goes beyond expectations. Along with any welcome books, maps, local business leaflets and discount vouchers, you can also provide information on the nearest vet, dog parks and walking trails, or pet-friendly bars and cafes in the area. This could really save your guests some time frantically Googling, so they have more time to make the most out of their holiday.
5. The Small Print - Extra Rules & Charges
While allowing pets in your rental opens you up to more enquiries, it also opens up a new set of challenges. Even if the pet is really well-behaved and does no damage at all, a thorough deep clean is necessary each time in order to ensure there is no trace left for the next guest’s stay; and this doesn’t come for free. Guests that are used to travelling frequently with their furry friend will expect to pay a little extra, or to incur an additional fee for accommodating them - so, as long as you’re transparent about it, don’t be afraid to add a surcharge. Along with a fee, you could also build rules relating to the pet and responsibilities of the owner into your guest contract, perhaps with a refundable deposit.
6. Vet Your Guests - Connect With EveryStay
This deserves to be squeezed in just for the pun alone, but it’s also a really valid point for pet-owners. When you list your home on EveryStay, you can specifically state whether or not your home is pet-friendly. If it is, you’ll receive all the guest’s contact details upfront and have the opportunity to reach out and mutually discuss expectations of the rental and of your guests. Before the booking is confirmed, make sure you ask:
- How many pets are coming
- Type/breed of animal
Some Home Owners Associations and neighbourhoods don’t allow certain types of dogs, so make sure you clarify this with guests to prevent any issues when they arrive. The beauty of EveryStay being an enquiry-only platform, is that if any of the information your guest provides about their pet begins to ring alarm bells, you can always politely decline the booking.
If you would also like to rent out your property portfolio commission free and keep 100% of your rental charge, list your properties on EveryStay today: