The Advantages of Making Your Vacation Rental Pet-Friendly

For most people today, pets are valuable members of the family. According to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by APPA (American Pet Products Association), about 37 percent of pet owners travel with their pets each year. And this demand is growing each year. More hotels are offering pet-friendly options than ever before. But do you, as a vacation rental property owner, want to take the risk of inviting someone else’s pet into your valuable investment?

It’s important to consider that marketing your vacation rental as pet-friendly will always give you a competitive advantage. It will attract far more guests and increase your income stream, primarily when you are facing an off-season lull.

By offering your vacation rental as a pet-friendly listing, you can count on

  • Expanding the interest in your rental by offering a pet-friendly environment
  • More bookings considering the number of current travelers who bring their pets on vacation. The demand is exceeding the supply right now.
  • Extra income by charging a pet fee. It’s important to know what your competitors are charging for pet fees, however, as not to make it cost-prohibitive for your guests.
  • Filling off-season rental openings. Off-season travelers are typically retirees and people without children. Many of these guests prefer to bring their pets with them when traveling.

That being said, the term “pet-friendly” typically refers to dogs. You will need to specify this and the number of dogs that you will allow. The typical number is one, sometimes two. It is even helpful to specify the size of dog that you are willing to accommodate. You will want to be specific about house rules and pet fees that you will be charging.

Extra Expenses

As a pet-friendly vacation rental owner, you will be incurring some extra expenses that you must account for when you are setting pet fees. These may include extra cleaning charges, pest control, and odor control. But most pets are good houseguests and the fees you charge should far outweigh the expenses you incur. Most people who travel with pets are pretty confident that their pet will not cause damage, otherwise they would not travel with them. In fact, most vacation rental owners find that pets cause less damage than their people or children.

Do You Use It For Your Own Pet?

You may want to also consider that if you use your vacation rental for yourself at times throughout the year and bring your own pets, you may run the risk of alienating non-pet owners and allergy sufferers by advertising your property as a non-pet-friendly space. Conversely, by making your listing pet-friendly, your guests will expect that the property is occupied by pets at least some of the time.

Your Decision

The ultimate decision of whether it is worth making your vacation rental a pet-friendly one is yours and yours alone. Your comfort level in hosting guests’ pets should be your number one deciding factor. It isn’t worth the extra income if you are worried about it continuously. You may wish to consult with a local property management team to see what your competitors are doing and how it is working for them. Have questions? Call us at Better Vacations for experienced answers.

Published: 10/02/19