According to a HomeAway survey conducted in 2017, a total of 38% of customers are pet lovers. That means these travelers want the ability to bring their four-legged companion instead of having to find a sitter or boarding facility. This trend has vacation rental managers everywhere taking note and looking for ways to attract these types of guests. To get started, we rounded up these helpful pet-friendly rental tips.
7 Pet-friendly Rental Tips for Property Managers, Owners
State Guidelines in the Rental Agreement
The first step is to decide on the rules. Think about specific guidelines guests must adhere to and include them in the rental agreement. Consider important details — such as cleaning up after pets — and make sure the rules are easy to understand.
Other factors to consider: types of pets, weight restrictions, housebroken requirement, noise and barking, flea/tick confirmation and area leash laws. Include the specifications in the rental agreement, and post them in the rental itself.
Charge Pet Fees
Just as with traditional cleaning fees, most travelers who bring their pets are used to pet fees. Average fees can reach as much as $25 per night, or managers can set a flat rate. These fees can take care of additional cleaning and any damage caused by pets. To offset potential negativity generated by the fee, consider refunding it after check-out if no damage has been reported.
Consider the Floors
Keep the rental free of stains and odors by installing floors that are scratch- and stain-resistant. A few types include vinyl, linoleum, tile, stone, laminate and hardwood. To add decorative flair and make cleaning easier, place area rugs throughout the home. This will help dogs have better traction, and rugs can be easily replaced if there’s an issue. It’s a win-win.
Keep Everything Clean
Catering to both pet-lovers and those who prefer pet-free rentals can seem tricky. One of the best tips is to ensure the rental is thoroughly cleaned after each guest. Clean under beds, chairs, couches, and other places where dust and pet hair gather. Vacuum rugs and furniture where the pets may have rested. Couch covers offer an alternative to cleaning the sofa each time, and many are machine washable.
To make it easier for guests to clean up, provide pet-friendly cleaner in the rental. Spot cleaner for carpets also works great for families with kids. After cleaning, use scented plug-ins to make the home smell fresh.
Protect Valuables, Rooms
Lots of people love pets, but not every item is a toy. Keep valuable items high on shelves. Add child gates to rooms where pets are not allowed, such as bedrooms or a home office. Let guests know that these areas are off limits.
Those who own a house – as opposed to condo – may want to build a fence for the backyard. Fenced-in yards provide a place for pets and kids to play, keeping them from running amok in the house. Before installation, check all homeowner association and neighborhood guidelines.
Give Guests Everything They Need
Pet-friendly rentals provide an extra benefit and will stand out among others. Welcome these guests and their furry friends with water and food bowls, dog towels, treats, a special bed or resting place, waste bags, a leash, and disposable litter box for cats. In the welcome book, include nearby parks and areas where pets can exercise, a local vet for emergencies and mobile pet services for long-term guests.
In addition to the necessities chew toys and soft toys, scratching posts and all-natural treats. Most pets will not want to share toys, so include several. Some rental managers may also want to replace them after each guest check-out. To clean non-cloth toys, place gently used toys in the top rack of the dishwasher and wash without soap to keep them sanitized.
Add a Pet-friendly Search Option
Don’t forget the website and listing. Managers and owners who have their own website should add a pet-friendly search option and include the words in the listing and headline. This helps online users easily find pet-friendly rentals and improves their search experience. The sooner they find what they need, the sooner they book the rental.
Don’t forget to let potential guests know about changes and new services. View our vacation rental newsletter tips.