So you’ve been thinking about turning your vacation rental property into one that’s pet friendly? Well, we’re here to help! As a prominent management company in the vacation rental business, Cabins for YOU knows this decision is a big one. Whether to allow or prohibit pets from staying at a rental property is a discussion often had with our partnered owners. From our experience, we encourage you to deep dive into the subject and really think about how allowing pets in your vacation rentals will affect you. Let’s start with the numbers:
- Do a lot of Americans have pets? YES — In fact, it’s estimated that 67% of households (around 85 million families) have at least 1 pet…if not multiple.
- Do many pet owners travel with their fur babies? YES — It’s thought nearly half of pet owners in the United States like to travel with their pets.
- Am I missing out on potential bookings by not allowing pets in my vacation rental? We think you know the answer…YES.
Now, opening the door to being pet friendly isn’t for everyone, and it’s an important decision you shouldn’t take lightly. While there are benefits to hopping in the pet friendly vacation rental market, we can’t overlook the downsides. Both need to be measured and weighed to make the best decision for YOU. Do the pros prevail over the cons? We’ll let you decide.
If you opt to take the pet friendly plunge, we’ll teach you how to make the transition smooth and successful with advice on fees, restrictions, and maintenance. Feeling shaky on where service animals fall into pet friendly policies? Read on for insight on the often unclear matter. Any questions so far? Good, we have answers.
PROS of being a Pet Friendly Property
- Expand Your Market Reach
With millions of pet owners looking for pet friendly vacation rentals for family vacays, trips with friends, and group reunions, the pet friendly market is in high demand. Indeed, Cabins for YOU receives constant calls seeking pet friendly rentals! So, if you’re interested in boosting your market appeal — and occupancy — quickly, then switching to pet friendly is a great option as it welcomes a flood of new potential guests.
- Gain Additional Profit
Inviting pets to stay at your vacation rentals means you can implement a pet fee and stow a little extra cash in your pocket. It doesn’t need to be steep, just enough to make it worth your while. Plus, you can offer a few pet bonuses for choosing your cabin, like bowls or chew toys. Don’t worry — guests are more than willing to pay as it’s much more affordable than hiring sitters or boarding pets at a kennel.
Note: Cabins for YOU provides pet extras at no fee to you, so it’s one less thing you have to worry about as a valued partner.
- Look Forward to Paw-sitive Reviews & Repeat Stays
As supply is low in the pet friendly vacation rental market, when pet parents find a great place to stay with their pups, it’s often they’ll not only return but also leave positive feedback for other pet lovers to see. And word of mouth is an undervalued advertising strategy these days that is sure to funnel more pet guests and profit your way.
The proof is in the pudding…or in this case pet friendly reviews for Cabins for YOU!
"We spent 4 nights here celebrating my grandmother’s birthday. Eight of us ranging in age from 27-75 stayed comfortably…The best part was being able to bring my dogs. Sometimes you worry a place won’t be clean if pets are allowed, but that was not the case. Clean. Accommodating. Would definitely return.”
"The owners have made (the cabin) so cozy, quaint and quite special! This gem of a cabin is surrounded on all sides by peace, quiet and beauty. Our canine sons loved the fenced in backyard…We will be back!”
"Absolutely had an amazing time with my family. We had 4 adults and 2 children, also a little French bulldog. The indoor pool & hot tub was wonderful and enough space for everyone. I highly recommend this rental company for your vacation needs!"
CONS Against Pet Friendly Properties
- Prepare for Allergens or Pests
Perhaps you or someone in your family has severe pet allergies. Unfortunately, routine (and even some deep) cleans aren’t always enough to completely remove pet dander from your rentals. This is something to seriously consider when deciding to make your properties pet friendly or not as health and safety are paramount. Also be aware that fleas or other pests may become more prevalent with pets in the rentals (even though humans carry them, too). This means stricter shampooing routines for carpets and rugs.
Can transitioning to pet friendly deter guests without pets? Yes; however, it is something we rarely come across as it’s usually to do with steering clear of pet allergens.
- Harken to Howls & Meows
Something that may not be considered when allowing pets in vacation rentals is the noise that could come with it. While not a huge disadvantage for properties with plenty of outdoor space, condos, townhouses, or joint homes require a bit more thought in this area. Neighbors may tire of barking and meowing in the night, and you wouldn’t want to upset them. After all, unhappy neighbors may make guests uncomfortable…
- Consider Possible Property Damage
If there’s one concern that deters owners from transitioning their rentals to pet friendly properties, it’s the fear of property damage. Of course, this is something to think about. However, just because a pet is brought to your property, doesn’t mean damage is inevitable. Think about it. Would you want to travel with pets who aren’t housebroken, chew their way through everything, and don’t listen or obey? The majority of guests with pets bring well-behaved fur babies. In fact, you’re more likely to take a hit from a child’s birthday party or family gathering than a dog or cat. However, with pet friendly properties, it’s good to ease your concerns with regular inspections to be sure.
Note: Cabins for YOU provides complimentary carpet and furniture cleanings to pet friendly properties.
How to Make YOUR Property Pet Friendly
If transitioning your vacation rentals to pet friendly properties sounds like an opportunity worth taking, go for it — with Cabins for YOU as your humble guide! We’ll help you get started with ease, one step at a time.
- Restrict Pet Size & Quantity
When transitioning to pet friendly, you may want to consider restricting the size and quantity of pets. We recommend up to 2 pets at a max of 75 pounds each. And be sure to recognize that pet friendly isn’t limited to just dogs — it’s important to request pet information from each guest.
- Set House Rules
Setting specific house rules related to pets, like keeping them off the furniture, is a normal request with pet friendly rentals. It draws clear lines and helps guests know how to better care for your home.
- Make Home Improvements
Sometimes house rules aren’t enough, so preventative actions are encouraged and beneficial to protect your pet friendly vacation rentals. Removable pet gates can block certain areas, sofa covers can be washed and replaced easily, and animal friendly flooring (hardwood/cork/vinyl/laminate/stone/tile/linoleum) is preferred to carpet in order to make cleaning easier.
- Provide Pet Supplies
Give your guests and their pets something to look forward to when they arrive, like toys, bowls, or a bed. At no cost to you, Cabins for YOU will make sure pet guests receive a bowl and waste bags, which are always appreciated.
- Schedule Regular Inspections
With pet friendly properties, it’s good to schedule regular inspections - something we offer at Cabins for YOU. With routine checks, we look out for things like scratches, chewed items, and possible accidents.
What About Service Animals?
A lot of owners are confused on the laws and regulations regarding service animals at vacation rentals that are not pet friendly. While some vacation rentals can wiggle around the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) due to technical jargon, it is generally best to allow service animals into your vacation rentals whether they are pet friendly or not. Here are a few reasons why.
- Service animals undergo intense training and are generally well-behaved.
- It shows you do not discriminate against people with disabilities.
- You are helping guests who may have a difficult time finding suitable vacation rentals.
At Cabins for YOU, our pet policy allows service animals and emotional support pets into any property at no extra charge, pet friendly or not. This ensures guests with disabilities or fragile states can freely book without concern for added costs and shows empathy and care for their situations. After all, these animals are here to help. You wouldn’t charge someone for bringing a mobility aid, right?
Worried about pet allergies?
Of course, there are special circumstances that require further attention, such as severe pet allergies. In this case, it is alright to redirect the inquiring guest to another property as we don’t want to exchange one health concern for another. Simply be open and honest about the concerns for your property and ensure it is advertised as animal free where appropriate.
If the transition to pet friendly seems a little intimidating or too much to take on alone, Cabins for YOU has your back. We’ll take care of everything and then some to ensure your new pet friendly vacation rentals succeed. Give your owner representative a call at 1.800.684.7865 or send us an inquiry when it’s convenient. We’re happy to lend our expertise and a helping hand!