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6 tips for hotels, caravan parks & providers who want to accept pets

In light of the current pandemic, hotel and general accommodation numbers have been down. Increasingly, accommodation operators are trying to find ways to gain booking inquiries and rental appeal while also getting the most money out of the property.

One important decision operators will need to make is whether you want to allow pets. While allowing pets will increase your vacation rental pool, it will also increase the wear and tear on your hotel rooms. If you are considering offering your hotel rooms, cabins, or caravans as a rental for people bringing their pets, you will likely want to do the five following things.

1.Take Out the Carpeting

Dogs, cats, and other pets may tear up or otherwise damage your carpeting. To avoid having to repair or replace carpeting after a misbehaving animal destroys it, replace all, or at least most, of your carpeting in your home with laminate, tiling, or another flooring that is likely to better withstand your guests’ pets.

2. Create a Pet-Friendly Outdoor Space

The amount of space that you dedicate to your guests’ pets will depend on your property’s outdoor area. At the very least, your guests who are bringing their pets along will likely appreciate a large fenced-in grassy area where they can play with their pets and allow them to go outside without worrying about them wandering away. When listing your property, you will want to make sure to highlight this outdoor space, even including a few pictures of it so potential guests can see why your property is a great place for them to stay with their pets.

3. Let Your Guest Know About Other Local Pet-Friendly Locations

If there are other great pet-friendly areas around your property, it is also a good idea to leave your guests information about these places. You can create a short brochure that you leave on a table or counter where your guests can see it and determine any places they want to visit with their pets. Your brochure can even include basic maps to these locations as well as the approximate distance to the location. If there is a cost to visit these places, include that in the brochure as well.

4. Establish Rules

To ensure that your guests and their pets treat your property with respect, you will need to establish rules. These rules should be included in the contract and should be posted somewhere on the rental property. You can frame the rules and put them on a wall in the living room or in another area where your guests can see them.

Your rules may include stipulations about how many pets your guests can bring, what types of pets are allowed in the rental, and any fines or fees you will charge, either for disobeying the rules or for any damage that their pets cause to the property.

Some vacation rental owners choose to charge a deposit if a person brings along a pet. Then you can return all or a portion of the deposit if the renter’s pet does not cause damage.  

It is also important to make it clear that this is a pet-friendly property. Those with pets, as well as those without pets, will appreciate this courtesy.

Even though you will want to make sure that your rental is thoroughly cleaned after every guest, even just a few leftover dog hairs could cause a problem for someone with a pet allergy, or an outbreak of fleas.

Pets absorb poison through their paws, so any cleaning and pesticides used on the property will need to be non-toxic for pets.

5. Liability with Leaving Treats

If you’re considering allowing pets in your vacation rental property, you are likely an animal lover yourself. You may be thinking of leaving treats for the pets so they will feel like an appreciated guest. You could have a cookie jar full of dog treats or include a package of treats on the counter for your animal guests to enjoy. Let your guests know that these are complimentary. You may even want to ask your guests about their pet’s favourite treats or any dietary restrictions so you can pick out the right treats for your new furry guest.

Just bear in mind that different pets do have vastly different diets according to their needs. Switching their diets can cause upset tummies, Upset tummies can cause dogs to vomit or have diahorrea. Vomit can ruin your carpets, stain, and leave smells and be a cleaning expense.

If you are then blamed for any illness for treats supplied, you may be up for expensive Vet Bills.

Of course, these are just a few tips for vacation rental owners. The key really is to make your rental pet-friendly while also making it clear that you expect your guests, both humans and animals, to show respect toward your property.

6. Consider Partnering with a Dog Walking or Doggy Day Care Service

If your guests are wanting to go to theme parks for the day, or National Parks or some Beaches, Marine Park protected Beaches, National Parks, and Theme parks don’t allow pets.

So, leaving fido locked up in-doors all day may cause an excess of built up energy which may result in excess barking or room destruction. Caravans and Cabins in particular will also need ventilation and heating or cooling to be running all day to avoid heatstroke over summer if pets are left behind, increasing running costs.

For more information, please visit: www.petcloud.com.au

Deb Morrison

This article was submitted by PetCloud, which is a national, Australia-owned and operated service to help Operators cost-effectively reduce wear and tear. Part owned by RSPCA Qld, PetCloud offers a “Dogcierge” with Pet Taxis, Doggy Day Care and Dog Walking (& more). All Doggy Day Carers and Dog Walkers are police checked and insured. National Customer support is provided by RSPCA Qld Staff.

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