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Pros and cons of offering pet-friendly stays

With more people wanting to travel with their furry companion, should you offer pet-friendly accommodation or not?

With pandemic lockdowns, the number of dog owners surged. More Australians are pet-owners than ever before, with many millennials viewing their dogs more as children than pets.

A study conducted by Kelton Research found that 81 percent of people consider their pets as equally important to the family as children, and 78 percent of women consider themselves a ‘dog mum’ rather than a dog owner.

And studies show that these pet parents are willing to spend big on their ‘fur babies’.

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With more people having a furry companion, and often wanting to travel together, AccomNews explores the benefits and considerations of pet-friendly accommodation offerings.


New clientele

Allowing guests to stay alongside their pets is a sure-fire way to secure some additional bookings. Particularly if your accommodation offering is located in a regional or remote area, opening your stay up to pets is bound to snag those travellers who may be relocating or on long road trips.

Further tap into this new client base by clearly advertising yourselves as pet-friendly, and making your accommodation offering known to breeders, dog groups and kennels within the local areas.

Additional revenue

Charging a ‘pet fee’ allows you to upsell your accommodation to those travellers with pets. Additionally, charging for extras such as a pet bed, pet crate, or a special ‘pet’ room service menu can all help increase revenue for your business.

Guests travelling with pets are likely to pay additional costs if it means they can travel together, and ‘renting out’ some pet essentials also means they can travel a bit lighter.

Inspires loyalty

Travellers who know their pet was comfortable and well-received at your accommodation, are more likely to return. Additionally, they are likely to tell friends and family about their positive experience.

Welcoming pets into your accommodation is a simple way to create a group of loyal and returning guests.

Chance to exceed expectations

Pet owners love when others treat their beloved furry friend like a VIP. Welcoming pets into your accommodation provides ample opportunity to exceed guest expectations and earn some great reviews.

Keep a jar of treats behind the desk for any four-legged guests, and a water bowl outside.

Photo by Tamara Bellis on Unsplash


Extra cleaning

It goes without saying, inviting pets into your accommodation will result in extra cleaning. In addition to accidents, even the most well-trained pets will leave their hair behind. Ensure to account for additional housekeeping, by factoring the cost into any ‘pet fees’ you implement.

The impact on other guests

Staying in an unfamiliar place could lead to additional stress and anxiety for any four-legged guests. However, barking and whining could be a deal breaker for others. If possible, keep pet-friendly rooms on a dedicated floor and away from other guests. Additionally, speak to guests before arriving about bringing comfort items such as a favourite toy for their pet’s stay.

Additional legalities

While we like to think that all pet owners are responsible, there are always those that like to push the boundaries. Opening your accommodation up to pets could allow antisocial dogs to come and stay. Ensure your business’ public liability insurance covers any injuries or damaged property as a result of a guest’s pet.

Additionally, have guests sign a waiver to release your accommodation from any liability if their pets are injured during their stay.

Four-legged friends policy

While most guests will likely be travelling with their dogs, pet-friendly accommodation offerings have to make a call on what animals are included within the policy. Unlike dogs, cats are more likely to scratch soft furnishings and are also a common allergen.

Think carefully about what sort of pets you are comfortable welcoming to your accommodation, and be prepared to discuss with guests.

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