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Are you an animal lover? Many Americans are. In a Tripadvisor survey conducted in 2012, 49% of pet owners in the survey said they plan to travel with their pets within the next 12 months. That’s a lot of dogs and a big handful of cats. Catering to this market can be a way to differentiate your property, but of course it does come with some risk. Not all pet owners are well behaved and considerate, but we can help you think through how to rent and market your pet friendly short term rental.
First things first, folks searching AirBnB for a pet friendly unit will be looking under House Rules to confirm that pets are allowed, so you’ll want to be sure to toggle this on. Also, update your house rules and guest information book with specific requirements for pets in your home and community and associated fees. You may want to include locations of dog parks or great trails that allow on leash or off leash hiking for folks scoping out pet-friendly locations beyond just the home.
Important note: You can include “pet-friendly” in the title of your listing if you’re specifically marketing travelers with pets, but make sure you still toggle the “pets allowed” option in house rules! We see far too often folks who think the “pet friendly” title is all they have to do. But then there’s a disconnect between the title and rules – which sometimes even say “no pets allowed”, and that’s just confusing, and possibly off-putting, to potential guests.
You’ll want to move anything breakable from dog level–and as we mention in our article on Getting Started–it’s a good idea to remove precious heirlooms and valuables that cannot be replaced, because accidents happen, especially when a Labrador Retriever tail is swishing around.
When setting up a pet friendly short term rental, avoid wall-to-wall carpet; removable and washable rugs are a better option, since accidents will happen. Similarly, washable slipcovers on sofas and duvet covers for beds are your best bet for a unit catering to pets. Secure your yard so dogs can be let out safely, without making an escape or make it very clear that the owner will need to plan leashed outings only.
Here is a roundup of pet friendly items that we recommend to delight your pet toting guests:
Disposable/biodegradeable litter box
If you’re cat-friendly, cat owners will be thrilled not to have to pack a litter box!
We love this brand – lightweight, made from renewable resources, and no plastic packaging!
Kitty litter anti-tracking mat
Preventing litter tracking through your rental — and it’s easy to sanitize!
Stain & Odor Laundry Deterent
You know we love Dropps, because they’re so environmentally-friendly! The also offer a stain & odor control detergent that’s great for pets.
Pet clean up
Just be prepared for pet messes – they’ll happen! And if you make this stuff available to your guests, hopefully there will be fewer messes for you and your cleaning crew!