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Should You Allow Pets in a Short-term Rental?

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Should You Allow Pets in a Short-term Rental?
Photo of a young couple moving into a new apartment, carrying boxes and furniture in.

Due to a rise in long-term stays and staycations, pet-friendly short-term rentals are increasingly popular. When you consider that over 67 percent of US homes own a pet, it’s easy to understand why bringing pets inside your vacation home may be a smart idea.

Given the prevalence of pet ownership, converting your house to a pet-friendly rental may be an excellent method for increasing your hosting revenue. While it may seem hazardous to have dogs on your property, there are several precautions you can take to safeguard your rental. You can check with other vacation villas about how they manage such requests.

Continue reading to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of accepting furry companions, as well as what you should do to make your vacation rental pet-friendly.

Should Your Vacation Rental Allow Pets?

Before making any choices, it’s usually a good idea to do some research and determine if a given course of action has more advantages or disadvantages. The first and most apparent consideration is allergy.

If you suffer from allergies, cleaning the room after your stay would be intolerable. If this is the case, only hypoallergenic canines are permitted. Alternatively, you may hire a third-party cleaning business to assist you with the cleaning. In any event, before allowing individuals traveling with dogs to stay at your vacation rental home, it’s critical to assess the benefits and drawbacks:

Pros

  • You will be able to generate more bookings by marketing your property to a broader audience. 
  • You will be able to increase your nightly rate because pet owners are willing to pay a bit more for the opportunity to stay with their pets. 
  • You can expect a higher return on investment with more bookings and an increased nightly rate.

Cons

  • Damage and premature wear and tear are more likely to occur during your short-term rental.
  • If your animals create a commotion, bark, or urinate outside of permitted places, your neighbors may not be pleased.
  • Because the majority of animals are fluffy and often filthy, your cleaning expenditures are likely to increase.
  • Infestations of ticks and fleas are always a possibility with animals. They are difficult to detect and tough to eradicate. This might be hazardous if you own pets.

How much money do pet-friendly rental properties earn?

While there is no specific figure for how much pet-friendly vacation rentals earn, we did some research to have a better idea of how allowing pets affect your ROI. Thus far, owners have reported an increase in income of thousands of dollars from pet-friendly rentals.

Pet-friendly vacation rental apartments have a much lower vacancy rate than non-pet-friendly rentals and are 16 percent more costly. Here are some further statistics to persuade you to accept animal guests in your short-term rental:

  • The average pet registration charge is $50.
  • The average charge for pet cleaning is $120.
  • On average, a refundable deposit of $200 is required.
  • Pet-friendly short-term rentals are 4% more likely to be booked than non-pet-friendly homes. 
  • Animal owners typically spend an additional $23 per night for pet-friendly accommodations.
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How to Create a Pet-Friendly Vacation Rental?

If you determine that this investment is worthwhile, the next step is to renovate your home to make it pet-friendly.

Not only will these suggestions assist you in accommodating your new animal-loving visitors, but they will also help you pet-proof your property and maintain a positive relationship with your neighbors.

1. Organize your documents

Make a fast call to your homeowner’s insurance carrier to see if making your property pet-friendly would affect your rate. While the majority of insurance providers cover virtually all dog breeds, cats, and fish for little or no additional cost, it’s still prudent to cover all bases.

Before traveling, verify local rules about immunizations and licensing. Create a clear and detailed pet-friendly policy to prevent any confusion with future visitors.

Finally, demand that all pets be vaccinated, tick and flea-free, and have a tag, proof of ownership, and any other relevant documents.

2. Purchase textiles that are pet-friendly

Utilize easy-to-clean yet difficult-to-destroy materials. Even if you ask your clients to keep dogs off the sofa and bed, they will often ignore your request. Therefore, utilize pet-friendly materials to safeguard your furnishings. Choose a fabric that is resistant to moisture and stains.

3. Ensure that water dishes, toys, and other pet necessities are available.

Provide pet requirements for your visitors. This transition will result in improved ratings, more reservations, and less confusion. We propose the following pet-friendly amenities:

  • Extra leashes 
  • Extra collars 
  • Chew toys
  • Cat scratchers 
  • Brushes 
  • Treats
  • Water dishes 
  • Dog gates 
  • Crates 
  • Waste bags

4. Use barriers to keep pets out of your rooms.

Protect surfaces and prevent dogs from going into restricted areas by installing dog fences and mattress coverings. Additional ideas for pet-proofing your rooms include the following:

  • Install childproof locks on cupboards to prevent dogs from opening them.
  • Keep harmful and dangerous things locked away or on high shelves.
  • Keep garbage cans within cabinets. 
  • Whether you have home plants, check to see if they are toxic to specific animals.
  • Cover any heating vents.

5. Install surfaces that are simple to clean

Avoid carpets and fabrics that are prone to absorb liquids or are readily stained or damaged. Because hard-floor surfaces are the simplest to clean, we suggest laminate, tiles, or vinyl.

6. Require a security deposit to safeguard your stuff against harm.

Always require a deposit in case of damage to the property during the visitors’ stay. We recommend charging a $150-200 refundable deposit, however, you may adjust this amount to your preference. Finally, consult local ordinances and laws to see if your state has any unique requirements.

How Much Should Your Pet Fee Be?

A benefit of having a pet-friendly short-term rental is that pet owner are already prepared to pay a premium at the checkout. When it comes to typical rentals, most apartment complexes in major cities even demand a monthly pet fee.

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Given the amount of housekeeping required, why shouldn’t you also impose a pet fee? However, charging a fixed cost for all visitors who bring dogs is not the ideal course of action, since not all dog breeds need the same degree of property maintenance.

Larger dogs with lengthy hair, for example, are more prone to shedding. On the other hand, bigger breeds such as poodles, Portuguese water dogs, and Wheaten Terriers do not shed at all. Then there are other sorts of pets to consider, such as cats, who often do not produce much mess.

The majority of pet-friendly short-term rentals charge between $10 and $50 per night for pets, depending on the species and breed type. Additionally, you may add a pet cleaning cost of around $120. Additional considerations to consider include the following:

  • Size — define the maximum size of pet that you can accommodate and use this option when calculating the pet cost for a given visitor.
  • Age – examine the pet’s age, since younger dogs and cats are more prone to misbehave, which may result in more accidents and damage.
  • Breed – an allergen-free breed would be ideal.
  • Potential for damage – assess the potential for harm caused by various pets and explicitly describe the sorts of pets and breeds that are permitted in your rental.

Suggestions for Pet-Friendly House Rules for Short-Term Rental

You should prepare a set of rules that all visitors must adhere to provide the optimum level of happiness for both sides. Here are our top picks:

  • The animal population

Determine the maximum number of animals that will be permitted within your rental.

  • Animal species

Decide whether to accept simply dogs and cats or other creatures such as rabbits, fish, snakes, and gerbils.

  • Weight restrictions

This will vary according to the size of your lodging. However, the majority of holiday rental owners limit the weight to 40 pounds.

  • Zones off-limits

Indicate which rooms and locations are off-limits to pets.

  • Waste 

Designate particular areas in your backyard for dogs to relieve themselves. Inform visitors that they are responsible for rubbish collection and disposal.

  • Leashes

Require all pet owners to keep their pets on a leash while strolling around the neighborhood to prevent any unpleasant circumstances.

How to Manage a Pet-Friendly Airbnb Effectively

While operating a pet-friendly Airbnb demands more time and management, it is unquestionably a prudent business choice if you want to exponentially increase your return on investment. If you’re concerned about cleaning and other associated responsibilities associated with pet-friendly rentals, you might consider using vacation rental software.

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