The pros and cons of making your
30A vacation rental pet-friendly.
Are you on the fence about allowing furry friends into your 30A vacation rental?
Sure, the demand for pet-friendly vacation rentals on the Emerald Coast of Florida is high. In fact, “pet-friendly” is one of the most popular search filters on booking sites.
But that doesn’t mean it’s right for you or your home.
Hold on to your leashes. And let’s explore the pros and cons of making your property a pet-friendly vacation rental, shedding light on whether the paw-sibilities outweigh the challenges.
We love our pets!
Yes. A whopping 70% of American households, which translates to around 85 million families, have at least one furry friend, if not more.
Pet ownership isn’t slowing down.
It’s become easier and more convenient to be a pet owner, from pet-friendly apartment leases to doggie daycare and pet supplies delivered to your door. More and more people are making the commitment and opening their homes to a pet.
Let’s bring ‘em with us!
Approximately 54% of U.S. travelers plan to vacation with their pets, creating a substantial demand for pet-friendly accommodations, especially spacious vacation rentals.
To be pet-friendly?
Stand out and fetch more bookings.
‘Pet-friendly’ routinely ranks in the top 5 of favorite amenities of 30A vacation rentals.
By opening your doors to pets, you immediately set your vacation rental apart from the rest. Your listings become visible to travelers who wouldn’t see them otherwise. And more visibility means more chances to get bookings.
Target a niche and collect paws-itive reviews.
When you target a specific niche – with specific needs (pet owners), they can be very appreciative. And loyal! Plus, happy guests leave good reviews, and the more positive reviews you rake in, the more confident your next guests will feel to book your rental. Word of mouth!
Cha-ching! Charge higher rates.
Boarding a dog or getting a cat sitter is expensive. Consequently, guests traveling with their furry companions usually don’t mind paying a slightly higher rate for a pet-friendly vacation rental.
Offering this special option simply allows you to charge more. Besides, asking for a bit more helps offset some of the potential damages. A few options:
- Charge higher rates
- Charge a pet fee
- Count pet as an extra quest
- Ask guest for a security deposit
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to how much you should charge for pets. You’ll need to experiment to see what works best for you and your listing.
Or not to be pet-friendly?
Oopsie-Daisy! And neighborly worries.
Yes, pets are bundles of joy, but they can be a tad mischievous. The most worrying aspects of making your vacation rentals pet-friendly are without doubt damages and noise complaints.
As a homeowner, you have no way of making sure that the pets your guests bring to your rental are well-trained and well-behaved. Destroyed furniture, torn linens, stained carpets, scratched wooden floors, and unpleasant smells are all possible side effects of making your vacation rental pet-friendly.
Of course, there are ways to prevent some damage. For example, carefully choosing the finishes for your surfaces and providing furniture covers is a great first step.
Furniture covers? Seriously?
While it’s true most of our homeowners have never had a problem with dogs damaging their property, the risk may not be worth it. It’s not surprising that many homeowners feel that the possibility of damages outweighs all the pros. Very understandable.
It may increase your expenses.
Yes, you can charge higher rates for pet-friendly vacation rentals. At the same time, your costs are likely to increase too. For example, you’ll be spending more on:
• Cleaning. Housekeepers need to compensation for the extra effort required to keep a pet-friendly vacation rental clean. That’s money out of your pockets unless you decide to charge a higher fee.
• Laundry. Prepare for persistent stains that pets may (or may not) leave behind.
• Insurance. Some insurance companies charge more, so make sure to double-check before you make the switch.
• Pet-friendly amenities. Buy some treats, toys and bowls for your guests’ pets.
Then, there’s the matter of noise.
Will the guest leave the pooch behind for a few hours, an open invitation for the dog to bark nonstop until they return? It happens. Little can be done to prevent that, leaving you to deal with upset neighbors and noise complaints.
By making your vacation rental pet-friendly, you could be alienating guests who aren’t pet owners. Even if your properties are spotless, guests may assume that the pet-friendly label means lower standards of cleanliness.
What’s more, many people – 10%-20% of the population worldwide – are allergic to dogs and cats. While there are certain products like sprays that you can buy to make your rentals allergen-free, some guests don’t trust hosts to take such precautions.
Also, routine cleans, and even some deep cleans, aren’t always enough to completely remove pet dander from your rentals. As a result, many hosts who allow pets in their short-term rentals choose not to explicitly advertise their rental’s pet-friendliness in the listing title or property description.
***** KEEP IN MIND *****
Pet owners are a minority,
and the majority of your bookings will still
come from guests with no pets.
Let’s do it!
Make your rules clear.
First of all, you need to make sure guests understand your rules regarding pets. Creating a detailed pet policy can help you prevent all kinds of problems.
Here are examples of rules you may want to include:
• Where are pets allowed to do their business?
• Which parts of your rental are off-limits for pets?
• What furniture are pets allowed on?
• What type of animal, and size, are allowed in your rental?
• What breed of dogs are allowed in your rental?
Protect your furniture.
When it comes to hosting pets in your short-term rental, “better be safe than sorry” is the way to go. Investing in durable finishes is a sustainable solution. Equip your place with pet-friendly furniture and some stylish covers. It’s like a mini-fortress against potential pet-related chaos while ensuring a comfortable stay for your guests.
But if that’s not an option for you at the moment, be sure to at least cover your sofas, armchairs, and even dining chairs with washable covers. This way, if an accident happens, you won’t have to change an entire set of furniture – your laundry team will take care of it.
Provide toys/pet accessories.
Preparing your rental for four-legged guests includes more than just protecting your furniture. You may also want to buy some bowls, a bed, and a basket of toys to keep cats and dogs entertained. While this is not a must by any means, your guests will appreciate it.
A pet party-pack!
Better yet, include some treats, and maybe a bandana or two – it’s all about making them feel right at home.
************ NO DOGS ON THE BEACH. NO, WE ARE NOT KIDDING. **********
We’d be amiss if we didn’t tell you about South Walton’s ‘dogs-on-the-beach’ ordinance.
Beach permits are only available to full-time residents and property owners. Learn more here.
But please, don’t let that dissuade you from enjoying 30A with your fur-bud.
There’s a lot in the area to keep all your family members happy.
THE WHERE AND WHAT
Stroll and shop.
Several outdoor venues allow your guests to walk around with a dog on a leash.
Strolling the cobblestone streets of Rosemary Beach, while treasure-hunting for doggy treats and beachy bistros, is simply delightful. 30Avenue, an outdoor shopping and dining venue, also has many pet-friendly places such as Outpost, and Amici.
Furry Fanatics is a one-stop shop for all things furry. They provide all-natural dog and cat food, treats, supplies and pet services, which include free delivery of pet supplies along Florida 30A, from Destin to Panama City, and pet concierge service for pet parents.
Bow Wow Meow, caters to the dog and cat aficionados, providing a selection of healthy and natural food as well as pet gear for both dogs and cats. In addition to our product line, we also have two private self-washing rooms.
Hike, bike, or walk.
Point Washington State Forest and Topsail Hill Preserve State Park are great places to go hiking or biking with a dog. Visitors, and locals, love the fresh air and explorable trails! (Note: dogs are not allowed on the state park beaches, though.)
Water-loving dogs love the coastal dune lakes! And paddleboarding is the perfect activity. If you’re making your home pet-friendly, consider making it water-friendly too with complimentary paddleboard usage, another great amenity.
What kind of people let just any dog into their homes?
Oversee people, that’s who.
We have a thoughtful pet policy along with a focus on enhancing the pet guest’s stay. For over a decade, the pros at Oversee have been partnering with homeowners and their pooch-friendly homes, providing countless opportunities for all to relax and unwind in gorgeous, luxury sanctuaries.