Pampering your pet-owner guests can be a real boost to your bottom line for out-of-season rentals. About 75% of the guests to my cottage bring their dog; many are returning guests who come back, not only for their annual summer vacation, but in the fall, winter and spring as well. This is because we welcome them and their pets.
Responsible pet owners believe it is a privilege to bring their dog to the cottage, not a right, and are meticulous in their care of the property. Most times, we arrive at the cottage to do a changeover and you would never know there has been anyone there – people or pets. Of course, there are exceptions, but there is risk in renting out a property anyway, and taking the rough with the smooth goes with the territory.
To increase customer loyalty we operate a pet friendly vacation rental policy. This means we provide dog bowls, towels, a bucket and rubber gloves for outdoor washing, and a skunk pack with instructions for use. There is a pet toy box with balls, pull ropes and frisbees, and a couple of old blankets for use as dog beds if guests don't bring their own.
Our ‘Letter to Your Pet' is a friendly reminder of our guests' responsibilities and is a nice format to mention being wary of the local animal population, and about respect for neighbours.
For clean-up there is a good supply of plastic bags, a sturdy vacuum cleaner and upholstery brushes.
If allowing pets means we have to clean carpets more often and be a bit more focused on changeover checking, then it is well worth the additional time and effort in terms of the extra bookings it brings.