Are you pet friendly? Or, are you pet tolerant? Or, do you begrudgingly accept a small, non-shedding, hypo-allergenic dog that doesn’t bark, never climbs on furniture, and then charge a fee for it? As a pet owner, my view on this is:
If you are not 100% committed to welcoming pets at your property you should not accept them at all, regardless of the limitations of being non-pet-friendly.
I’m a pet owner and when we have taken Holly, our black lab, to vacation rentals, I clear up after her, remove as much pet hair as I can find, and endeavor to keep her off the furniture. However, at home she’s allowed on a couch and, since she is a dog and not a rational human who might see a distinction between the ratty old family couch and the smart version in the vacation home, all she thinks is:
I need a snooze – oh look there’s a comfy couch – my favourite thing.
She’s booted off pretty quickly but the deed has been done – she has been on the furniture. Now I am in a frenzy to check for pulled threads and any errant dog hair that has got caught in the fabric. Why? Because the House Rules book says if our pet goes on the furniture we could be liable to a $500 fine.
If you accept pets, accidents will happen, just as they will if you accept children. And, since most dogs get their food in a dog bowl in the corner rather than in a dish or bag in front of TV, it’s far more likely there will be food spills or melted chocolate stains from your small person guests rather than the four-footed variety.
Guest will love you if you love their pets. Here’s what you could provide to welcome them:
· Food and water bowls
· Old towels for drying feet
· Dog bed with changeable covers for guests who don’t bring their own
· Spare leash and tie down
· Temporary dog tag with your property address & phone number
In lieu of a bunch of pet rules, change the tune by writing a ‘Letter to Your Pet’ like this one. It’s a nice way to remind your guests of their responsibilities, and an opportunity to mention the potential dangers presented by the local animal population, and about respect for neighbours.
Don’t forget to supply poop scoop bags, a sturdy vacuum cleaner and upholstery brushes so your guests can clean up. A bottle of carpet spot cleaner is another useful addition.
Welcoming pets brings new guests, but best of all it makes for a very loyal set of returning pet owners who feel they are just as valued as guests who don’t have furry friends.