More and more people are choosing to live with pets, be it a dog, a cat or other animal species. This trend is also reflected in travel behaviour. Many pet owners do not want to leave their pets alone when they travel and therefore look for pet-friendly accommodation.
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As an owner of a holiday home, you have the opportunity to benefit from this trend and specifically address this target group by allowing pets and making your accommodation pet-friendly. This will set you apart from numerous competitors and fill a valuable niche in the market. It will also benefit you in the low season.
A feel-good atmosphere for dog & owner
It is important to design your holiday home in such a way that pets as well as their owners feel comfortable and welcome. Read here how you can achieve this. As dogs are the most commonly taken pets, most of these tips are tailored to them. However, with a little imagination, the tips can also be applied to cats.
Prepare your holiday home for animal visitors
- Before welcoming guests with dogs (or other pets), you should remove fragile or delicate items. If you use carpets in your holiday apartment or holiday house, make sure they are made of stain-resistant materials and are easy to clean (use easy-care outdoor carpets, for example). Avoid carpets with a high pile as they tend to collect dirt and hair.
- Pesticides, bleach and other chemicals can be dangerous to pets if consumed accidentally. Before guests arrive, always check that they are kept in an enclosed area.
- If you have a garden or outdoor area, it should be "escape-proof": make sure the fence is high and sturdy enough to prevent an escape.
- Also check your garden for poisonous plants or other dangerous items that might pose a threat to pets.
- Inform your guests about the importance of removing all their pet's droppings from outside and around your holiday home to maintain a clean and hygienic environment.
Offer pet supplies
Show your guests that pets are especially welcome and offer animal supplies. After a long journey, pet owners are sure to look forward to a perfectly prepared holiday home. You could offer the following as a special service:
- Food and water bowls
- Dog towels
- Dog waste bags
- Dog and cat food
- Dog and cat treats
- Sofa cover
Provide useful information
Let guests know which places in the area are particularly pet-friendly or suitable for an outing with a dog. For example, is there a dog beach or dog park? Where can the dog be taken off the leash? Are there pet-friendly restaurants? This information could be listed in the guest folder or in a separate folder.
- Dog-friendly parks/beaches
- Local vets
- Pet supply shops
- Information on local leash requirements
- Advice on how to dispose of dog waste
- Contact details of dog sitters or dog walkers
- Trip destinations and activities
- Restaurants that allow you to bring your dog (e.g. with outdoor facilities)
Establish house rules
To avoid misunderstandings, the general house rules should be specifically adapted to the needs of guests with pets or supplemented accordingly.
- Indicate where pets are allowed inside the accommodation and where they are not, e.g. in the bed.
- Inform your guests how they can keep the holiday home clean during their stay. For example, indicate a doormat and a cloth at the entrance where pets' paws can be wiped and specify where to dispose of dog waste bags.
- Make it clear that guests are liable for any damage caused to the holiday home, including damage caused by pets.
- Let guests know which pet accessories are intended as gifts (for example, a specific toy), while other items are part of the accommodation facility and may not be taken home.
Tips for cleaning up after the animal visit
After guests with a pet have stayed with you, it is important to clean the holiday home thoroughly. Removing pet hair can be a challenge. Read here how it can be done:
A hoover is a must for any cleaning, but when it comes to getting rid of pet hair, you should use a hoover with powerful suction and a pet hair attachment designed specifically for this purpose. Vacuum all carpets, upholstered furniture, curtains and other textiles thoroughly.
Using tape can also be an effective way to remove pet hair from upholstered furniture and other textiles. Wrap duct tape around the palm of your hand and use it to collect pet hair. Alternatively, you can use rolls of tape that are specially designed for removing pet hair. Rubber gloves can also be used for this by rubbing your palms over textiles. The rubber surface attracts the hair and collects it. There are other pet hair removers on the market that work very well.
When washing textiles, you can use special anti-lint balls or wash balls that attract pet hair already during the washing process. Alternatively, sticky curlers, tennis balls or nylon tights can be added to the drum of the washing machine. Many washing machines also have a special washing programme that uses more water to remove pet hair from the laundry.
In addition, an air purifier can help remove pet hair from the air and improve the air quality in your holiday home.
Specify "Pets allowed" in the owner area
Now all that remains is to add the information that you allow pets in your owner area. This way, your accommodation can be found in our distribution network by all guests looking for this setting.
- Go to your property in the owner area and select the "Features" tab.
- Here you will find the option "pets" and you can specify further details in the menu if, for example, you would like to limit the number of pets. For smooth processing, we recommend the setting "any".
We hope you enjoy setting up and renting out your "dog-friendly holiday home" and wish you pleasant guests.
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