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Tail Wagging Retreats: Crafting the Perfect Pet-Friendly Vacation Rental Experience

As the short-term rental market continues to flourish, accommodating pet owners by offering pet-friendly amenities can significantly enhance your property's appeal. Catering to our furry friends isn't just a thoughtful touch—it's a strategic move that can distinguish your vacation home and attract a dedicated clientele.

Let's explore the benefits and considerations of creating a pet-friendly haven, along with practical steps to ensure your rental is the top pick for guests and their pets.

dog on leather sofa with pillows

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Pet-Friendly Rentals

Opening your doors to pets comes with its fair share of advantages, but it's wise to weigh them against the potential downsides.


  • Higher Occupancy Rates: Data from AirDNA suggests a 2-3% boost in occupancy for pet-friendly rentals, with single-family homes seeing even greater increases.

  • Increased Revenue: Pet owners often willingly pay more to stay at a place that welcomes their animal companions, providing you an opportunity to tap into this lucrative market.

  • Urban Market Edge: In city settings, pet-friendly rentals can achieve up to 6% higher Average Daily Rates (ADRs), and that's before factoring in the potential for additional pet fees.


  • Potential for Damage: Pets can inadvertently cause damage that may lead to extra maintenance or repair costs.

  • Cleaning Challenges: A pet-friendly rental requires meticulous cleaning to ensure a comfortable stay for all guests, including those with allergies or sensitivities.

  • Guest Preferences: Not all guests are pet enthusiasts; some may have concerns about cleanliness or allergies in pet-friendly spaces.

small dog on outdoor sofa

Setting the Right Pet Fee

Striking the perfect balance when setting your pet fee is crucial. It should cover additional cleaning or maintenance costs without deterring potential guests. Research what other pet-friendly properties are charging and be transparent about why the fee is necessary. Adjust your pricing based on feedback and booking trends to remain competitive and fair.

Six Steps to Creating a Pet-Welcoming Property

Making your property pet-friendly involves thoughtful preparation and attention to detail.

  1. Pet-Proof Your Space: Secure potential hazards and select durable, easy-to-clean furnishings that can withstand a paw or two.

  2. Optimize Outdoor Areas: If you have outdoor space, make sure it's secure and pet-friendly. Include information on local dog-friendly parks and walks.

  3. Incorporate Pet Amenities: Provide pet beds, feeding bowls, toys, and even emergency supplies to convey that pets are genuinely welcome.

  4. Assemble a Pet Owner's Guide: Create a guidebook detailing local pet-friendly venues, emergency vet contacts, and your property's pet policies.

  5. Establish Clear Pet Rules: Clearly outline acceptable behavior, such as the number and size of pets allowed, designated pet relief areas, and rules about pets on furniture.

  6. Plan for Extra Cleaning: Develop a specialized cleaning routine that includes pet-safe cleaning agents to address any pet-related messes.

child with dog on sofa

Marketing Your Pet-Friendly Rental

Effective marketing is key to attracting pet owners looking for the perfect vacation spot.

  • Highlight Pet Amenities: Use photos and descriptions in your listings to showcase the pet-friendly features of your rental.

  • Leverage Positive Reviews: Share glowing testimonials from previous guests who've enjoyed staying at your property with their pets.

Insurance and Liability

Ensure your insurance policy accounts for pet-related incidents. You may also want to require pet liability insurance from your guests as an added precaution.

Embrace Inclusivity

Adopting a pet-friendly approach aligns with the evolving travel culture where pets are seen as family members. By welcoming pets, you're not just tapping into a growing market; you're showing a commitment to inclusivity and guest satisfaction that can inspire loyalty and lead to lasting memories.

Transitioning to a pet-friendly vacation rental can open doors to new revenue streams and provide a unique selling proposition in a competitive market. With careful planning and clear policies, you can create a welcoming environment for all guests—two-legged and four-legged alike—and ensure a pleasant experience for everyone involved.

dogs in hammock

Looking for More Ways to Uplevel Your Vacation Rental Design Business? Join the Vacation Rental Designers Collective.

Our members range from vacation property owners and investors, to hosts, to interior designers and realtors, each seeking to enhance their business while sharing their expertise and unique skills. Members of the Vacation Rental Designers Collective get additional benefits from our Brand Partners.

You’ll learn how to run a successful vacation rental business while gaining insider insight and innovative strategies, all designed to ensure you maintain coveted five-star reviews. Find your tribe, attract new clients, and watch your business thrive.

Join us in redefining the vacation rental industry—one beautifully profitable space at a time.

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