Pet Free or Pet Friendly?
Whether to accept pets is a hotly debated topic amongst owners, with the huge additional guest market that it opens up, particularly during the lower seasons. Over 55% of our properties are pet-friendly, and over 27% of all bookings include at least one pet travelling. For owners, this is a significant revenue source and we see this as a continuing and growing demand.
Firstly an often-asked question is whether pets simply refers to dogs only? There have been occasions when other pets are brought along – stories of guests bringing guinea pigs, cats and even a parrot never cease to raise a smile, but in the vast majority of bookings, guests are looking to bring their beloved pooch.
If you are a dog owner yourself, you will already know that our furry friends are much-loved members of the family, who are well looked after and well groomed. You may already holiday with your own animal and would like to offer your guests the opportunity to do this too. Many of our properties are in rural locations, often with inviting log burners, and this is a big draw for pet owners. If this sounds like your property, then allowing pets should certainly be a consideration.
Our owners receive an additional £20 per pet, per stay, and we can restrict the number of pets to 1 or 2 only if you wish. Our booking conditions state that pets are not allowed on furniture or to be left unattended in the property, and we also take a security deposit for all of our 3+ bed properties. Perhaps the biggest argument, however, is that around a quarter of our guests are looking for pet-friendly properties – bringing a pet is a key reason that people look to holiday in the UK. Being pet-friendly is a serious opportunity to increase your bookings and stand out from the rest of the market.
There may be practical reasons that you cannot allow pets into your property – perhaps having a farm with livestock next door, or on the doorstep of a beach which does not allow dogs. You may have your own health reasons for not being able to accept pets. There is also the argument that some guests prefer staying in a property that they know doesn’t take pets for their own reasons – indeed a new searchable feature on our website is for ‘Pet-free’ properties. Time will tell how much requirement there is for this versus ‘Pet-friendly’, however in terms of supply and demand it is unlikely to generate the same levels of bookings. Watch this space!
Really there is no right or wrong answer to this question, and we understand that you need to feel comfortable with how your property is used by guests. However, in stepping back and looking at your holiday let as a business venture and source of income, it is important to bear in mind that allowing pets does bring with it the opportunity to open up to an additional market that continues to grow.
Some useful tips:
- Ensure the garden is secure and enclosed
- Think about adding a log burner which increases the appeal to guests even further
- Provide a washing machine to encourage a nice clean stay.
- Offer a dog basket and perhaps a few dog treats to keep Mr and Mrs Paws happy!