Five ways holiday homeowners can make properties pet-friendly

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Image by Akiko Campbell on Pixabay

Staycationing with your pet has never been more popular, and pet-friendly holiday accommodation is on the rise. Harry Roberts, Managing Director of My Favourite Cottages, discusses how properties that allow pets aren’t always truly pet-friendly – and reveals his top tips for how holiday homeowners can make their rentals more appealing to pet owners.

Just because you allow dogs to stay on your property doesn’t necessarily mean your holiday rental is pet-friendly. Truly pet-friendly rentals will consider and cater to all needs of dog owners to ensure the property is safe and secure for four-legged visitors…

Make sure the property is secure

Nothing gives pet owners more anxiety than the thought of their beloved pooches running away. So, pet-friendly properties will need to ensure there is no way pets can escape to give guests peace of mind.

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Ensure all parts of the holiday home are secure, especially if the property is nearby a road, by checking gardens are enclosed fully, access to the road is blocked off and there aren’t any gaps in gates or fences that dogs can slip through.

Supply guests with pet-friendly guides

Any pet owner knows that not all beaches are dog-friendly throughout the year. Most will only allow dogs during off-peak seasons, which could limit your guests if they’re after a coastal stay during the height of summer. So, be a good host and supply details of dog-friendly destinations in guests’ welcome packs,  such as beaches, parks and local walks.

And if you’re restricting owners to not leaving dogs unattended at the property, it’s important to include advice on where guests can dine out with their beloved pooch or details of part-time dog sitters.

beach boy
Image by Sally Wynn on Pixabay

Set guidelines… but don’t be too restrictive

Be upfront with guests about any house rules you may have for pets and set clear instructions. Usually, this will be explained and made clear to the guest before they rent the property by you or a holiday lettings agency, so guests know what they’re signing up for before they arrive.

For example, as the property owner, you’re within your rights to restrict pets to just the downstairs for hygiene and safety purposes. But to do so, you should provide an easy way for pet owners to control their pets’ access, such as a stairgate that allows dogs to roam freely without access to the upstairs.

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But remember not to be too restrictive with guests. After all, no one wants to feel like they’re walking on eggshells when they’re on holiday.

Too many rules could leave your guests with a bad taste in their mouths, especially if they feel their beloved pets aren’t truly welcome. Be open-minded and limit rules only to the essentials.

Opt for durable furnishings

When welcoming pets into homes, a bit of wear and tear is to be expected – but your property should feel clean and in good condition even if pets have stayed beforehand.

Choosing furniture and finishes that are hard-wearing, practical and easy to clean will play a big part in your property remaining at a high standard.

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Leather sofas offer both opulence and practicality – they are easy to wipe down and won’t cling to the smell of dog hair.

You should also consider your flooring. Tiled or sealed stone flooring is the most hard-wearing but can feel cold to guests. Wooden floors or a high-quality laminate can bridge comfort and practicality, offering guests a warm place to stay while being easy for hosts to keep clean.

You may also want to consider investing in wipeable paints in case mud and grime finds their way to your walls.

Rescue centres are struggling to care for pets during the pandemic
Image by BurnaIva on Pixabay

Watch out for hidden dangers

Curious or young dogs can get into everything, so keep an eye out for any subtle hazards such as exposed cables, cleaning agents or medicines.

While houseplants are a great way to make your property feel homier and cosy, a surprising amount are actually toxic to pets, so you need to keep these out of reach or remove them from the property.

The same is true for what you plant in your garden if dogs decide to take a chomp out of your plants. It’s best to keep any planting in raised beds or be discerning about what you plant.

This is a guest post by Harry Roberts. Want to write for us? Visit www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/essay-submission or email editorial@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk

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