To be dog friendly or dog free?
There’s no doubt that accepting pets opens your property up to a huge additional guest market – especially during the quieter off peak months. Nearly 60% of our properties are dog-friendly, and over 30% of all bookings included at least one pet in 2019. For many of our owners, this is a significant revenue source and we see this as a continuing and growing demand.
However, it remains a hotly debated topic among holiday homeowners across the UK.
An often-asked question is whether other types of pets are accepted too. There have been occasions when other pets are brought along – stories of guests bringing guinea pigs, cats and even a parrot always raises a smile, but in most cases, guests are looking to bring their beloved pooch.
So, what are the benefits?
If you own a dog yourself, you’ll already know that our furry friends are much-loved members of the family. Bringing a dog is clearly a key reason why people look to stay in the UK to go on holiday. You may already holiday with your own dog and would like to offer your guests this opportunity too. Many of our dog-friendly properties feature log burners and enclosed gardens, which is a big draw for dog owners.
If you own a dog, you’ll no doubt be aware just how expensive kennels are, so paying a nominal amount to take a pet on holiday is something many guests are more than receptive to. Our owners can decide whether to charge for pets, and we can also restriction on the number of pets allowed in your property. Our booking conditions also state that pets are not allowed on furniture or to be left unattended in the property.
However, perhaps the biggest argument is a pet-friendly property earns 18% more revenue and 16% more bookings than those that don’t accept pets.
There may be practical reasons why you cannot allow pets in your property – perhaps there’s a farm with livestock next door, or you’re on the doorstep of a beach which does not allow dogs. You may have your own health reasons for why you’re unable to accept dogs; and there’ll also be guests who look to stay in properties that haven’t had pets in, too. It’s easy for guests to search and filter for pet-free properties across our websites, however, please keep in mind that the demand for pet-free properties type is far less than those that accept pets.
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, if there is the possibility for your property to accept pets, then you’ll almost certainly experience an uplift in bookings.
More than dog friendly
We have so many owners who have gone the extra mile to welcome dogs to their holiday home that we’ve launched a new “more than dog friendly” collection to highlight this great service to potential holidaymakers. Properties featured in this collection earns 19% more income than properties which simply accept pets. These super-dog friendly properties offer:
- An enclosed garden
- Accept pets with no charge
- Provide a welcome pack and doggy extras
- An outdoor tap/shower
- Information about dog friendly attractions near the property (e.g. beaches, pubs etc.)
If you’d like to try being pet-friendly to see how it works for you and your property, here are some useful tips to start with:
- Ensure the garden is secure and enclosed
- Think about adding a log burner or fire
- Provide a washing machine to encourage a nice clean stay
- Offer a dog basket and a few dog treats
Talk to one of our friendly holiday letting specialists today to see how cottages.com can work for you, and your pet-friendly property.
*2019 cottages.com booking data