Pet ownership is increasing globally, and many pet owners prefer to travel with their furry friends. As a result, there is an increasing demand for holiday accommodations that are pet friendly.
For property owners and managers, allowing pets in holiday accommodation can be a great way to increase occupancy rates and attract a broader range of guests. However, it is crucial to have clear policies and guidelines in place to ensure that both the pets and the guests have an enjoyable and safe experience and ultimately, the property is well looked after.
Before welcoming pets in holiday accommodation, it is essential to establish a clear pet policy. This policy should include information about the types of pets allowed, the maximum number of pets allowed, and any size or breed restrictions. It should also outline any fees or deposits required to cover potential damages or extra cleaning required due to pet hair or accidents.
Additionally, it is essential to establish rules regarding pet behaviour. For example, pets should be kept on a lead or in a carrier in certain areas, not left alone in the property, and owners should be responsible for cleaning up after their pets. Property owners should also specify which areas of the accommodation are off-limits to pets, such as bedrooms.
When guests arrive, it is a good idea to provide them with a welcome pack that includes information about the pet policy, local pet-friendly restaurants and parks, and any nearby veterinary clinics or pet stores.
It’s also a nice touch for property owners to provide pet-friendly amenities, such as food and water bowls, a designated pet area, and bio-degradable doggy doo bags. Old (or marked) throws and towels that are no longer suitable for guests could be re-utilised for pets to ensure the property is kept clean.
Careless dog owners are rare. Most owners who bring along their best friend are considerate, careful and clean.
Not everyone likes pets of course. Pet hair and dander can be a concern for some guests, and it is essential to ensure that the accommodation is thoroughly cleaned after a pet’s stay. This may involve vacuuming or steam-cleaning carpets and upholstery, washing bedding and towels, and disinfecting any areas that the pet may have used.
Paws for a Break Pets Welcome Charter
VisitScotland’s research has shown that the pets market is large: 46% of all UK households have one pet or more and 24% of all households have a dog. Almost a third (30%) of holidaymakers plan their entire holiday around how suitable the destination is for their pet and 72% of dog owners claim they would take more holidays in the UK if there was a better attitude towards dogs. These potential customers are valuable – those that holiday with pets had an average spend of an extra £126 compared to holidays ithout pets, while over two thirds consider their dogs as family members when booking holidays.
The ASSC believes that self-catering should be a perfect fit for holiday-makers with pets and we’re keen to encourage more members to take their share of the ‘hound pound’.
In 2016, the ASSC won an award from VisitScotland’s Growth Fund to encourage our members to consider welcoming pets and to highlight to visitors to Scotland the advantages of choosing self- catering accommodation when holidaying with the family pet. Our activity focuses on dogs, but we are also featuring properties which welcome other pets, including horses.
With this in mind we’ve introduced a new Pets Welcome Charter and we’re asking out pet friendly properties to sign up to the Charter and to use the Charter mark.
The Paws for a Break Pets Welcome Charter
ASSC Members offer guests a warm welcome and many members already welcome pets. The ASSC’s Paws for a Break Pet Welcome Charter allows you to show potential guests that you make an extra effort to ensure pet owners feel comfortable on holiday, with appropriate facilities and services that demonstrate an alignment to the ASSC’s long-standing commitment to quality, which helps us stand out in a crowded marketplace.
If facilities meet or exceed expectation of guests and pets alike, guests are more likely to return year on year.
To qualify as a Paws for a Break Pet Welcome Charter Member:
INFORMATION TO BE CLEARLY IDENTIFIED ON YOUR WEBSITE
You should provide:
You might like to consider providing
As a property owner, you may wish to go even further and offer more facilities to your pet owning guests, and exceed guest expectations: branded dog blanket, dog tags, lead, dog walking, day kennels, treats, dog grooming etc.
Author of guidance: ASSC Date of guidance: March 2023
Disclaimer – Guidance Sheets are written by experienced Members of the ASSC and other experts. The information in the ‘Guidance Sheet’ is provided by the ASSC for use by Members in support of their own independent business decisions. It does not constitute advice or instruction for which the ASSC can be held liable in any way whatsoever. All Members and other readers remain responsible for the consequences of any decisions taken whether in the light of information gained from this Guidance Sheet or not.