Advantages of being a pet-friendly hotel
Most pet owners would agree that their furry friends are very much part of the family. So it’s natural to consider their needs when planning a trip away. Traditionally this would involve an extended stay at the kennels or the services of a local sitter. However, times are changing, and it's becoming increasingly popular for your pets to come along with you.
In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of running a pet-friendly hotel.
Why should your hotel become pet-friendly?
According to the PDSA, 49% of UK adults own a pet, and 38% of them feel guilty about leaving their four-legged friends behind. This has created a new market of potential customers that prioritise pet-friendly hotels when planning their stay.
Consumers are also aware that pet-friendly hotels are still a minority. Which means that hoteliers can charge higher than average prices for the flexibility of accommodating pets. The rarity of pet-friendly hotels also means that consumers are more likely to revisit your hotel in the future and recommend you to other pet owners.
The downsides to pet-friendly hotels
Let’s address the elephant in the room here – pets aren’t always as clean as we would like. So your hotel will inevitably suffer from the occasional accident. Barring an actual visit from an elephant, these accidents should be relatively easy to deal with. But it's still worth bearing in mind that when considering your cleaning costs.
Another factor to consider is the potential for damage to fixtures and fittings. Young dogs are well-known for their chewing habits, especially during times of stress. To mitigate any risk, you should avoid having wood furnishings in pet-friendly rooms. Or consider using products such as bitter apple spray to reduce the risk of chewing.
And finally, you need to consider the needs of your other guests. Not everyone appreciates the presence of dogs in the dining room. Or the sound of howling or barking late into the night. You will also have to be extra vigilant for dog mess left outside of your hotel during walks.
Recommended pet-friendly hotel policies
As a pet-friendly hotel, your guests will be expecting minimal fuss when it comes to bringing along their furry friends. That said, it’s well worth having a pet policy for guests to review and agree to before making a booking.
Here are some recommended policies to include:
- Pets are not permitted on beds or furniture. So please ensure you bring a dog bed or blanket for your pet to sleep on.
- No dogs in dining areas when food is being served. However, if needed, a space can be provided in the lounge for you to sit and eat a meal with your pets.
- Assuming you are confident about the behaviour of your pet, they can be left alone in your room during dinner. Otherwise, it may be better to leave them in the car in a shaded area with proper ventilation.
- Always ensure hotel staff are aware that there is a pet in your room.
- You are liable for any damage caused by your pets to hotel property during your stay.
- Please keep your pet leashed at all times when you are outside of your room.
- Please ensure that you clean up any mess created by your pets and dispose of any excrement in the bins provided.
Pet-friendly hotel services
Instead of merely offering pet-friendly accommodation, why not take things to the next level by including additional services for pet owners?
Give your guests some free time to relax while their pet gets some exercise. This could be handled by your hotel staff or via a local pet walker on a commission basis.
Room service for pets
Show how much you care by offering a dedicated menu just for pets. Your list could include food from well-known pet food manufacturers. Or you could even provide your own specially created dishes.
Enlist the services of a local pet groomer and earn a commission from their grooming services. Or better yet, hire an in-house groomer and offer your own bespoke pet grooming services.
The demand for pet-friendly hotels is growing. So if you implement these tips, you have a good chance of attracting pet-friendly guests and turning them into repeat clients. Additionally, with the option of specialist pet services as a sideline, you could easily brand yourself as a pet spa.