Skip navigation

Join the Vacation Rentals Conversation!

Get answers to all of your questions from fellow owners and travelers.

Join the CommunityX

CommunitySeek, Ask, and Share in the Vacation Rentals Community
4389 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: Aug 26, 2013 12:52 PM by mudstump RSS
New Member 3 posts since
May 9, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

May 9, 2012 2:52 PM

Dogs v. kids-- why the bias?

Why is it that pets (dogs, primarily) are assumed to be more trouble/mess/risk than kids? I have one small, quiet dog but have to scour for places that are pet "friendly", and if I find them there are usually charges just for him to walk in the door. But my fellow renters can bring six grabby, messy, running, screaming toddlers and all is just fine. What's the deal?

  • thaxterlane Active Contributor 779 posts since
    Jul 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 9, 2012 3:03 PM (in response to dgper)
    Re: Dogs v. kids-- why the bias?

    I understand your frustration as there are many less choices for rent for those traveling with their canine companions. i

     

    I have property which permits dogs, on a case by case basis.  I don't charge fees for pets (nor children . . . ).

     

    We permit children on a less strict basis, but I ask about number of children, age, interests, etc. and I have turned down families that appear to have their hands much too full to manage their children while staying in my home.

     

    I actually have had less wear and tear on my home by dogs than children.  But oversight is key for both groups.  You can't rent to families with children or with pets (or both) without feeling comfortable about their ability to monitor their party.

     

    So, I guess I'm disporving your post . . . .

     

    And, just a suggestion, from the tone I'm picking up from your email, you may want to turn down your "volume" and take a more gentle approach to requesting permission to bring your pet. 

      • thaxterlane Active Contributor 779 posts since
        Jul 27, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        May 9, 2012 5:25 PM (in response to dgper)
        Re: Dogs v. kids-- why the bias?

        Thoughts (part 2):

         

        Have you had positive renting experiences where you might ask the owner for a reference for your dog?

         

        Prospective renters will sometimes offer to provide a reference from a previous stay to convince me of their suitability.  Why not a reference for a dog?   I think owners that are on the fence might consider renting to you if you are able to offer a reference. 

         

        It also wouldn't hurt to have a short "biography" in mind as well:  talk about breed, age, training, travel experience, temperament, etc.  

         

        And, definitely do this on the telephone, an email will not allow you to convey how adorable and well-behaved your dog is!

         

        Good luck!

  • carol Senior Contributor 2,150 posts since
    Dec 10, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 9, 2012 10:59 PM (in response to dgper)
    Re: Dogs v. kids-- why the bias?

    I'm one of those nasty owners who doesn't allow pets.   Many of my own family members have serious allergies and can't be around animals.  It's almost impossible to remove dander and I want to make sure that any of my guests with allergies can be sure my home is habitable for them. 

     

    I don't know anyone allergic to kids!

    • thaxterlane Active Contributor 779 posts since
      Jul 27, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      May 10, 2012 7:17 AM (in response to carol)
      Re: Dogs v. kids-- why the bias?

      Carol,

       

      I don't think owners that don't permit dogs are nasty people.

       

      I understand that owners set their own policies re guests and I respect that.  Allergies, in my opinion, are in a different category  of renting decisions, and ttherefore do not need to be defended.  No one would recommend allowing a renter (human or canine) that creates a health hazard for the owner or other guests.  Second hand smoke being a human equivalent, perhaps. 

       

      But, there are many owners that do not rent to guests with pets because of an unwarranted fear of disturbance and damage.  Again, owners have the right to decide who stays in their home - it's a private property.  Unless state law dictates otherwise, I believe children, pets, high school and college students, and other "risky" individuals may be turned away by the owner if demed unsuitable.   (I also believe different categories of ownership and terms of rental - recreational versus residential - may have different laws applying to prevent discrimination, but I haven't researched the subject.)

       

      I have pets of my own that visit our vacation property.  Our home is located in a very dog friendly environment.  I long ago determined the appreciaton and care demonstrated by families allowed to enjoy their vacation with their pets far outweighs the risk of damage to my home. 

       

      I believe dgper was simplly expressing frustration at the often observed scene of unrestrained children being welcomed (or at least tolerated) where a well trained pet is denied access.   

       

      Whether a pet lover or not, I think we can all appreciate the difficulty of leaving a family member behind, even a four-legged family member. 

  • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
    Aug 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 10, 2012 7:00 AM (in response to dgper)
    Re: Dogs v. kids-- why the bias?

    I will not have pets in my rental. It would cost me my business.  Like Carol, I have to keep it allergen free of pets. Sometimes, I have to remove a bird feeder that hangs from my deck simply because a guest is so allergic to birds!   Many guests have serious allergies. I can not risk making anyone ill.  Actually, in six years, I have only had three separate requests for pets {2 were for dogs and one was for a pet goat...a resident on the island where I live wanted to bring their "dwarf goat"}.  The place has to be kept allergen free of any pets or I will be out of business quicker than you can say pet dander.   P.S. I really love the critters...I am an animal lover.   I confess that I'd rather have pets here than children (!!!), any day.  Sorry, child lovers --- I realize this sounds harsh.  But,  I've had enough experience with families with children...and they do make bigger messes, make the most noise, do the most damage, wet the beds,  and carry out the least clean up after themselves...and rarely will parents ever admit to any of it.  That's been my experience.....not with every family...I have many families who return to us every year...I've seen their child grow from baby onwards.  I just have to limit the number of children that I  permit in my small, one-bedroom rental to only one child, at any one time.

    We often have families of three and this is perfect for our small cottage. More room for everyone.  Less chaos in the space.

    • mauioceanview Contributor 250 posts since
      Jul 22, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      May 10, 2012 2:12 AM (in response to anja)
      Re: Dogs v. kids-- why the bias?

      I am wondering if you can legally say 'no children allowed'. I could just see someone coming after the owner for discrimination.

      • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
        Aug 9, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        May 10, 2012 7:06 AM (in response to mauioceanview)
        Re: Dogs v. kids-- why the bias?

        We may not discrimate against families with children.  The exception is if your rental is in a place designated for the over 50 crowd.  {There is a thread on the Owner's Community about this topic, BTW.}.    But, I don't mind having a child guest ...I enjoy them mostly. Much of what goes wrong is often due to poor parenting/discipline in a vacation home. That has been my experience....the children are sweet usually...totally innocent and just want to have fun....but the parents are too permissive, often, while living in someone else's home.  In fact, to keep the children busy, I have toys, games, dvds and lots of fun things to play with at the beaches....but I have to limit the number of children we are able to accommodate.  My place has one bedroom only....and I have a pull out that works fine for one extra person...best for one child.  There is no room for more than one child...it's just not a place for a family of four members.   I did used to "squeeze" in two children...but not an longer.  I discovered that having 2 children in my one-bedroom created such a mess in our home...they were on top of each other with all their stuff and my interior suffered....my equipment, especially beach equipment, broke often or some "parts" never made it back from the beach.  My beds were wet on by one 11 year old and one 9 year old ...NOT KIDDING... {one set of parents just checked  out leaving behind urine soaked bedding piled on the floor....had to have my carpet cleaned because of that 'wet mess' which smelled awful}.  Even my couch was wet on, once....and the parents just left it...checked out!   Another offense was when someone was changing diapers on the pull out bed...where she had two small children sleeping + she had a one-year old in a crib we provided.   A mysterious, odorous stain turned out to be what she left on the sofa bed's mattress cover...a nice stain of #2  {if you know what I mean}...and the couple just closed sofa bed after their "very negligent" effort to clean it up....just closed the sofa bed and checked out.     Very nice!

         

        I came  to realize that when I squeezed 2 children in, the messes and damages were more frequent than when I cut down the occupancy size to include just  3 people total....with only one child in the mix.  Everyone is more comfortable, and I've not had any messes, breakage, losses, as before.

         

        A couple with two children really needs a larger space than I can provide for comfortable sleeping and playing, space, etc.

         

        So, I do accept one child...a limit, according to my rental size:  3 people maximum...that could be a 2 adults + 1 child, a teen, or 3rd adult}....I just do not exceed 3 people.

  • wiffle Contributor 217 posts since
    Feb 23, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 16, 2012 2:57 PM (in response to dgper)
    Re: Dogs v. kids-- why the bias?

    We do have pet allergies in my family.

     

    But beyond that, I don't want animals on the furniture or bedding. Every pet owner has the "world's best behaved dog" when it is time to rent the place, but when it comes down to it, animals can be very destructive.

     

    Also, people with pets often have a different idea of cleanliness. If an animal has an accident on the floor/rugs, there is no amount of cleaning sufficient for my satisfaction. So, no animals.

  • New Member 10 posts since
    May 29, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 29, 2012 11:19 PM (in response to dgper)
    Re: Dogs v. kids-- why the bias?

    Pet allergies are one very solid reason not to allow animals.  If a person with pet allergies stays in a home where a pet recently stayed, their visit could be very uncomfortable.  No one is *legitimately* allergic to human children.  The other is legality, of course.  You can't discriminate against families with children, but animals do not have the same legal protections.  If they could get away with it, I'm sure a lot of owners would say no to children, animals and college students alike.

     

    If it matters, no one in my family is allergic to animals per se, and in fact we do have a house cat.  However, I do NOT bring my cat on vacation with me, and I tend to avoid rentals where pets are allowed, even though we are not allergic.  I know (because I have one) how messy, dirty and smelly animals can be.  I certainly do not want to be on vacation and catch a whiff of animal urine or be walking barefoot in the backyard and step in feces.

     

    No matter how well-trained a pet may be, accidents happen.  The potential damage of having an animal urine funk in the air, unsightly stains on the carpet, or presents in the yard for the next guest often outweigh the monetary advantages of opening a home up to guests traveling with pets.  We tolerate OUR animals because we love them.  We do not tend to tolerate OTHER PEOPLE's animals.  The same goes for children, really.  That's why the definition of a "BRAT" is a kid who does everything yours does but lives next door.  On the issue of mess, though, one would hope that humans, at least, are wearing some sort of diaper when they do their business away from the toilet.

  • skiandglee Active Contributor 509 posts since
    Apr 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 30, 2012 10:21 AM (in response to dgper)
    Re: Dogs v. kids-- why the bias?

    There's also the issue of ticks and fleas for homes in rural areas.  Dogs do their business without fear of picking up crawlies and inadvertantly bring them back to the home. 

     

    Another issue is the nails.  If you have hardwood floors, dogs do scratch the floor when racing around happy as a loon or the doors when they want out or in.

     

    Then there is the issue of their sensative stomachs.  Ever given a dog a fat greasy hot dog or t-bone when they aren't used to it?  There will be liquid runs somewhere soon thereafter.  A well trained owner wouldn't do that but another guest in the house may think they are just being nice to the dog by giving it a welcomed treat.

     

    These are just some reasonings in addition to those already mentioned.  In the end, it's about risk management. 

     

    Rick

    www.vacationrentalhelper.com

  • New Member 1 posts since
    May 30, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 31, 2012 7:20 AM (in response to dgper)
    Re: Dogs v. kids-- why the bias?

    I do open up my rental property to pets, but certain restrictions do apply. Personally, I would prefer an animal in my home than  children, just my opinion. No that I'm against children , but the parents who do not monitor them. Several  mentioned pet accidents in the rental property, I have provided a Bissell Spot Bot and shampoo for the renter to use, if an accident should occur. Also, the pet must be crated, while the renter is out of the home, to decrease the amount of destruction. The dog must have flea and tick repellent applied 1 week before arrival, be spayed and or neutered and be at least 6 months of age. There is an additional $ 25.00 pet fee, that is due to the extra cleaning involved and the pets are not permitted on the furniture or bedding.

    • wiffle Contributor 217 posts since
      Feb 23, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      May 31, 2012 11:00 AM (in response to luv2cans)
      Re: Dogs v. kids-- why the bias?

      luv2cans, I think it is great if you allow pets under those circumstances. But, what I have learned is that there are a LOT of people who agree to our terms in order to rent the home, but they do whatever they please once they arrive. This is not just relating to bringing pets though.

       

      I have a hard time believing that most of those traveling with pets are really going to crate the animal or disallow it on the furniture, etc. if they allow this practice at home. I believe that if the renters don't see harm in a practice, they will do what they want to do, even if your agreement states otherwise.

       

      It would be nice if I hadn't learned how deceptive and disrespectful people can be!

    • wiffle Contributor 217 posts since
      Feb 23, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      May 31, 2012 11:07 AM (in response to luv2cans)
      Re: Dogs v. kids-- why the bias?

      Sorry, also to add: It is a fact that in the U.S. we cannot discriminate against families with children, and I am actually thrilled when parents travel with their kids. We traveled everywhere with our parents. So many of our friends now leave their kids at home when traveling to places of culture. All the kids know is Disney, etc. but not France, or New York City. Sigh.

       

      So, it warms my heart to hear that families are coming to a more "cultured" community and are staying in our home.

       

      So far, we haven't had any real damage to our home (perhaps a soiled chair pad, scratched table) but who is to say an adult didn't do that? Our most destructive renters have been partying young adults, early 20s to thirties.

       

      I recognize that this may be completely different in a beach or resort locale where there is more family traffic, larger homes, etc. but in our experience, the kids are no problem unless there are too many for the capacity of the home (which I disallow).

  • cbel0004 Contributor 188 posts since
    Aug 22, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 11, 2012 3:50 PM (in response to dgper)
    Re: Dogs v. kids-- why the bias?

    It is the guests with not so good dogs that make it difficult for the guests with well trained dogs.  I have not started to advertise my rental yet but have been contemplating on whether we should allow dogs.  We have three well behaved dogs and absolutely love them and would love to offer guests a place that allows them to travel with their best friend. 

     

    I too have always wondered why there is a prejudice against bigger dogs. I guess if a big dog decides to go to the bathroom inside it is a huge huge puddle saturated in the carpet compared to if a chihuahua were to pee in the house.  I am quite concerned about a dog trying to mark its territory all over the place.  If anyone has a good idea how to weed out the bad pet owners please share. 

  • mudstump Contributor 140 posts since
    Nov 13, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 26, 2013 12:52 PM (in response to dgper)
    Re: Dogs v. kids-- why the bias?

    I have a no pet policy however, I did make an exception two times.  One was an older lady who had a small dog.  She was very clever in the way she described him, using his name and talking about how he is a part of her family etc... I had no problem with her dog, in fact, I couldn't find one hair or sign the dog had been there.  The only problem with the other exception I made was the dog killed the grass where he tinkled on the lawn. 

     

    Everything in my property is new and white.  Being near the beach the last thing I want is some wet hairy dog jumping on the bed when they return from a game of fetch in the surf.

     

    I will say that I have had more damage by 2-7 year olds then the two dogs that were given the exception.  One three year old was unsupervised and must have opened the dishwasher door and climbed up on it.  Ripped it out of the cabinet. 

Not a member?

JOIN THE COMMUNITY

Register Now

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Legend

  • Best Answers - 4 points
  • Helpful Answers - 2 points