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34475 Views 60 Replies Latest reply: Dec 8, 2013 10:09 AM by kailua520 RSS
tansy Active Contributor 395 posts since
Feb 15, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Mar 15, 2011 5:44 PM

Dogs...

We up to now postively welcomed dogs on their holidays... we found a little niche market and everything went really well until last summer.

 

A couple arrived with their 2 little pugs, it suddenly occured to me that one was in season... I asked the question and was told yes but she wears culottes at night, then the 2nd one come into season - the owners very open about it and kept reassuring me, my intact Jack Russell bit too young to really take advantage but some local dogs in the village got scent...the day for departure the couple came across to say goodbye and she handed me some vanish and another product with the remark I am sorry there are a few marks but this is very good... when I went upstairs the bed was stripped, the quilt folded over the bed rail & dirty linen on the floor... stiff with blood... it was on the pillow cases too... obviously the dogs slept with them... YUCK!!! I managed to save the quilt cover, pillow cases and sheet as I washed them immediately but the professional laundry couldn't get the marks off the quilt, so lost that.

 

Also last summer a young couple turned up with their new baby... a 7 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback... plainly obvious they didn't have a clue, poor thing being left at home all day while they work... over excited, exhuberant and big!

 

This year I am now questioning everyone who wants to bring a dog... so far have had 1 booking cancelled - turned out they wanted to brig 3 lurcher sized dogs one of which could possibly be in season (they are breeders), plus have lost a further 4 bookings during the negotiation stage.

 

Anyone else noticing this trend of owners not thinking it through about taking their pooch on vacation with them?

 

It does show me though, it pays to probe, people do take advantage...

  • New Member 3 posts since
    Mar 16, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 16, 2011 3:29 PM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    We have allowed dogs in our vacation rental for 10 years.  This is how we keep out the riff-raff. First, the fee is $85 dollars per dog--about equiv to a weekend of boarding.  It is not refundable.People have to pay for fido.

    2nd, I have their security deposit in cash.  I do not accept credit cards due to charge backs.

    Housekeeping notifies me immediately if there is any extra houskeeping to to pets.

    Last, I talk with people about their dogs and their habits.  I prefer to rent to folks with 1 large dog--as these dogs tend to go with their owners.  Small dogs tend to be left at home where they pee and scratch all day when neglected. I do not hesitate to tell folks that this is not the house for them.  I do not allow multiple dogs. So, my advice--is talk to guests, and do not be hesitant to enforce your own standards.  When I tell people that houskeeping will know if dogs are on the furniture, and they could lose their deposit, usually they make a wise choice to decline the rental. Hope this helps.

    Nancy

      • sophie Senior Contributor 970 posts since
        Mar 4, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        May 30, 2011 10:51 PM (in response to tansy)
        Dogs...

        I too, am contemplating banning animals. People let their dogs sleep with them (after signing a contract saying the animals won't be on the furniture) and I have to wash everything also to include all the mattress protectors, bedskirts, duvet covers, etc.  There is hair on the stove, sinks and in the shower.  My housekeeper wants more money to do cleanings when animals have been on the property.   They also burn big spots in the lush green grass from their urine.  Now in summer, I'm worried they will be bring in fleas or bedbugs.

      • maureen.baumgartner Contributor 79 posts since
        Jun 22, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jun 22, 2011 4:35 PM (in response to tansy)
        Dogs...

          Is your place small, medium, or large (one couple or large groups)?  I understand about the dogs, but my experience says those homes banning children are making a huge mistake, and cutting out the best renters: families.  Parents make excellent renters, in general, because unlike couples renting together (this is why I asked if you are small or large), parents have responsibilities.  They will not be as likely to get roaring drunk, disturbing the neighbors, etc.  It's not KIDS drunk and shrieking with loud laughter in the hot tub at midnight. It's not children ******* off the neighbors.  It's adults, even in their 30's, having a great time with their buddies.  I have learned over four long years that families make MUCH quieter guests, every time, than groups of couples or adult friends. There is usually a grandparent(s) along, too, but maybe this is because we sleep 10.  I'll take a family any time over groups of couples or single friends (though we do take both, carefully).  In all those years, whenever we've had problems, it's been the ADULTS who caused them, never a child.  The only thing a kid ever did was color on a $59 comforter I'd been thinking of replacing anyway.  Small cost of doing business.  But a drunken adult can really do damage.  I run a vacation rental consulting business and I always counsel owners to accept families first, and that accepting children is smart, you'll get more rentals, better renters, and a net gain over time.  (Not to mention happy, grateful renters.)  Adults do way more damage than children, the few times renters cause problems.  I think people fear renting to kids unnecesarily, and are losing out.  Just my two cents.

          • maureen.baumgartner Contributor 79 posts since
            Jun 22, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jun 22, 2011 7:31 PM (in response to tansy)
            Dogs...

            Yeah, that makes sense for the two single couple only units, since they share the same property, and each only takes one couple, meaning no larger, rowdy group of adult friends.  In that situation it makes sense.  Our situation is different, because we almost always have about 10 people, usually 5 couples if not a family.  The all adult couples groups get MUCH louder and rowdier than the families, even well into their 30's and 40's. They're clean and nice people, don't get me wrong, but can be really noisy and drunk, as it's vacation and they're partying with their co-renters.  Families tend to be calmer, and have grandparents present.  In a situation where you take a lot more renters, I still counsel people to take families w/children over groups of all unrelated adults or couples.  We seem to get all good parents, that I can tell, judging from the lack of damage we've had from kids. I even find safety plugs, etc.  I assume the problems you speak of are some sort of breakage?  We haven't had that, but even if we did, I would much prefer that (because it's fixable) than problems with angry neighbors over noise, which could spell the loss of our home if we get shut down.  I guess it depends on the size of the place and the neighborhood, but I see kids as safer than adults, though I understand your smaller couples only place.

        • lrbaldwin Active Contributor 757 posts since
          Feb 16, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Sep 15, 2011 1:06 PM (in response to maureen.baumgartner)
          Dogs...

          I'm with you 110% about children.  We will now rent only to small families, our max is 2 sets of parents and 2 children (4 BR house).  We will not rent to singles at all no matter their ages.  For the first 4 years we used an agency and had no say in the matter.  All the damage we had (and some of it major), was from singles and dogs.  Our legal limit (according to county law) is 8 people, but we don't allow more than 4 adults unless it's one set of parents and 2 sets of grandparents.  We think we've finally settled on the right formula.  Looking back at all the renters, the ones who did the damage did not fit our new rules. This year we were fully booked for the summer with 7 weeks rented in the off season.  If we don't find satisfactory renters for every week, we'll just enjoy the cottage ourselves with our own family. I'll report back after the 2012 season.

           

          Linda

  • Contributor 166 posts since
    Mar 30, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2011 5:51 PM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    Our rental units are pet friendly. We have had a couple of issues but nothing serious. I agree sometimes it's a hassle like owners sleeping with their dogs. Though your case was pretty bad. I have had dogs that sleep on furniture as well.  I'm a dog owner so I want to keep our units dog friendly. I made adjustments like have laminate or hardwood floors. I try to have as little carpet as possible. Also, I usually get leather sofa since it's easier to clean if the dogs do get on it. Dog fur on fabric sofa is hard to clean.  We also provide guests with cleaning products to help clean after their dogs. 

     

    As long as you have a refundable deposit, it's less likely they will do damage. The other thing you can do to minimize damage is request they put the dog in a crate when they are gone. I was thinking of buying one since it's hard for guests to always bring a crate.

  • ttaylor0 Active Contributor 429 posts since
    Apr 1, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2011 8:33 PM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    No dogs or pets of any kind....cats. Yes I know that 15% of the people travel with pets, but they can go somewhere else. I will do just fine with the other 85% of the market.

  • New Member 3 posts since
    May 31, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 10:40 AM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    We have a large fenced property that is Dog friendly. We don't even ask for a pet deposit. We screen thoroughly and make sure the guests know they are responsible for any damages. We've had only one incident, and they made good on landscaping damage. By the way, we also offer Dog training classes and private training for guests if they wish.

  • New Member 12 posts since
    May 25, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 11:36 AM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    I have been successfully managing the rentals at our own cottage for 8 years and was an Account Manager for 5 of those years working for a cottage rental management company. One policy that I have always maintained at our own cottage and one that I used to tell my clients when they asked about whether they should allow their clients to bring a pet to their cottage. I believe that for every client you will attract to your cottage because you allow pets, you will lose another because of the very same reason...because you have allowed pets to stay at your cottage in the past.

     

    Given that, then the real question would seem to be "Why would any cottage owner allow their guests to bring a pet?".

     

    Even the best behaved dog is going to bring more dirt and dog hair into the cottage than if it wasn't there. And besides, I have never taken a enquiry from a potential renter where they have described their dog as being anything less than perfect. I see a lot of people with less than perfect dogs in my travels but I guess none of these folks have ever considered renting a cottage.

     

    Every rental group will have a degree of uncertainty associated with them. By not allowing pets to stay at the cottage you can help to reduce some of those uncertainties.

     

    Before anyone jumps on me for my apparent anti pet policy, please understand that I am a dog lover and in fact I did own the world's "only perfect dog". Shakin' Jake of the Willow may be gone but he will never be forgotten. :-)  Shakin' Jake.jpg

    • New Member 4 posts since
      Jun 2, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jun 3, 2011 6:50 PM (in response to canadianshaker)
      Dogs...

      I agree completely.  We don't allow pets in our rental properties.  We have dogs and love them, but know that dogs will tend to be confused when in a new place, might want to mark their territories, etc.  They do cause damage, especially when people leave to do touristy type things and leave the pet alone in the property.

      • aznative Contributor 103 posts since
        Feb 8, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jun 4, 2011 12:55 AM (in response to dkellington)
        Dogs...

        I just had to speak up and say, "don't throw the baby out with the bath water!"

         

        Okay, I get the problems with particular breeds of dogs that really shed, are just generally going to need more attention (puppies, large breeds that need exercise, small breeds that are high energy,) but for every one of those, what about the three-year-old with peanut butter and jelly all over the walls?  Or the nine year olds who have a cannon-ball diving contest in our community pool and upset the neighbors?  Or the six year old whose parents let him take his Pespsi in front of the TV on the carpeting, and .... oops! Sorry!

         

        I know I am biased because we have had well-behaved, trained, and "hypo-allergenic" Miniature Schnauzers for the past 30 years.  I would put one of our dogs up against a young child (no offense intended, but really! I mean it!) any day in the most lavish environment, and know that our dogs will be better "renters."

         

        We really try to be pet-friendly, but I do understand that there is a line that you just can't cross in terms of what you can and cannot take.  I was just recently reading up on this, and will add the link, http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=18&cont=236 that it can take months for the dander that sticks to the walls of a house to dissipate. Had NO idea that could even happen, and it's the dander, not the hair that causes problems for others with allergies. That's not even considering if you take a shedding dog, and the remnants on the furniture and the carpet, let alone if they allow the dog to sleep with them in bed.

         

        We recently had to turn down a really good inquiry for about six weeks, who really wanted our house, because the dog was a shedder, and while we will take certain dogs, we won't take shedders.  It's just too big a job to handle to clean up.  Of course, we have yet to have an inquiry with a pet (we stipulate that we will take well-mannered, non-shedding dogs) that doesn't put in the remarks section that they have a well mannered [dog breed] who doesn't shed.  Of course they all say they don't shed!  But I think if you are willing to do a little homework, do a little extra screening, and make a few more rules, allowing some pets can work just fine, and enhance the enjoyment for your guests.

         

        First, I will not allow a dog unless it has been spayed or neutered.  The spayed issues was clearly illustrated by Tansy's pugs and a neutered male is much less likely to "mark" (or pee on anything that has a scent on it) in your home.  Not a complete guarantee, so I also ask potential guest if they have ever traveled with their pet before, where to, and how was the experience.  You can tell if they are honestly experienced dog travelers, or if they start hemming and hawing around.  In addition, I ask about the age of the dog.  Any dog, no matter what age, can be a potential risk for damage if they have not been trained properly, but after the age of about four years old they do tend to get some sense in their head, and mellow out enough to at least put the odds in your favor.

         

        I think one dog is the best route to go, but if you have a potential booking that has two small dogs that meet all the rest of the criteria, sometimes two dogs together can actually be better behaved and better guests than one alone.  They keep each other company during the day when the renters are gone, and this can help with separation anxiety, and boredom - the two most common causes of dogs vandalizing your stuff while they are alone.

         

        As for shedding, it is important to differentiate between dogs that do not shed, and dogs that do not shed much skin dander.  If a dog sheds, it probably is also shedding the dreaded dander, which is what causes problems for people with allergies to dogs.  If a dog doesn't shed dander, it is a safe bet that it won't leave the dander all over your house, but there are still a few breeds that have long hair, not really any dander, but if the pet owner doesn't regularly groom their dog it can still leave some hair around. 

         

        Again, when I ask a potential renter about a dog that I am considering, I let them do all of the talking, and if they volunteer the right information without my prompting, i.e.. that they brush their dog every day (which is truly a big help) or that they bathe him/her at least once a month, and if they speak with confidence about how they care for their pet, I guess I believe them.

         

        Maybe being a dog owner myself I know more of the "right" answers, and more of the "wrong" answers, but I do think if you combine a responsible pet owner and a non-shedding dog, then the last rule is that the pet is not left alone for undue lengths of time alone in the house. I think dog people, trainers, etc, would agree that without a doggie door to relieve themselves, six or seven (maaaybe eight hours) is enough.  After that, I give them a couple of cards for reputable pet sitters from our vet, and ask them to please use one of them to let the dog out if they are going to be gone for 12, 14 hours... Or, if you are concerned about damage to your property when the guests are gone, only accept crate-trained dogs.  A crate trained dog whose owner travels with a crate for their dog, is, IMHO a very safe bet (again, meeting all of the other criteria.)  And I don't just mean crate trained for this trip... I mean crate trained at home from the time they were a puppy!

         

        This list from the American Kennel Club is based on breeds which usually produce less dander:

        • Bedlington Terrier

        • Bichon Frise

        • Chinese Crested

        • Irish Water Spaniel

        • Kerry Blue Terrier

        • Maltese

        • Poodles (Toy, Miniature or Standard)

        • Portuguese Water Dog

        • Schnauzer (Miniature, Standard or Giant)

        • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

        • Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless)

         

        Also, a mixed breed of the above breeds will probably not shed (i.e. a Schnoodle - Schnauzer crossed with a Poodle.) Note that just because a dog is a short-haired breed doesn't mean it doesn't leave some dander.  A good example of this is the dauschund, but even the dauschund only sheds a couple of times a year. They really aren't a problem the majority of the time.

         

        If you have a potentially really good booking, you don't need to lose it because of a pet, if you just do a little research.  Every dog breed has an association in the country.  If you have any doubts about the shedding or behavioral habits of a dog, Google the breed's association, and there will be someone on that list you can call to get impartial, first-hand, accurate information about the breed.  And do whatever else makes you comfortable.  Some pet-friendly hotels still charge a $100 non-refundable fee and clean the carpets after each pet-guest.

         

        This is a small note compared to all of the above, but we have very beautiful comforters on our beds, and I was thinking of getting some inexpensive machine-washable coverlets to switch to when pets visit.  I think I will just start telling the guests that they won't have the luxurious bedding that is pictured in the listing, but they will have their pet with them.  I would imagine all would be happy to make the exchange.

         

        Now.... if screening the six-year olds was only so easy!

         

        AJ Sleeping on Laptop.jpg

        • sophie Senior Contributor 970 posts since
          Mar 4, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jun 5, 2011 11:26 PM (in response to aznative)
          Dogs...

          az, do you know what dog breeds shed the most?  Thanks.

          • aznative Contributor 103 posts since
            Feb 8, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jun 6, 2011 1:58 AM (in response to sophie)
            Dogs...

            Because we have mostly researched low-shedding breeds I don't have a nice list of the more profuse shedders, but most of the long-haired dogs that have undercoats to keep them warm in cold climates or in water shed pretty profusely.  The Golden Retriever is one of the sweetest dogs around, but my brother and his wife have bought every type of lint roller, vacuum, swiffer-thingy known to man, and their house is still covered in hair all of the time. As far as I know, all of the retrievers shed - labradors, (black, chocolate, and yellow), the long haired dogs for cold weather (we lived in Alaska for a year,) so learned that any dog that looks like it could be a sled dog such as American Eskimo Dogs, Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Norweigian Elkhounds, Samoyed... any dog with those beautiful, full coats. Also the German Shepherd, and the Australian Shepherd.

             

            Brushing daily helps, but does not eliminate completely.  Also, some dogs will only shed a few times a year and not year-round, so this is why it is a good idea to research the breed for your renter if they do not already know.  Black labs pretty much shed year round, as do beagles, and looking on the AKC site, surprisingly, Pugs shed daily! Also, Dalmations shed daily, Great Pyranees, Newfoundland, the Old English Sheepdog, and the English Bull Terrier (aka Pit Bull) and the Shar-peis.

             

            Since yesterday I did some more reading, and most of ther Terriers DON'T shed very badly, such as the Wire-Haired Terrier, Norfolk and Norwich Terrier, Boston Terrier, Welsh Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Silky Terrier  (most except the Jack Russell which sheds,) but none of these are as wonderfully "clean" as the ones on the primary list as "hypoallergenic" breeds.

             

            The jury is still out on the currently popular Labradoodle. Some say the Poodle influence is not enough in many cases to counteract the Labrador's shedding habits, while others may put this dog in a low-shedding column.

             

            That's a list of the more common breeds, but obviously there are hundreds of dog breeds out there, so best to look at each one individually.

      • lrbaldwin Active Contributor 757 posts since
        Feb 16, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Sep 15, 2011 1:13 PM (in response to dkellington)
        Dogs...

        Yes!  Dogs are confused when forced to stay in strange surroundings.  For many dogs, it's just plain cruel.  And yes, if they are left ALONE in those surroundings they are likely to panic.  We had $500 worth of damage done just this way.....carpet totally torn up and had to be replaced, door and moulding damaged beyond repair, a custom made pillow destroyed.  That poor dog must have been absolutely terrified being locked in a strange bedroom while the tourons went out to do their thing.

         

        Linda

  • claudia.bush New Member 1 posts since
    Jun 22, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 9:50 AM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    I currently allow pets in my rental house.  I've not had a problem yet.  YET.  But, I have found that I would rather have a pet than small children.  My house has been left an absolute mess by small children and their lack of parenting skills parents.  Kids running thru my neighbors yard and screaming.  Most folks who travel with their pets seem to be traveling with older pets or well behaved pets.  I'm not taking a crazy dog in a car for any length of time!  But I mus admit that this discussion gives me pause ( pun intended) to maybe re-think what I do and how I do it.

    • lrbaldwin Active Contributor 757 posts since
      Feb 16, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Sep 15, 2011 1:16 PM (in response to claudia.bush)
      Dogs...

      Claudia,

       

      Just curious about the situations with the wild kids.  Were they all from one set of parents or were there two families involved?  We've found that It's very important that there is CONTROL during the week over the children, and it's often difficult for a parent to control someone else's child when his parents aren't close by.

       

      Linda

  • New Member 1 posts since
    Mar 30, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 9:52 AM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    Lots of people like to travel with their dogs. That is why they rent a house, so they can bring their pets. We have a house on the beach. The beach does not allow dogs because it is a protected nesting ground for endagered sea birds and sea turtles. The renters bring their dogs on the beach anyway. I wish that beachfront ownders wouldn't allow dogs in their rentals because the dogs aren't supposed to be on the beaches. I also have many inquiries from people who have allergies and asthma and want to stay in a pet-free home. I prefer to cater to this crowd. Now worries of my house and gardens being destroyed, and less dogs on  the protected habitat of our beach.

  • New Member 2 posts since
    Jun 22, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 10:18 AM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    We have a condo on the beach at Sanibel Island in Florida.  Our association allows pets, but limits their size to 25 lbs or less, and a renter can only bring one.  We have a $150 non-refundable pet fee.  We have been renting to pet owners since 2004 with little to no problem.  Most of the time, people with pets are couples without children. I have a Golden Retriever, and even if we could bring her to the condo, I never woul as she loves the water and would bring in all kinds of sand. I have averaged over $1300 per year in additional income from pet fees.  This more than compensates for any incidental damage and cleaning.  We did have damage to our bathroom door when a renter locked their dog in the bathroom, and the door had to be replaced at the renter's expense, but we have not had any economic losses due to pet damage.

  • judy.wright New Member 1 posts since
    Apr 21, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 10:23 AM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    We are huge animal lovers, and were excited by the prospect of getting extra renters by being dog-friendly.

    However, we had one guest bring their Labrador, and I was told by the housekeepers that it required 7 extra hours of cleaning. Plus, my next guests complained that there was still MORE dog hair, and the housekeepers had to go back again. Led to an awkward discussion with renter, about how I was keeping her entire security deposit due to their dog shedding. She couldn't believe it took that long, but I trust my housekeepers. Anyway, don't want to deal with that again. And of course, if people are bringing their pets with them on vacation, there's a big likelihood that they are going to be sleeping on the beds. I made the mistake of buying too much "high end" furniture and bedding for the place, and now it just freaks me out. Unfortunately, i have two reservations that have been "grandfathered" in and are bringing dogs. I'm planning on rolling up my area rugs while they're at the house!!!

    • lrbaldwin Active Contributor 757 posts since
      Feb 16, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Sep 15, 2011 1:24 PM (in response to judy.wright)
      Dogs...

      Good idea to roll up the rugs for those two renters with dogs.  When we were with the agency and allowed dogs for 4 years, we found that once a dog had peed in the house, especially on a rug where it remained, all future dogs, even well trained ones, were attracted to that spot and often had an "accident" there too.

       

      Linda

  • New Member 25 posts since
    Jun 22, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 10:31 AM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    We don't allow pets at our rental, which is a house in an arts community.  There are weddings frequently there, and last year, I had a rental secured by the mother of the bride. She filled out all paperwork, and then proceeded not to tell the groom's parents, who stayed there, that I had a no pets policy.  When I got there to clean (I did my own cleaning at that time) there was white dog hair everywhere, dog food on the floor, and a note from the wife asking the husband to be sure and "walk Max". 

     

    When we go on vacation I usually rent through VRBO or something similar.  If I'm looking at properties to rent, I avoid the ones with paw prints. I don't want to sleep in a bed where an animal has slept.  And I'm thinking that my potential tenants may feel the same way. 

  • New Member 2 posts since
    Jun 22, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 10:33 AM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    Yes, I accepted dogs for two years and charged an extra $70 per dog.  Then, my housekeeper demanded that I double the cleaning fee for people with dogs!  We couldn't come to terms, so we parted company.  This spring, I arrived to do some work after the guests (repeat customers) had left, and got there before the new housekeeper.  I was appalled at the mess.  It took me two hours to get it clean enough to leave for the housekeeper!  The floor was literally adrift with dog hair - I took photos.  That was the last dog EVER.  Overall, they've torn the curtains, clawed up the doors and a windowsill, chewed a couple chair legs, and covered the outside of the doors with muddy footprints, not to mention the mud, sand and hair on the furniture.   No matter that I tell their owners that the darlings are NOT to sleep on the beds, every time I go, I have to wash the quilts and mattress pads. I had made exceptions for people who had booked previously, but that's over too.  People made all sorts of promises about crates and good behavior, the results proved different.  Frankly, the aggravation and damage is not worth the extra money.

  • New Member 1 posts since
    Jun 22, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 10:40 AM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    Dogs... I'm a serious dog lover, and when I started renting out my vacation home, I was clear that it would be pet friendly.  So far the experience (after 3 years of regular rentals) has been pretty positive, with a few exceptions - some chewed furniture knobs, scratched screens.  But I think the rental management company for my home would love to stop allowing pets altogether -- despite the fact they're not the home owner.  They just find it a huge hassle cleaning up after pet owners!  They ended up changing their policy on linens thanks to some of my guests who let their dogs sleep in my beds (in the management company's linens) and must have washed or dried their heavily shedding dogs with the towels.   So after that happened a couple of times, the management company said they could no longer get the linens clean enough after people had misused them this way and therefore they would no longer provide linens for people bringing pets to my home.

     

    This is a disappointment to me since I always feel badly explaining to people that 'one or two bad apples' spoiled the linen policy for all future pet owners.  I guess I shouldn't feel badly, but I do.  I like my guests to have the best, easiest time possible (which shouldn't mean hauling a huge bag of linens for their vacation), but I also expect my guests to behave like I do as a renter, and treat to treat my property better than they do their own home.   I can hear you all laughing.  Yes, that is a seriously unrealistic expectation!  I guess the bottom line is that, if your home is going to be pet friendly, you have to accept that there will be damage, and make sure you are smart about taking pet deposits and claiming on them.

     

    Even with the issues, I like to think about some of the wonderful things that my pet friendly home brings --  and what I know it means to some renters -- great happiness, relief and peace to have their beloved family pet with them on vacation. I remember the joy I experienced when I was able to rent a pet friendly place to bring my dog in years past.  One such family penned an entry in my guest book not long ago, as if written by their pooch.  It was clever and made me smile.  The dog wanted me to know that thanks to the experience at my really great house, he would probably let his owners go on vacation more often.

  • New Member 2 posts since
    Jun 22, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 10:44 AM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    I was pet friendly for a number of years but not anymore. just too much damage over the long haul. As stated by other owners people let there dogs loose to urinate on the property and don't walk them. One renter left his dog on the upper deck of the house and left him there all day while they went to the beach. He scratched my sliding glass doors. There isn't enough security deposit to repair them. One other person let one of theirs guest bring a dog and he went in the pool and slashed the pool liner. I took them to court and thought I had a good case because I had it in my lease no dogs but I couldn't totally prove it was them and dropped the case. I had to replace the pool liner to the tune of $3000.00... NO MORE DOGS. When you try to be nice you get kicked.

  • New Member 1 posts since
    Jun 22, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 11:35 AM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    I would point out that Dogs/No Dogs policies help segment the market.  Renters who want to bring their dog seek out dog-friendly properties;  those with allergies or who just prefer to stay where they know no dog  has preceded them will appreciate the no-dog variety. Whichever policy  you choose, you're distinquishing yourself from others in your market  simply by advertising the fact. After all is said and done, which policy keeps most guests happier to put more money in your pocket?

     

    In our own market, most owners don't accept dogs, so  our dog-friendly policy helps keep us booked up. Indeed, guests are so  appreciative of our canine welcome mat that they actually leave the  house in better shape than the average non-dog guest. I think it also  helps that we require a $1500 cash security deposit (for all guests,  whether dog or dogless), and tell them that in dozens of weekly rentals,  (a) we've never had to deduct a penny for damages, and (b) we  appreciate their help in keeping this perfect record. Everyone wins, and  the combination of decency, economy and pride keeps guests from  breaking the streak.

     

    This also helps: We don't charge a separate cleaning  fee to anyone, and don't charge extra for dogs. We don't want any guest  rationalizing their own messiness against a cleaning fee they're being charged anyway, nor their dog's' against any premium they paid for the privilege. We don't sell excuses to mistreat a home that cost us 500 times what they're paying us for a week of it.

     

    As for minimizing the impact of dogs, we're fortunate to have tile and hardwood floors everywhere except the  living room, so we tell guests that dogs are welcome anywhere except that one room, and set up baby gates to reinforce the rule. (Most  dog owners maintain their own set of dog rules at home, and will expect  and respect yours.) We provide scoopers and dog-log bags on the patio,  and keep an accessible arsenal of cleaning appliances and supplies on  each floor, jumbo-size detergent for the washing machine. Amazing how  clean our guests keep things when we make it easy for them.

     

    Maybe we've just been lucky (I'd surely freak out if  we went through tansy's nightmare), but we think our various rules and  tactics help keep us booked at full price, without canine-caused  catastrophes.

      • New Member 25 posts since
        Jun 22, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jun 22, 2011 12:50 PM (in response to tansy)
        Dogs...

        I have a couple of repeat customers who bring their small children, and generally the worst thing is a piece of cereal down in the sofa cushions.  This past weekend I had 3 adults who were only there one night, and left me with 4 rugs needing major cleaning.  This was worse than pets OR children. 

         

        (I guess, generally, I am a bit more tolerant of children, because they are people, and I have 5 grandchildren.  They are all parented pretty well.  The worst problem I've had with them is the noise level.  Why did God give children more energy than their grandparents? LOL Haven't figured that out. 

        The youngest is 2 and CAN be messy but his mom keeps a tight rein on him most of the time. )

         

        I have not typically charged a deposit - never really had to, and this latest booking was through the Lodge at the resort for a wedding.  This house is on the market and I will be so glad when it sells :-) 

  • seasideretreat New Member 14 posts since
    Mar 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 1:14 PM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    Although I love animals, (I have quite a zoo at home) I would not rent to pets at all. My own animals have done enough damage to my first home that I dont have the patience nor the time to do the screening that you all are talking about just for a furry friend. My rental is doing very well with the exclusion of pets so I would absolutely say that this is a real personal choice on the part of the owner on whether or not to accept pets. I do like what one person responded though that she charges for each pet to stay per night. Why not? You would have to pay if you boarded them right? I say KUDOS to you all who accept pets. I am glad that you are out there but as for me and my house we will remain pet free!!!

  • david.brenner New Member 1 posts since
    Jun 22, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 2:39 PM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    No. No dogs. Our three holiday rental villas in Italy are set in about an acre. Which doesn't readily lend itself to dogs doing what dogs do when they're out-of-doors. That's aside from what they get up to when they're indoors. And let's not forget our other guests may not want to share their holiday here with poochie. Our 'no pets policy' has definitely cost us a few bookings from potential Italian clients, who like to take their dogs away with them. But on the orther side, I have a pretty good idea that 'no pets' has gained us a few extra guests too !

  • New Member 11 posts since
    May 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 3:27 PM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    We have two houses by the beach and we are pet friendly at both.  My rules are very specific for pet owners and include the dog has to be spayed or neutered for obvious reasons.  One guest neutured their dog right before their visit so they could bring him.  That was a bonus someone "fixing" their dog who wasn't planning on doing so before.  I only allow small dogs because of the problem of large urine brown spots on my nice green lawn.  I have to compete with condos that have swimming pools and exercise gyms so being pet friendly attracts a lot of guests.  Probably 80% of my rentals bring their pets.  I just had a dog, cat, and bird rental.  Believe it or not, my houses are still beautiful and in excellent condition.  Being pet friendly attracts the adults who may not have children but wouldn't leave home with their "dog children".  I don't have any carpeting in the houses and do not use any rugs either because I have had dogs urinate on them before.  If you have carpet I wouldn't consider being pet friendly at all.  My last guests without pets did more damage than pets.  They must have had long toe nails and put two holes in my expensive Biltomore House sheets.  I would rather deal with pet hair than replacing sheets.  The point is damage can always be done , with or without a pet present.  Pet fees make additional income, I even donate $10 of every pet fee to the local humane society.  When you have a house there is always a good chance someone is going to sneak their dog in anway.  I would rather face it head on and have rules laid out.

    t

  • New Member 1 posts since
    Jun 22, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 7:08 PM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    For 5 yrs now we have accepted pets; for 3 yrs children were accepted.  Aside from shedding (wish we could accept only hairless People & Pets, but bald is not universal.  All in all, the pets outperformed the kids 10 to 1.  Pet owners without children are far more grateful and careful than parents in our experience. No carpets. Pet blankets and clean up solutions/rags and bags supplied. No fleas, fixed please. Cash security deposit is increased, but no extra charge for the pet/s.  We had a vet bring several dogs to the property and I could not find a dog hair on their departure.  Far more damage has been done by unsupervised children.  Yes, we create a niche in a market which does, in actuality, deter some people from our property due to our yes to pets and no to young children policy. We try to remain vigilant during email conversations with all renters and to pull the most information possible prior to agreeing to any rental.  It seems to me that the pet friendly demand is growing and we made a conscious decision

    as to where we would like to be in this market. So far, so good.

  • New Member 1 posts since
    Jun 22, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2011 10:41 PM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    Interesting, no one commented on our solution - we require the dog never be left alone. (Cats would be ok.)  We instituted this after a barking problem, and when anyone wants to bring a pet we send them our pet policy before anything else, which very candidly lays out why we have a "never alone" policy & clearly identifies how this will limit their activites.  We're in San Francisco, a very dog-friendly city, but museums & most good restaurants will be off the holiday agenda unless they find a pet-sitter (not hard to do, but more money.)  We are prepared to deal with dog hair, etc. (the apartment is set up for dogs - leather furniture, hardwood floors, etc.) but our neighbors are all close by and will not tolerate noise.  If there's a violation we won't know about it, unless there's noise, in which case we can say the neighbors complained & we're keeping the deposit (which we then give to the neighbors!)  It's worked for the last year.

    • aznative Contributor 103 posts since
      Feb 8, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jun 22, 2011 11:36 PM (in response to allison.kozak)
      Re: Dogs...

      Hi Allison! Our comment to your solution would be that as pet owners, if we travel with our pet, we want to be able to leave our pet behind in the safety of a home (as opposed to a hotel) so that we do have the freedom to go out and enjoy sightseeing or other activities.  We would not be interested in renting a home that would not allow our pet to be unattended.

       

      For the last 30 years, with the exception of one wonderful vacation we took to a home, as opposed to a hotel, we have left our pets home with a live-in pet sitter.  We would rather do that, than take them with us and have to deal with not being able to visit museums, etc., and no matter what the temperature in the car, we would never leave our pets unattended in a car, even for a few minutes.  If it is working for you, then you have one solution, but it wouldn't be a solution for everyone.

       

      We are one of those pet owners who really do have the perfect travel pets, but it is difficult to convince people of that if they have either had a bad experience with other pets, or just don't do enough screening before they take a pet as a guest (yes, we think of our pets as guests, 'cause they are our kids!)

       

      It makes me sad that all pets get banned from some properties because of the horrific experiences some of the above homeowners have had with pets that could have been prevented (or if not prevented... that might be an overstatement... at least lessened) by doing more screening by breed, age of the dog, interviewing, and making careful concessions.

       

      To me, for the renters, it is rather like ignorant parents who bring a small toddler to a fine dining restaurant, or a movie, and the child cries the entire time, and disrupts the enjoyment of the other patrons... it is not the child's fault... the parents should get a baby sitter and leave the child at home where he will be happier too!  What child wants to have to sit still in a stuffy restaurant, or be bored stiff while his parents watch a movie that doesn't hold his attention for more than 15 minutes?

       

      It is the same thing with pet owners.  Good pet owners know if their pet can handle traveling, if they will have separation anxiety if left alone, if they are barkers and if so what will set them off, if they can handle being in a strange environment... if they can't meet these criteria, they should leave them at home with a pet sitter and not try to travel with them.  It's cruel to the pet!  But some pet owners, just like some parents, want to have it all, and can't make the difficult decisions when push comes to shove that their little one, be it two-legged or four-legged, just shouldn't be brought along.  What to do about it as a homeowner, aside from what I mentioned above about being extraordinarily careful as to the pets you accept, I don't have any other answers. But it is a shame for the ones who could be good renters.

       

      We never leave our pet(s) in a new environment for more than a couple of hours at first, until we know they are settled in, and then maybe only for four or five hours without a check-in visit.  I know this can't be policed, but I will say that when we did take our pets with us on our vacation to this great house that had a wonderful, big, grass backyard that we could sit out and enjoy, and play with our boys in the evening, and we got to enjoy watching them have the time of their life exploring this fun new place, and have them in our bedroom (in their own beds) at night... it was one of the best vacations we have ever had.

  • New Member 1 posts since
    Jun 23, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 23, 2011 12:34 AM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    Hello everyone, I find these sessions usually helpful! After reading many great responses, I reviewed 5 years of rentals at my beach house & cottage in Hampton Beach, NH.  I only allow dogs.  Every year I have received more families with dogs.  This summer, 50% of business is familes with Fido.  Out of roughly 60 or so rentals which are advertised on the same website, 10 accept pets, and less accept any size dog. 

    The people with Fido, reserve & pay every year 6-8 months in advance of vaca week.  I do charge a $300 security deposit, no extra costs for Fido.  People realize they are saving $$$$$$$$ on kennel fees, and if they want to come back, they need to clean up.  30% are repeat families.  So far, it has gone well.  I have a no-smoking-on-property policy and no one under 25.  My elderly neighbors love it and the repeat families too.  Yes, I have 4 rescued-dogs.  I do call people to get a sense that they are responsible pet owners.  I've seen previous posts about security deposits vs insurance.  People scoop the poop to get that $300 back. I also provide a scooper.   Thanks to everyone for food for thought. 

      • maureen.baumgartner Contributor 79 posts since
        Jun 22, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jun 23, 2011 3:46 PM (in response to tansy)
        Dogs...

          Wow!  You guys are really changing my mind about allowing dogs!  So far we have, but yes, there have been problems.  You said it (az?): the LABS are the worst!  We had two renters in a row with black labs, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We weren't about to turn down a $9000 rental of a nice Canadian family with a black lab, so we took it, of course.  They insisted our pet rules were the same as theirs at home, not on beds, clean up waste, etc.  After they left, it took WEEKS to clean up the sharp, wiry black dog hairs that had embedded themselves in everything!  I can easily believe 7 hours would not be enough!  I spent that alone picking hairs out of our white plush robes!  The two boys had been told the dogs had to sleep on the floor, not the bed; who thought they'd toss their bedding on the floor!  As someone else mentioned, YES, it was even embedded in the mattress pad!  (How did that happen?)  I threw one out, just couldn't deal.  Black lab hair is sharp and wiry.  I must have washed the same items five times.  It wasn't on the furniture, no, but we vacuumed forever.  Luckily the next people did not complain, had their own small dog.  But now you've all got me thinking, if they leave them home, we're risking our doors and mouldings (cherry front door, not replaceable!).  And now I understand the occasional dead spots on the lawn.  Plus we've asked them to leave them inside if they will bark and disturb the neighbors.  And you don't want them left to rot in a car while people go wine tasting, etc.  Seems like a no-win situation. 

           And yet I really appreciate and tend to agree with the AZ couple: that each situation should be taken individually, and that some pets can work out, and I know we get more bookings.  It's not a hypo-allergenic world out there; if people are going to travel, and have severe allergies, they should be prepared anyway with meds, just in case, though we always tell them yes, pets have been here (but it's their job to ask, and not after I've held it two weeks waiting for payment).  I don't cater to them, because they're in the distinct minority and can come prepared or choose another place if they wish, more people don't care, as long as it's clean.  The ones that make me laugh are the people with one or two dogs in tow who want to be sure no CATS have been on the property.  I remind them that "Pet friendly" means PET friendly, and that if we weren't, we wouldn't be allowing their dogs.  In fact, the one time we had cats (2), it was great, no mess or smell, as we have a cat door into a garage cabinet with litter box.  Much easier and cleaner than dogs, but maybe we were lucky, as some really shed.

           You're BOTH right!  Now I'm thoroughly confused!  (But thanks for making me THINK about this!)

          • maureen.baumgartner Contributor 79 posts since
            Jun 22, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jun 23, 2011 4:43 PM (in response to tansy)
            Dogs...

              Spraying would be bad, yes (though still easier to clean than endless dog hair, which months later I'm STILL finding), that wouldn't be good!  But if we're not rented for a stretch, we bring our two kitties (and us!) home to enjoy the fireplace, room to roam, etc., and in four years the two of them have not sprayed once, anywhere.  We put their bed by the fire and enjoy them greatly, box is in the garage, door flap in the laundry room leads to it.  My actual experience tells me cats are a lot cleaner (because they're incessantly cleaning themselves) than the average dog, and if they're fixed and trained well, most won't spray.  Mine are 10, and have never sprayed once in their entire lives. But true, if it's not your cat, you never know.  If my cat sprayed (ever) I wouldn't let it in either. But a dog can pee on rugs, woodfloors, plants, wherever, so why is that better? The risk is equal. People are allergic to dog dander, as well.  So I really don't get why cats are a no-no, and dogs are okay.  The whole cat thing is overblown.  I've rented to both, and there was ZERO extra cleaning from the cats (we vacuum everything well regardless between renters), whereas the dogs were were a cleaning DISASTER!  I'll take well-trained cats any day over shedding dogs.  (And cats don't swim in the pool and clog the filters!)  The two ladies who brought the cats were told they're welcome back anytime, at a discount.  Just goes to show az's point about taking each case individually.

            • New Member 13 posts since
              Aug 28, 2011
              Currently Being Moderated
              Sep 10, 2011 5:25 PM (in response to maureen.baumgartner)
              Dogs...

              Maureen,

              I am a real cat lover and I understand where you are coming from. However, cats are actually more likely to cause allergies than dogs. The reason has been mentioned here earlier. It's the dander. The very reason we find cats so appealingly tidy - that they are constantly licking and grooming themselves - makes their skin cells and fur more allergenic, because they are coated with saliva, which is a protein. Added to that, cats are wonderfully affectionate and can just insert themselves anywhere on the bed when you sleep, especially up near the pillows, thus depositing the dander right where it can be inhaled by an allergy sufferer. They are also likely to be well behaved and nap throughout the day, even while you are out,- once again, on your beds. Allergic asthma and nasal congestion are a lot more common than we realize and the last thing you want is for your guests to be awakening in the morning with their heads all stuffed up or having a hard time breathing and they can't fathom why.

              We have a no pets policy, both for reasons stated above of potential damage and for concern about those guests that might have allergies. I am so glad there are those in our market who do accept pets, so that that niche is fulfilled. However, reading this forum has made me wonder whether there may be guests sneaking them in. So far though I've had no indications of pet damage.

              We do accept children. We have had only minor damage with children and I agree with the folks that suggested that accepting children encourages families renting, who, by and large, tend to be the most conscientious of our renters. I find that just like those of you who create a pet friendly environment, families who encounter a child friendly environment are very grateful and make wonderful return guests. The family whose child caused minor damage the first time, went on to rent 2 more times this year and has already re-upped for three weeks in 2012! (There has been no further damage) Though it is not across the board, I think it is true that groups of non-related adults tend to be the ones that party the "hardiest" and thus have the highest potential to cause damage. I try not to rent to groups of young adults.

  • New Member 18 posts since
    Apr 24, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 23, 2011 3:06 PM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    We rent cabins with tile floors, the property is completely fenced in, have three acres of yards, have two dogs and three parrots and do not permit dogs in our cabins or on our property.  Also, we give the following information to our clients, " To insure the comfort and safety of all our guests, we do not permit smoking in our rooms and pets of any kind in our cabins or on our property". 

     

    We cannot control what a pet chooses to do or how responsible the owner is.  When we first started our business, we permitted tied up pets outside but not inside the room.  Then a pet urinated on one of our new bed mattresses.  Since then we have not regretted this decision for us and for the comfort of our clients to not permit pets on our property.

     

    Now when it comes to children, we screen our clients with children.  Most of our guests children have been respectful with good manners.  But again, we give them written guidelines of what behavior we expect while visiting our cabins.  There has been a minority of times that I have had to tell parents to please supervise their children because they could get hurt or damage some of our property.  If they refuse to control their chidren we ask them to leave.  Although most of the children who visit here do very well.  

     

    We have these guidelines to make it easier for us and comfortable for our other clients.

    • aznative Contributor 103 posts since
      Feb 8, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jun 24, 2011 2:11 AM (in response to wenny754)
      Dogs...

      Wenny, would you mind posting some of your items that are in your guidelines for parents regarding supervising their children?  If not, I understand.  We have never had kids... just always have dogs, and we're rather clueless as to what is reasonable to expect, and what is not when it come to children.  Right now we have a policy of on a minimum age of 12, although twice we have made an exception for a single child of 10, and both times the kids were very polite, and well-mannered.  But for a family of small children, we are scared to death to allow that in our home!!  As I mentioned above, we would take our chances with a well-screened dog before small children!  But perhaps we just need to be better informed.

      • New Member 18 posts since
        Apr 24, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jun 24, 2011 3:29 PM (in response to aznative)
        Dogs...

        We never have much problem with children.  I can only think of three over two years.  In our written rules, which are posted in our cabins, say that the parents are responsible for the supervision of their children, especially for the comfort of our other guests.  Also. we remind them of what we except from them as parenmts when they check in.  We are very diplomatic with the clients when doing this about our rules for children.  Beside, we are both former teachers that have 78 years of experience between us to develop a little connect to our young clients.  A smile goes a long way.

        • aznative Contributor 103 posts since
          Feb 8, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jun 25, 2011 1:09 AM (in response to wenny754)
          Dogs...

          Wenny... you have been teachers too!  We couldn't be less equipped than you to know what is appropriate to say re: children.  You mentioned that you have house rules posted in your cabins... do you literally have a list of do's and don'ts or is it the general comment you mentioned above?  Thanks!

          • New Member 18 posts since
            Apr 24, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jun 27, 2011 1:28 PM (in response to aznative)
            Re: Dogs...

            We have general comments laminated and posted to the wall.  The guidelines are located in a 3-ring folder, along with things to do while visiting our area, menus of nearby restaurants and newspaper articles on this area.  The folder is located on the desk in all of our cabins. Wenny

      • maureen.baumgartner Contributor 79 posts since
        Jun 22, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jun 29, 2011 4:57 PM (in response to aznative)
        Re: Dogs...

        az native, this comment is especially for you, since your sage advice on

        taking pets decided my pet policy (for now). Tansy and others brought up so

        many good, scary points I hadn't thought of, that I was like: "No more

        dogs!" but then your "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" comment

        convinced me to take each situation individually for now.  You asked about

        kids, so I hope no one else freaks out, but I'd like to answer you, since

        you were helpful to me and seem open-minded.  I have never had to clean for

        two weeks after kids, as I HAVE for dogs.  I have never had to pick their

        hair out of robes or throw away bedding, as I have for dogs, or do several

        hours of extra vacuuming.  In fact, in four years, we have had ZERO damage

        from small children: no peed on beds (we provide a porta-crib and

        high-chair), food smeared on walls, crayoned walls, etc.  We don't step in

        their waste in the yard, and they don't kill the grass with their urine.  We

        had a run of black labs and the hair was just unbelievable (thanks for your

        wonderful list, btw!)  I would take several small children over one big dog,

        ANY day!  (unless it's on your list!)  Any damage we have had (holes in

        walls, breakage, etc.), was caused by groups of ADULTS, even in their 30's.

        Most importantly, the worst "damage" we can have is the neighbors trying to

        shut us down over noise and cars, which they tried to do 4 years ago.  None

        of that was caused by kids, but by noisy adults, drinking, laughing,

        shouting in the hot tub late at night, etc. Kids are ASLEEP at night!  We

        joke that every child in a group is ONE LESS ADULT!  I will take a group of

        7 small kids and 4 adults (we get that) over a dog any day.  Think about it:

        that's SEVEN NON-DRINKING guests, and 4 exhausted ones, turning in early.

        PERFECT!

            When they tried to shut us down (we'd have lost the house), we changed

        our ads to say: "Children VERY welcome!"  Guess what?  Families LOVED it,

        and now we get multi-generations, usually inc. grandparents, who are

        wonderful caretakers.  Our parents have all been responsible, that we can

        tell (we live on site nights, and I'm the maid).  All complaints from

        neighbors stopped. They much prefer these quiet families over the groups of

        rowdy adults, all over 30.  Families carpool.  Maybe because we have a pool

        and balconies, they supervise.  This morning I found lipstick on a lace

        pillowcase (all adult women).  I WISH it were peanut better and jelly.  The

        point is, we have much less damage, are full all the time, and more

        importantly, now have peace with the neighbors.  Families are just much

        quieter than groups of friends having fun together, no contest.  We take

        both, but families have preference.  Your age limit of 12:  babies are in

        arms or sleeping.  Small children glued to mom or dad, inherently.  Who is

        more sweet and eager to please, in your exp?  A 7 yr. old or a teenager?

        Smaller is better, we find.  It keeps their parents more occupied, less time

        for partying.  Again, for us, noise is the worst "damage" people can do,

        that may not be a problem where you are, but we could lose it all over

        noise.  My husband gets mad if I take a dog now; he's relieved if he knows a

        family is coming over all adult lg. groups.  Taking small children and TRULY

        welcoming families may be "penny foolish" but it's "pound smart."  This is

        what we advise all our clients; that if you don't take children (or small

        ones), you may be shooting yourself in the foot.  We are doing this to make

        a living and make money.  I can't promise no small annoyances (the cost of

        doing business), but I can promise more profits, and appreciative guests who

        give great reviews!  I hope you will just consider trying it (with a

        deposit, and a porta-crib to protect your beds, which I understand you are

        concerned about).  I stand by families being the best guests, despite what

        you have read from others.  We have a very high-end place, and would never

        take kids if they did all that damage.  It hasn't happened.  Your instincts

        about it being fear, and being open to learn are good ones, like all your

        other posts.  Thanks for helping me with both the "dog" decision and the

        GREAT laundry tip (works!  loved it!); your posts are wise and helpful, and

        I hope you might find something helpful in this one.  Good luck to you!

        P.S. Wenny is right!  A smile is better than long lists of rules.

        • aznative Contributor 103 posts since
          Feb 8, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jul 1, 2011 8:50 PM (in response to maureen.baumgartner)
          Dogs...

          Maureen - thank you so much for your kind words and for the very insightful answer.  It has caused us to rethink our policy regarding children.  Maybe, at the very least, it should be just as I recommended about dogs... take each situation individually, and base it on that little voice inside.  Again, thanks for giving us another viewpoint to consider to increase our rental market.

  • marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
    Feb 10, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 29, 2011 7:55 PM (in response to tansy)
    Re: Dogs...

    We've had some minor damage re: dogs, but nothing that would make us change our policy.  We tell our prospective guests one dog is welcome as long as they follow our rules - a list setting forth our requirements are provided to guests bringing dog, and in a handbook we leave in the home.  I also set it out in our contract.  Pet fee is $150.00 - non-refundable; pets must be crated when the guests are away from the home; pets are not permitted on furniture/bedding (picked up that one from these wonderful posts - thank you!); "accidents" (I don't delude myself that they don't happen) must be thoroughly cleaned and guests are advised that carpet cleaners may be rented at local hardware store; yard must be cleaned prior to departure w/waste properly disposed of and they have to follow local ordinance rules re: leashes and waste clean-up.  Guests are usually so thrilled to have their "furry kids" with them and are usually happy to comply. 

  • New Member 3 posts since
    Jun 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 8, 2011 4:46 PM (in response to tansy)
    Dogs...

    Hi!  We started off being very pet friendly, only to find way too much hair, dogs jumping on the furniture, or scratch marks.  Even tho guests say their dogs are good- good to one, is not good to another!  We have let past guests bring their dogs back, ones that did not shed or create problems, because we knew them.  Otherwise, we just say we are concerned for our guests that have dog allergies, and not being able to get all of the dander out of our cabins might make others sick.  It was a tough decision, but glad we made it! 

    • aznative Contributor 103 posts since
      Feb 8, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jul 8, 2011 5:50 PM (in response to lorevalley)
      Dogs...

      Hi lorevalley,

       

      Of course it is your decision for the other reasons (behavioral) that you mentioned to not take dogs, but I don't know if you read my long post above about the breeds that have little to no dander and do not shed.  You might want to consider these breeds just to not lose a guest over a pet that what won't shed.  Just a thought!

      • New Member 18 posts since
        Apr 24, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 8, 2011 7:59 PM (in response to aznative)
        Dogs...

        How you can let Client A rent from you and not Client B just because they have a different breed?

          • New Member 25 posts since
            Jun 22, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jul 9, 2011 2:22 AM (in response to tansy)
            Dogs...

            Surely if the policy is clearly stated - "We will rent to owners of hairless chihuahuas, but not to owners of labrador retrievers, because retrievers leave more shed hair per square foot of floor space than chihuahuas" there would not be a problem. 

             

            I have a story about the tenants with the dog I mentioned --"Max." 

            My rental is about 3 hours from the area where we live. That day as I was driving up,

            I was expecting a phone call from my son telling me that he was being temporarily reassigned to

            a unit closer to us and that he would not be going to one of the war zones with the unit

            he was assigned to at that time.  I was really hopeful about that and was almost positive he would not have

            to go to the Middle East.

             

            I was traveling on the "loop" bypass that takes you around the one large city I travel through

            on the way to my house.  Near an onramp a vehicle had just flipped, and a few people were trying to cross the lanes of traffic to reach the vehicle.  I stopped because I had happened to have clean towels, which might be needed.  Right at that moment, my phone buzzed and I looked down and it was a text message from my son telling me that he would not be transferring but would instead be going to the war zone.  I started sobbing, got hold of myself, and then ran back to the wreck with my towels which they did need to stop the bleeding of the driver of the car.

             

            So I go back to my car and cry all the way to my house, and walk in to find the dog hair and dog food everywhere.  I think my emotions from that day affected how I feel about having dogs in my house - it's NOT rational, on that level, but I've thought about it and know that's part of why it upset me so when I arrived at the house.

             

            Okay - enough of the "rabbit trail" story, as my daughter calls my meanderings. 

        • maureen.baumgartner Contributor 79 posts since
          Jun 22, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jul 9, 2011 3:06 AM (in response to wenny754)
          Re: Dogs...

          Discrimination laws are not the same for vacation rentals as they are for

          regular leased housing, at least in most states in the U.S.  You're allowed

          to set your own rules, within reason, such as not taking kids or dogs.  I

          think if you make your reasons clear about accepting only certain, less

          shedding breeds, people will understand.  Just like many houses will take

          dogs, but not cats, or age limits for children.  It's perfectly legal.  I

          can see where if you had more than one rental on the same property, it might

          cause problems. But not legally.

          • amyg Active Contributor 323 posts since
            Dec 10, 2010
            Currently Being Moderated
            Aug 22, 2011 1:23 AM (in response to maureen.baumgartner)
            Dogs...

            After a recent bad experience with wirey dog hair on two of our cabin's sofas, I went to Walmart and purchased two twin flat sheets (Mainstay brand, $5.00 each) for pet-stay guests to use to cover the upholstered furniture.  I put the two sheets in a zippered clear bag along with a card that reads:

             

            Dear Guests,

            If your pet likes to join you on the sofa, we'd appreciate if you'd cover the furniture with these sheets.  Before leaving, please wash, fold and return them to this bag.  Our housekeeper thanks you in advance!

             

            I know this isn't a perfect solution, but I'm hoping this will help.  BTW, I chose a grey/tan/black stripe pattern so these will never be mixed up with our solid white sheets for the beds.    I'll have to let you know if it works.

            • kailua520 Contributor 50 posts since
              Apr 27, 2011
              Currently Being Moderated
              Dec 8, 2013 10:09 AM (in response to amyg)
              Re: Dogs...

              $25 pet covers at WalMart or Anna Linens.  they work great, are attractive and I tell guests they must wash and dry them before they leave or $50 taken out of their security deposit (their choice) since my cleaning crew will have to do extra laundry (they must be washed separate for the dog hair and on cold so the waterproof backing doesnt melt). along with stating no pets on bedding, Its in the contract, in the intial booking response, in the house book and over the washer. Cant tell me they didnt see it and so far in 3 years its been 100% effective.

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