I thought I'd start a thread on best practices with respect to being a pet-friendly rental where we can share our tips & tricks for allowing pets while protecting both our homes and our sanity.
My property attracts a lot of dog lovers... probably 50% of my rentals include a dog (or dogs). In my property description, I say: "This listing is 'pets considered.' Please send me an inquiry before making a booking request or using Instant Book. While I try to be as accommodating as possible, I am particular about the number and types of dogs I will allow."
Whenever I get an inquiry, I fire off this template:
I am a dog lover so I am trying my best to allow people to bring their dogs.
That said, in order to bring a pet (or pets), you will need to sign my rental agreement and the pet addendum.
So there are no surprises, here is the executive summary:
* I don't charge a pet fee. Instead I ask that you clean up after your pet such that my housekeeper can't tell that you had one there (pet hair, paw prints, nose prints, doodie, etc). It's important that you understand and are ok with this as it means doing a little cleaning at the end of your stay (especially if your dog sheds a lot). So far all my fellow dog people have LOVED this approach since many of them tidy up after their pets anyway and, like me, don't like paying pet fees.
* Crate use is mandatory if you leave the pet unattended inside the cabin.
* Pet's nails must be trimmed before your stay. This is the #1 reason I may not allow pets in the future... my 2-year old floors look like 10 year old floors due to the scratches left by untrimmed nails.
* Make sure your pet(s) are up to date on flea and tick prevention.
I appreciate your understanding. If you agree with the above, I am happy to have y'all. As you can see from my reviews, dogs have as much fun (if not more) as their owners when visiting H'Owl at the Moon Farm.
So far this approach has worked out very well. I think if you charge a pet fee, people just think they can let the dogs create all the mess they want since they paid for it. Whereas if you tell the guests you are giving them a pass on a fee in return for being responsible and courteous pet owners, they will step up and pretend that they are even when they might not always be.