TOP 10 Tips On How To Become a Great Pet-Friendly Host


Should I welcome pets in my holiday rental?

Should I allow pets in my Short Term Holiday Rental (Airbnb, Stayz, property? The short answer is, yes. Welcoming furry travellers in your holiday accommodation can significantly increase your occupancy rates and revenue and make you a stand-out host amongst a growing number of pet owners. Over 47% of all the households in Australia live with a dog and 25% of them have already been on a holiday with their pooches. Pet friendly holiday rental is one of the fastest growing categories in Australia with 1 in every 10 searches on Stayz being for pet friendly accommodation.
But what about all the extra cleaning and damage caused by dogs staying at my property? After talking to over 300 pet friendly hosts on Airbnb, they all confirmed this is a false assumption. Damage to the property is very rare and although there might be some extra cleaning involved after some (not all) furry friends, at the same time most guests travelling with their dogs are happy to pay a small pet fee to cover the extra cleaning requirements. 
To help you to increase your revenue, we decided to talk to Tommi Nordstrom, co-founder of Pupsy, and find out his TOP 10 list on how to become a great pet-friendly host as well as things to consider if you are ready to become pet-friendly.
Pupsy is Australia’s largest online platform for dog owners to find and book dog friendly places. You can list your dog friendly property with them for free (they even create your listing for you and their Australian based team is always happy to help). 

1. Welcome pets inside your property

This is probably the single biggest topic to get it right if you want your property to become pet-friendly. Welcome dogs inside your property. Working farm dogs that are used to living outside do not go on holidays with their owners. Dogs that live with their owners inside their apartments / houses do. There is no point of becoming dog friendly if you cannot allow dogs inside as this will only cause you more problems. Dog owners that realise the fact, won’t book the property and the ones that don’t notice the detail will either cancel the booking OR simply ignore your rule. Pupsy has years of experience helping dog owners with their travels and this is the only DOG RULE they actually require from their properties.

2. Clear Pet Rules

Talking about dog rules and etiquette. Be very specific about the do’s and don’ts for your furry guests. Dog owners travelling with their dogs are often very understanding and happy to play by your rules for as long as they are aware of them. For example, no dogs allowed on furniture or bedding is a very reasonable boundary to set. We also recommend not allowing dogs to stay at your property unattended as it is a new environment for them. You may also want to set a limit on the number of dogs that can be hosted per booking to minimise the noise and action.

3. Add Furry Features to your property

Do I have to provide bedding, bowls, towels… for dogs? Well, not really. Dog owners most often travel with the whole kit, however a couple of bowls is probably not a bad idea. It makes the entire experience a little more welcoming. If you have some old towels that could be used as doggie towels, why not leave them at the entrance for the dirty paws. Oh and on the topic of fencing, if your property is fenced, by all means make it a dog friendly feature, however if it is not, this is not a problem for most dog owners.  

4. Help dog owners to find dog friendly places & activities near you

As mentioned before, we don’t recommend allowing dogs to stay unattended at your property. Therefore it is important to help dog owners to find places they can take their dogs with them. Many wineries, bars, beaches, cafes… welcome furry travellers to join their human parents. Pupsy sends a Dog Friendly Travel Guide for every guest to make sure they are aware of the dog friendly places near you.

5. Welcoming (instead of allowing) your furry guests

Simply using the word, Dogs Welcome, rather than Dogs Allowed changes the entire mindset. Maybe leave a small treat for your furry guests and if you know their names, include them in your welcome note. Simple things can make a big difference.

6. Get great reviews and recommendations

Going the extra mile with dog owners almost guarantees a positive review. And in the world of pet parenting, there is no stronger recommendation than the one coming from another pet parent. Pupsy has gone even further and encourages the reviews to be written from the dog’s perspective 🐶 

7. Include photos of your furry guests in your listing

Pictures tell stories so much better than words. Make sure you have some cute photos of your furry friends at your property as part of your listing. This will have an incredible impact right away and demonstrate your pet friendliness. 
It’s amazing how pets can provide comfort and company, and including their photos can have an incredible impact on potential guests. As an example, our Labrador Rocky accidentally photobombed a picture, and we decided to keep it. We’ve received numerous bookings from guests who saw Rocky in the photo and were excited to stay with him.

8. Make cleaning supplies easily available

Not really a must but not a bad idea for your property. Accidents may happen and dog owners may not travel with their cleaning supplies. Leave some available and you have a great chance of the accidents being properly cleaned. 

9. Pup Entertainment (and remove things that look like toys)

Again, not a necessity but might add that extra welcome to your guests. More importantly, remove any items that may look like toys for the furry guests (soft toys, balls…) just to minimise any temptations. 

10. Don’t discriminate by breed or size

This may sound strange at first but even if you state “no Staffies” this will also have a very negative impact on Cavoodle owners. Dog owners rarely discriminate by breed. There are good and bad behaving dogs across all the breeds. Instead, you should always clearly state that well behaved dogs are always welcome. What about the size? I only have a 1 bedroom apartment without a yard. Surely this is not suitable for Great Danes? Not quite, many large breeds including the mighty Great Danes are very suitable apartment dogs. As long as most large breeds get their daily exercise and stimulation, they are happy to simply chill at home.

Ready to start hosting furry travellers at your property or maybe you still have further questions?

Get in touch with Pupsy and they will help you reach tens of thousands of dog owners across Australia. It’s completely free to list your property with them and they will even create your listing for you and promote it across their Dog Friendly Travel Guides, Socials, Newsletters.