Best Tips for Booking a Pet-Friendly Vacation Rental

July 7, 2021

Prior to the pandemic statistics showed that 67% of US households owned a pet, that’s 85 million families!

The pet adoption rate skyrocketed during the pandemic and the latest figures show that 49% of Americans added a pet to their family during Covid for emotional support, happiness, and needing something positive in life. It makes complete sense that, compared to last year, travel accommodation searches for “gardens” and “backyards” increased by 343% and “pet-friendly” vacation rental searches increased by 65%.

This increase in popularity and demand for pet-friendly rentals has led many homeowners to embrace pets as part of the family vacation (or workcation) and there are more pet-friendly options than ever before. If you’re traveling with your pet this summer, give yourself a head start and be fully prepared for the trip with our top tips for booking a pet-friendly vacation rental.


Choose the Right Destination

A memorable vacation begins with choosing the right destination and a little extra research is required when choosing a pet-friendly vacation destination. Whether you’re escaping to the serenity of the mountains, planning a beach vacation, or visiting your favorite city attractions, you need to plan your itinerary with your pet in mind. Research local pet-friendly activities, hiking trails, water activities, dog beaches or parks, and outdoor patios for pet-friendly dining. Many vacation rentals do not allow your dog to be left unattended, so a nearby doggy daycare or sitter is always a bonus.


Choose the Right Property

Now it’s time to find a property that welcomes your pets. Begin with selecting search filters for “dog-friendly” or “pet-friendly” to meet your exact criteria and begin the search for your ideal vacation home. Once you’ve scaled it down to your favorite few, it’s important at this point to read the reviews and the pet policies – the property may be pet-friendly but it’s always worth double-checking on other guest experiences, and many homes limit pets based on size, numbers, and breed. If your search is not successful and there’s a home you have your heart set on that is not pet-friendly, it’s always worth a quick inquiry. Many owners would rather take a booking with a small, well-behaved pet than have a home sit empty.


Pet-Friendly Amenities

Is the property suitable for your pet? Is your pooch an escape artist? Does he like the comfort of a king-size bed? Not all pet-friendly properties have a fenced-in yard (and this is not yet a common search filter) and some limit your pet to certain areas of the property, only you know if your chosen home is suitable for your pet-friendly vacation. A well-written property description should give you a detailed outline of the home with images that will give you a good idea of the outdoor space for your pet. Many homeowners not only “accept” dogs, but welcome them with additional pet-friendly amenities and even pet packages with their own special treats! If you’re not sure, inquire!


Confirm Pet & Cleaning Fees

Pet fees and deposits can be substantial and are usually part of the online booking process, but always be aware of hidden fees. Again, have a clear understanding of the pet policy to avoid unnecessary charges on check-out, and if no pet fees are shown in the booking confirmation, always contact the host or property manager to clarify.


Respect & Follow the House Rules

Respect and follow the house rules and you’ll always be welcomed back. Again, this brings to the forefront the importance of clearly reading the pet policy and house rules before confirming your reservation. Many house rules for pet-friendly rentals state that you may not leave your pet unattended in the property, so be sure to bear this in mind when planning your vacation itinerary.

Pack for your Pooch

Your vacation rental may be pet-friendly but do not expect it to come fully stocked with your pooch’s favorite toys and treats. Inquire ahead as to what pet amenities the property has and research local pet stores, so you know what to pack ahead. Something familiar from home is always important, throws to protect the furniture, collapsible water bowls (great for the car ride and hiking trails), a dog bed, and a leash. Before you travel make sure your pet is up to date with vaccinations and has a chip and a collar for identification.


Ask about Neighboring Pets

You know your pet better than anyone! Some dogs love to play, some are not always so friendly. If your pet is not particularly social, be sure to inquire about other pets on the property, or in neighboring properties, when making the booking.


Clean Up

It’s simple! Be extra considerate when traveling with pets and always leave the home as you found it, not forgetting a good clean-up of the yard!

From the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, Xplorie partners with professional property managers to combine the best pet-friendly places to stay in top US vacation destinations, with free activities and attractions for each day of your stay.