Many guests choose vacation rentals over hotels so they can enjoy the comforts of home while away from home – including bringing their furry friends along for the trip.

Certain vacation destinations attract pet owners more than others (think beaches, dog-friendly hiking trails, and many family-friendly spots), so allowing pets helps to keep your home on level playing field with other homes in the area. But even if your home is not in a destination where guests traditionally bring pets, being one of only a few homes to allow animal companions can give you an advantage over similar options.

pet-friendly vacation rentalUltimately, the decision of whether or not to allow pets is up to you as the owner. If you do choose to allow pets in your vacation rental, it’s helpful to set up a formal policy to help keep your home protected and your neighbors happy!

We’re sharing some basic guidelines that should be included in any pet-friendly vacation rental policy.

Clearly define which types of pets are allowed, and which should stay behind at home.

Your home is likely prepared for dogs, but your guests may have something else in mind. Cats, reptiles, or pigs can create different types of issues that your home not be equipped to handle.

Include any additional restrictions you’d like to impose.

Depending on the size of your home (and any personal preferences), you may want to include certain breed, size, weight, or age restrictions in your policy, or limit the number of pets per reservation.

Set rules for how you’d like pets (and their owners) to behave.

Most pet owners are likely to be respectful of your property and neighborhood, but it doesn’t hurt to communicate detailed rules to your guests. This can include whether or not dogs are allowed on furniture, when leashes should be used, waste cleanup requirements, and excessive barking issues.

Create peace of mind with a pet fee or deposit.

Allowing pets can increase the risk of damage and wear to your home, but responsibility doesn’t have to fall on you as the owner. A pet fee can cover any additional cleaning after a stay, while a deposit can provide extra security for you knowing any potential damage will be covered. Your management company may have set fees in place for guests traveling with pets.

Check in with your home’s HOA and insurance policies.

While you may be fine with dogs in your home, outside factors may require you to be a bit more restrictive in your pet policy. Adhering to these guidelines is important to make sure your home’s coverage remains intact.

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Author: Allison Busse

Allison is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist at Vacasa in Portland, Oregon. She creates resources for vacation rental homeowners with the help of Vacasa's team of experts. Outside of work Allison loves hiking, biking, cooking, and reading.