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Should You Allow Pets in Your Short-Term Rental?


Brad Greiner and Julien Marbot holding their dog

Why Open Air Homes is Pet Friendly

We love dogs here at Open Air Homes, and we know how much our guests enjoy traveling with their pets. Many homeowners in the vacation rental industry are scared to let animals roam freely throughout their home, imagining the worst-case scenarios of torn furniture, destroyed art pieces, and permanently damaged rugs. Fortunately, this scenario is far from common and completely avoidable with a little preparation. 

We encourage our homeowners to allow pets in their short-term rentals (but will still consider you for home management even if you decide pets aren’t right for your home), as data has shown that pet-friendly rentals have higher occupancy rates than similar units in the same area. Making your vacation rental pet-friendly gives you a unique competitive advantage that will:

  • Boost the number of bookings you get
  • Raise the nightly rate of each booking 
  • Increase the duration of your bookings
  • Improve guest satisfaction and the likelihood of return customers

An estimated 67% of Americans have a household pet, and 50% of them prefer to travel with their pet. Only 3% of the listings on Airbnb are tagged as pet friendly, so a significant portion of today’s traveling population has limited options for where they can stay. By making your home pet friendly, you open yourself up to more potential renters, and you instantly have the opportunity to increase your rates while maintaining a high level of occupancy. 

Still not convinced? Consider that travelers with pets tend to book longer stays in one location. As all experienced hosts know, having fewer tenants staying for longer periods of time is significantly easier to manage than frequent, shorter stays. Finally, by providing your guests this unique advantage, they are more likely to return again and again with great satisfaction.

Over our years in business, we’ve perfected the art of designing luxurious properties that are both family and pet-friendly. Here are a few tips to help you keep your rental in good condition:

Use Performance and Outdoor Fabrics Inside
Avoid replacing scratched and stained couch covers by using durable performance fabrics, faux leather or ultrasuede throughout your rental. Not only will this reduce cleaning costs, it’s a more sustainable solution for the environment. We recommend using Sunbrella fabric both inside and out, as this technical material means you don’t need to sacrifice comfort for a fabric both strong and easy to clean. Whether or not you allow pets, we suggest using more durable materials.

Use Safe, Natural Cleaning Supplies
Keeping your home fresh and clean with the right products is especially important when you have furry loved ones around. Make sure to avoid using chemical cleaners that could harm pets should they come in contact with it. Not only are these chemicals damaging to your health, they’re also bad for the environment. Luckily, there are many natural cleaners on the market today to make home-cleaning safe and sustainable.

Provide Special Amenities for Pets
Surprise and delight your guests with amenities like water and food bowls, chew toys, waste bags, and perhaps a pet bed. This will increase guest satisfaction, while also reducing the possibility of damaged furniture or pet waste in outdoor areas.

Develop an Effective Pet-Friendly Policy
First, get your documents in order: check with your insurance carrier to ensure that you have the right coverage for a pet-friendly rental. Then, have your guests complete a pet application to ensure that any animals in your home are vaccinated, tagged, and have proper ownership documentation. Lastly, set a required deposit amount that will cover repairs in the rare event of damages. 



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