Vacation Rental Owner Tips: Deciding Whether to Allow Pets

The Evolve TeamLeave a Comment

When you’re listing your vacation home rental for the first time,you’ll get to choose the rules and create custom policies for your property — and some of those choices can be complicated. One of the common questions first-time renters ask is, “Should I allow pets?” The choice is yours to make, but here are some key points to consider:


Reasons to Allow Pets:

  • Allowing pets opens your home to more renters. This is the most obvious plus side of pet-friendly vacation rentals. Many renters who don’t have pets will be happy to stay in a home where pets have been, and pet-loving vacationers will be delighted to see that you’ll let their best friends stay there with them.
  • Some locations are made for pets. Consider your particular vacation home and the attractions around it. If it’s near a beach, dog-friendly hiking trails, or another kind of dog paradise, allowing dogs will win you many more customers.
  • You can make rules to protect yourself, your home, and the pets. Allowing pets doesn’t have to mean allowing bad behavior. Veteran vacation rental owner Marie Grizzard suggests six simple rules she asks her renters and their pets to follow.

Reasons to Go Pet-Free:

  • Easier upkeep and less stress. This is the obvious plus side of going pet free. Even with the most responsible renters, allowing pets will make for more wear and tear on your vacation home, more damage, and more cleaning between renters. If an easier, lower-maintenance business is your main goal, just don’t allow pets. If you could go either way, consider the extra costs of cleaning up after pets and repairing and replacing things more often. Compare these to the extra money you could make by allowing pets in your home’s location. Is it financially worthwhile?
  • Pet-free is a selling point for some. Marie Grizzard’s post suggests that pet-friendly rentals are perceived as being dirty and run down, and this can be true. Some renters will see “no pets allowed” in your listing and think of a cleaner, brighter, more luxurious vacation rental home. Renters who are strongly allergic to animals will seek out pet-free homes, since even a well-cleaned space may still harbor enough dander to make them ill.
  • Your location may be less attractive to pet owners, anyway. If your vacation rental home is in a more urban, less outdoorsy location, pet friendliness will be less of an issue for potential renters.
  • Some pet lovers like having a vacation from their pets. The HomeAway community’s post, “The Pros and Cons of Accepting Pets,” includes commentary from a dog lover who knows that her two huskies are happier at home, and she’s happier traveling without them. Refusing to allow pets won’t rule out all pet owners — only those who want to travel with their pets.


Whether to allow pets in your rental vacation home is a personal decision. Consider your vacation home’s location, your resources for cleaning and maintenance, and your comfort level. If you do decide to allow pets, this post from the HomeAway community will help you plan and negotiate pet-friendly rentals.


Photo Credit: bradjreynolds / Foter