Dog-friendly cottage holidays have never been more popular and there is a massive market for pet-friendly cottages, both for family holidays and romantic short breaks. Booking a dog-friendly cottage in the UK means there is no need for expensive kennelling or the hassle of trying to arrange a pet passport. Getting your holiday cottage right for the dog-friendly market can mean a calendar full of lots of bookings and increased revenue for you.
Ten tips for dog-friendly holiday cottages:
1. Make four-legged friends feel welcome
Dogs are part of the family and this is their holiday too. Make them feel at home in your holiday cottage with a little welcome hamper of their own – this could include bowls and blankets for them to use on their stay, some biscuits and even a squeaky toy for them to play with. Items like poo bags are also useful as they are something guests are likely to forget!
2. Have flooring that is dog-friendly and easy to clean
Let’s face it – dogs like getting wet and muddy! There are plenty of beaches and countryside to explore in Yorkshire so chances are they are going to bring some muddy paw prints back to the holiday cottage. Having an entrance that leads onto easy to clean flooring in an enclosed room (flagstone is a great option) means dogs can stay in here till they are nice and clean! After all you don’t want a nice cream carpet being ruined. Providing some older dog-friendly towels is also a good idea…
3. Make your garden dog-friendly
Having a garden isn’t a necessity for being dog-friendly (after all there are plenty of lovely Yorkshire walks where your dog can stretch their legs) though it is something a lot of people will look for. One of the key questions we get is about enclosed gardens so putting up a dog-proof fence will make your property extra appealing.
4. Provide useful information
Think about putting together a sheet of information for dog-owners which could include local dog day-care services and vets. Guests may well want a trip out somewhere that isn’t pet-friendly and will appreciate having a vet to contact if something should happen to their dog!
5. Consider extra charges for dog-friendly breaks
Remember that although your property is dog-friendly, it should be as clean and fresh smelling as if it was pet-free. Extra cleaning is usually needed to get rid of pet hairs and to ensure everything is sparkling and bright, so this should be accounted for in your charges. We recommend an additional fee of £5 per night per dog which the vast majority of guests are more than happy to pay.
6. Set-out clear guidelines for pet-friendly holidays
It is important to have clear guidelines as to where dogs are and aren’t allowed in the property. We recommend that dogs aren’t allowed in the bedrooms, on the furniture or anywhere upstairs. You may also want to consider where dogs can sleep as you don’t want them exploring the house while their owners are fast asleep. It is well worth adding a stair-gate to stop dogs getting upstairs.
Occasionally some naughty doggies may jump on the furniture so it is a good idea to provide blankets that the owners can use. We would always recommend investing in quality hard-wearing pieces.
7. Highlight dog-friendly walks and activities nearby
Photo courtesy of Emma Bearman and Alfie Bear.
Yorkshire is a very dog-friendly county and the number of pubs and cafes that will welcome your four-legged friend is increasing all the time. Highlight any dog-friendly walks, beaches (if you are near the coast), and pubs (especially if they do food). Certain attractions are also now dog-friendly particularly gardens, castles and abbeys.
8. Decide how many dogs you will allow
How many dogs you will allow (and the size of dogs) will depend on the size of your property. There is a large demand though for dog-friendly cottages that accept multiple dogs so if you have the space we strongly recommend accepting two (or three or four) dogs.
9. Consider any dangers – both inside and outside the properties
Have a think about any areas where dogs can come into harm (they are a bit like children in that respect) any sharp drops they can fall from, pot holes they can stumble in or wild animals in the field next door. Specify if there are things such as shoots in the area so the dog owners know in advance to keep their pets on a lead. Similarly you may want to think about any breakables and have them out of reach of little (or big) paws! Again stair-gates can be a very useful addition in a dog-friendly holiday cottage!
10. Add little dog-friendly touches
To appeal to dog lovers consider having some little dog-friendly touches for instance hooks where dog leads can be hung up or even nice dog pictures or cushions. Dog-themed items are a great way to an owners heart!
Gorgeous Cottages are the booking agent for more than 180 Luxury Yorkshire Holiday Cottages. If you are interested in letting your Yorkshire Holiday Home, give the team a call on 01642 263 249 or email us at [email protected]com.