If you’re a holiday rental property manager (and possibly a pet-owner too!), you’ll recognize the importance of providing your guests with an enjoyable and comforting stay. This extends to furry guests too, especially for your pet-friendly properties!
While many guests enjoy the companionship of their four-legged friends from the comforts of home, an influx of travellers in recent years have started bringing their pooches along for the ride when embarking on family vacations or road trips. Pets are viewed as family members in many instances and the thought of leaving them behind while on the road for any extended amount of time, can be heartbreaking.
While listing your property as pet-friendly within your digital guidebook is a great start, today we’re going to demonstrate how you can go the extra mile to make guests of all shapes, sizes, and breeds feel welcome. Improve your guest experience for travelling dog-lovers, by personalising your digital guest welcome book for your pet-friendly properties.
Why you need a digital guest welcome book for your pet-friendly properties
Creating a fantastic guest experience starts with your digital guidebook. Thorough post-booking communication uncovers valuable insights as to the purpose of your guests’ trip, allowing you to customise your welcome book to meet the needs of all guests, no matter human or pooch.
Supplying your guests and their pup with all the information they need for a comfortable stay, leads to more glowing reviews of your property, and more dog-lovers booking your short-term vacation rental. Word-of-mouth can be another powerful tool when considering the communal spaces pet-owners like to frequent – think dog parks and pet stores. Setting your pet-friendly property apart from others via your digital guidebook will have guests barking up your tree (erm, we mean, your vacation rental) for the coming months.
7 ways to personalise your digital guidebook for pet-friendly properties
The following ideas add that personal touch for animal-lovers frequenting your pet-friendly properties. Not only do they offer up suggestions for guests looking to explore your community and potentially meet other pet-owners; they also notify guests of critical services in the event of a pet emergency, and detail inclusions and exclusions as part of your pet-friendly property.
1. Include dog-friendly guidelines
A digital guest welcome book containing in-depth pet-friendly policies, preps your guests for respecting your space prior to arrival, and prevents your couch cushions from becoming makeshift chew toys.
Alp Safari Nax’s digital guest welcome book not only highlights their dog-friendly accommodation, but also sets down guidelines pertaining to man’s best friend. Travellers are asked to clean up after their pooch, restrict pet access to certain parts of the property, and keep their doggo on a lead while exploring the grounds.
Whitebeam Wood does a lovely job of addressing pets directly in their guidebook, kicking off the pet guidelines section with the salutation “Dear Dogs”. Pertinent requests include not leaving dogs alone in the house at any time, and supplying the business name and contact of a local dog sitter in the event guests require the service.
They also manage to avoid the puppy teething stage altogether by asking that visiting dogs be over six months old, house trained, and well behaved.
Other ideas for developing your own pet-friendly guidelines include asking that pets be up to date on vaccinations, and that proof of vaccination be supplied at the time of booking. Or, perhaps you ask your guests that their dogs be leashed at all times on a short leash when not contained or indoors. Your guidelines might also include that visiting dogs be well socialised both with other animals and people.
Informing guests their reservation for small to medium sized dog breeds may only be accepted after they agree to your guidelines, ensures guests understand the terms and conditions of staying at your property. Some property managers might also ask guests to pay a pet fee or pet deposit in the event an accident does happen, for which you need to replace a piece of furniture or other household item. This lets you off the hook for any possible damages incurred.
2. List upcoming dog-friendly events and attractions
Including a list in your digital guidebook of upcoming dog-friendly attractions and events, grants your guests a truly local experience. Many cities feature dog-oriented organisations, walking groups, and park meet-ups. No matter the length of time your guests happen to be staying, including this information can be a fantastic way for guests to connect with fellow pet-lovers, while exploring all your community has to offer.
If you discover through post-booking communication that your guests are in town for a specific pet event or seminar, including event-related information ahead of time removes the stress guests may experience about navigating your town, or outsourcing supplies. Are guests participating in a dog show? Include directions to the arena in your welcome book. Attending a corgi meet-up? Provide a digital map of the park. Enjoying a rejuvenating session of puppy yoga? Feature pricing information about equipment rentals from your local yoga studio.
3. Highlight dog-friendly restaurants and cafes
Filling your digital guest welcome book with pet-friendly sights and attractions, personalises your guests’ stay, while showcasing your community. Our guidebook templates make it a breeze to add local pet-friendly spots you support and love, with Google Places. Local hangouts like dog-friendly cafes, and bakeries stocked with pet-friendly treats, are great places to start.
Farley Cottage offers their guests fantastic restaurant suggestions for humans to chow down, that also welcome four-legged friends. Their inclusion of the dog-friendly Packhorse Inn, offers a short but ample walk for their guests’ pooch, while serving up delicious pub food and beverages.
There’s nothing worse than your guests arriving for dinner reservations at a nearby restaurant, only to be turned away because they don’t permit dogs. Farley Cottage advises guests to contact their eatery of choice to confirm dogs are welcome, prior to making reservations. While the cottage has done their best to indicate the dog-friendly status of a local restaurant or attraction within their guidebook, policies do change. This disclaimer can save your guests from a night ruined, or any ensuing confusion and embarrassment.
4. List green spaces, dog parks, and dog-friendly beaches
Consider including information regarding local dog-friendly beaches, where your guest’s pooch can romp around on sandy shores. Particular details regarding seasonal restrictions as per wildlife protection and animal breeding grounds, can also help your guests steer clear of areas where increased interactions with wildlife can take place. Farley Cottage notes in their digital guidebook how these areas are well-signposted, even going so far as to include specific sections of select beaches where restrictions apply.
Whitebeam Wood includes pertinent information regarding tidal patterns depending on the season and beach. Bantham beach is highlighted for its low tide, and lists particular months at low-tide when the beach is dog-friendly. Additionally, they indicate when the beach is dog-friendly, regardless of the month or season.
Or, spotlight local dog parks and idyllic green spaces where your guests’ four-legged friend can romp around. Clerkenhill Adventure Farm and Frisbee Golf Course, as featured in Nolton Cross Caravan Park’s digital guest welcome book, perfectly suits visitors looking to expel their pet’s pent up energy after a long travel journey.
5. Feature local emergency vets and animal hospital information
It’s all fun and games, until Rover gets stung by a bee while playing fetch in your property’s backyard. Including local emergency vet information and animal hospitals as a precaution, grants your guests peace of mind. In addition to outlining pet emergency information, providing details of a local veterinary surgeon in your guidebook saves them a panicked google search when the worst case scenario occurs.
Containing pertinent information like telephone numbers, and addresses to veterinary practices and 24-hour emergency pet services, Farley Cottage’s guidebook provides their guests with a range of options for urgent care in the event their pooch is hurt or injured.
6. Highlight dog grooming and dog spas
Your guests’ pupper deserves to be pampered as much as they do!
Showcasing local dog grooming centres and dog spas can be another great way to show guests you care not only about their well-being, but their dog’s as well. Whether your guests’ doggo needs washing and bathing services, nail and hair clipping, or brushing and combing, save your guests the trouble of a google search by including these businesses within your guidebook!
Better yet, partnering up with such local businesses to offer discounted pet grooming services, means an influx of new clients for your local dog groomer, as well as happy guests and cleaned and spiffed pets for your property.
7. Include a canine checklist
Outlining pet-friendly items for guest usage in your digital guidebook, provides your guests with advanced notice of what to bring and what to leave at home when travelling with their dogs.
While some canine guests can be picky about new items, or types of food, it serves as a nice gesture to your guests in the event they forget something for their pet. Items like dog bowls of different shapes and sizes, dog food and treats, pet blankets, and pet toys, are potential items to include as part of your offering to pet-lovers staying at your short-term rental property.
Farley Cottage does a thorough job of outlining what guests can expect upon arrival for dog supplies, and what they need to bring. For instance, while there are some dog bowls in the cottage and a small pack of dog treats is provided, guests are advised to bring their dog’s bedding and dog towels. While there are a limited number of blankets available at Farley Cottage, guests are also instructed to pack sofa throws if their dog is used to joining them on their sofa while at home.
Other ideas for pet-friendly items to include might be:
- Fenced-in yard
- Pet-feeding station
- “Poop” bags and disposal instructions for pets to do their business
- Animal crate(s) for guests leaving their dog in the house (that is, if you permit them to be left in the house!).
Get started building your digital guidebook today
Here at Touch Stay, we’re in the business of guest experiences – soft and furry guests, included. Our guidebook templates are flexible to meet all your property management needs. Don’t worry about getting your digital welcome book right the first time – as with any dog trick, practice makes perfect.