Tips on choosing the right pet-friendly vacation home

Bringing a pet on vacation comes with it’s own set of issues. Is the space big enough? Can I feel comfortable leaving them in the unit if we decide to go out for the day? Is there adequate space for walking them or letting them lose in a fenced yard? What is the pet fee? Is it refundable?

Trying to find a rental property that accepts pets can be tricky. There are quite a few that do accept them but sometimes options are limited. We put together a few useful tips that can help make the process easier.

Start your search early. To get the best possible selection begin looking early. Typically you can make a reservation up to a year or more in advance, especially in busy areas. If you find a property management company that accepts pets but ha limited availability try calling them directly. Not all rental listings have “pet friendly” stated on the property listings so they may be able to give additional options for pet friendly rentals. 

Be respectful of the property. Although your vacation rental may be pet friendly there may be areas of the home or outside property that the owner does not want pets. Some units may ask that the pets do not go in the bedrooms or there may be a designated potty area in the yard. Make sure to ask the property manager about specific pet instructions for the unit you are renting. Just to be safe, make sure to bring your own poop bags. Don’t count on the property providing them.

Property Manager or Owner. Who you rent from is as important as what destination you choose. Renting from an owner can be advantageous for many reasons. If it is a pet friendly rental then the owner is probably a pet owner themselves so they may be a little more accommodating then a property manager might be. They may also be able to give you suggestions to local pet friendly restaurants or tell you where to find a dog park or a secluded area to run your dog that only the locals know about.  On the other hand, property managers can be valuable when acting as a buffer between you the renter and the property owner. Some owners can be difficult to deal with so letting them deal with the owners can be a real life saver. They may also be able to provide coupons or discounts at local restaurants or attractions not available through the owners.

Do some research. Make sure to do some research on the unit you are booking. Look for reviews of the unit and what people are saying specifically about the property in regards to bringing their pet. Was the unit suitable for the pet? Did it have enough space for the dog to run? Was the pet fee a fair price or did they tack on extra cleaning fees? Did the neighbors complain if your dog barked or did they have a dog of their own that barked at your dog a lot? This kind of feedback is highly unlikely to be given by either the owner or the property manager.

There are more choices than ever when it comes to pet-friendly vacation rentals. Do your homework and find out what people are saying about it. Make sure you get an early start looking for a rental and be very respectful of the property you are looking for.

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