Doggone It!

Dog with suitcase and passport

This past week we received a call from one of our favorite repeat guests.  He was looking for a three bedroom condo for the month of November and specifically a “no pet” property.  His sister was joining them on vacation and he informed us that she was highly alergic to dogs and cats … so much so that if there had ever been a pet in the property, his sister would have a reaction and they would probably have to be moved.

So … I thought this would be an ideal time to re-post one of my earlier articles … Doggone It!  Whether to accept pets or not is sometimes a difficult decision for a property owner to make.  We receive requests for properties that do not permit pets almost as often as requests for properties that will acccept them … specifically dogs.  Cats are an entirely different subject.  Cat alergies seem to be significently higher and often more severe than dog alergies, and choosing to err on the side of caution, Vacation Rentals of the Desert has a “No Cat” policy.  Fortunately requests for cat friendly properties have been few and far between.

Being an animal lover myself, with a beloved dog-daughter, I understand the desire to take along your “dog-child” … but on the other hand, as a pet owner, I fully realize that accidents can and do happen … especially in unfamiluar surroundings.  Frankly I’m 50/50 on this subject.  I usually give vacation rental owners all the information I’ve gathered over the years and let them make a decision.  Please read on ….

Doggone It!!

dog-shaming-hid-meat-1Dog Friendly?   Hmmm …. This is one of the most difficult decisions a vacation property owner will make.  Here in the desert, the majority of our vacationing guests will stay one to four months.  If the guest has a dog they will want to bring it along … after all it’s a family member.  I love dogs, you love dogs, we all love dogs, but property owners should carefully weigh the risks against the benefits.  All dogs have accidents occasionally.   If we say no to our four legged guests we stand to lose significant bookings but a yes could result in property damage.

If you have tile throughout your vacation home your property is better suited for dogs.  If you have carpet you may want to give this more thought.  You should also consider that there are many prospective tenants that do not have dogs and some even suffer from pet allergies.  Even if you have a dog yourself it may be best to say no to dogs.  Here’s why … dogs are territorial…. if your dog or the visiting dog smell the other, they will probably “mark.”  If you decide to accept dogs there are a few ways you can protect your home for future tenants.  First I would recommend that you require a non-refundable pet fee.  The fee should cover professional carpet and upholstery cleaning as well as cleaning bedspreads and you will want to have this additional cleaning done immediately following your guest’s departure … even if you do not see or smell any mishaps … believe me, if not professionally cleaned your next four legged guest will smell the other dog and may “mark.”  You also need to safeguard your future guests who may have allergies they have not mentioned, overlooking the fact that you accept dogs.

I also recommend that you add a statement to your rental agreement or contract that the guest agrees that any damage or repairs over the pet fee will be deducted from their security deposit and if costs exceed the deposit, the overage will be the responsibility of the guest.   I have seldom encountered extensive damage but I have experienced some and the repair/replacement costs were significant.  From holes dug in the yard, to chewed carpet, scratches on leather furniture, scratches on doors and most recently we had to replace a scratched up and very costly UV film on an oversized sliding glass door.  Home owners or their representatives should be sure to check their properties carefully after the departure of their four legged guests document and take pictures of any damages.

Doggone it’s a tough call.


My dog-daughter Gracie!








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