Doggone It !!


Dog Friendly?   Hmmmmmm …….

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.  There are about as many prospective tenants that do not have dogs and many have 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 some ways to safeguard your home against mishaps.  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 know and may “mark.”  You also need to safeguard your future guests who may have allergies they have not mentioned or guest that have overlooked 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.

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