Going pet friendly is a smart business move for a hotel. Consider this: over 63 percent of households in the United States have pets. That is a full 75 million people who are potential customers for the pet friendly hotel. Going pet friendly is easier than you might think.
First, determine what your pet policies will be. You will need guidelines in place to make everything more relaxed and enjoyable for all guests as it sets the expectations. Consider size, breed and number of pet limits. Consider charging a pet fee to cover the visits by these little four legged guests as they expect to be treated as paying customers too! There might also be a refundable deposit or a non-refundable cleaning fee, depending on your needs.
Next, add some perks for pet owners who visit. A dish of pet treats at the check in counter or complementary dishes for pets to use make the pet and the owner feel more welcome. Also, consider the guests who will not be traveling with pets as you make your plans. You can accommodate them by setting aside a floor or two as a “pet free” zone or asking your guests with pets to avoid bringing their pets to certain common areas of the hotel, like the breakfast room. It is also a good idea to allocate your pet rooms near the stairway, green area or bottom floor as it is more convenient for all concerned.
Finally, look for certifications, like the Pets Can Stay seal, that you can add to your hotel’s website and letterhead to show your guests that you are committed to providing excellent service for both them and their pets. As an industry leader in the pet friendly market, Pets Can Stay is available to provide assistance in setting up pet policies, manuals etc. for your hotel.
With these few steps and the right certification, you can quickly transform your hotel into a pet-friendly lodging option, thus tapping into the millions of people who travel each year with their pets.