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Eighty-two percent of pet owners rely on friends and family to look after their animals when they take a trip, even though the majority of these travelers feel bad for doing so. As a result, more homeowners are listing pet-friendly properties on rental portals, a move that has increased bookings among animal lovers. Here are some of the benefits to making your vacation rental pet-friendly.

Pet-Friendly Travel Is Booming

The popularity of pet-friendly business and travel options has swelled in recent years. More restaurants and airlines are welcoming pets, giving them a competitive advantage over their rivals. In fact, 20 percent of companies now have dog-friendly policies in place. In the hospitality industry, pet-friendly travel is becoming more flexible. Kimpton Hotels has capitalized on pet ownership by offering pet-friendly boutique hotel rooms for no additional charge. The San Francisco-based hotel group provides pet bed loaners, water bowls, mats and pet food in guest rooms. DogVacay — an online service that connects travelers with pet sitters — secured $25 million in funding in 2014 and has been named “Airbnb for dogs.”

People Want to Travel With Pets

Statistics show that pet owners want to travel with their animals rather than leave them at home. Seventy-eight percent of animal owners stay at pet-friendly hotels at least once a year, while 64 percent are more likely to increase the length of a stay if they can travel with their pets. Due to growing demand, more homeowners are advertising pet-friendly rental properties on sites such as VRBO and HomeAway. Rentals provide pet owners with a level of security and comfort they can’t find at a conventional hotel.

Airbnb now offers guidance for pet owners looking for a rental, advising travelers to check under the “amenities” section of a listing before booking.

More Frequent and Happier Guests

Advertising your short-term rental as “pet-friendly” can improve booking rates and drive revenue. Research suggests that pet-friendly rentals can generate up to 30 percent more rent than homes that don’t allow animals. Allowing your guests to bring their pets on vacation can also increase your host rating on a rental portal. Studies show that pets increase happiness and are essential for their owners’ physical and psychological well-being. The result? A better rating on sites like Airbnb.

Making your property suitable for animals is easier than you think and can increase bookings and lead to more satisfied guests. Pet owners are looking for a safe home with amenities such as water bowls and dog toys. Another tip: Include information about local dog-friendly parks in your house manual.

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