Pet-Friendly Hotel Management Tips
No one likes leaving their four-legged family member behind when they travel. Thankfully, there are hotels that welcome our pets with open arms. In fact, 41 percent of U.S. hotels allow pets.
But managing a hotel filled with people, as well as their furry friends, can be a difficult task. Although many pet owners are careful and clean when they travel with their pets, it’s always smart to leave a little wiggle room for accidents. And that starts with having clear, detailed pet policies in place for your property. Here are a few helpful tips on how to manage your pet-friendly hotel to make stays comfortable for guests of any species.
Pet deposits, fees and additional charges are an area where issues may come up. Ensure that each member of your staff is knowledgeable of any and all possible fees that may apply to pet-owning guests. During the check-in process, every guest should be informed that if there is damage to their room, they will be charged. It’s also a good idea to detail what those costs may be depending on the extent of damage. For example, a total replacement of carpeting and linens calls for a much higher charge than extra cleaning or vacuuming at checkout.
Some hotels also choose to charge an upfront surcharge for all guests who bring their pets with them during their stay. This fee will help cover any standard or extra cleaning that may need to be done after the guest leaves your hotel. Again, be sure your staff lets the guest know of these fees and sign a pet policy agreement form stating they understand and will abide by the terms.
Most of the guests in your hotel are not familiar with your city and are just in town for a short period of time. Go the extra mile for your guests by providing information on walking paths, local pet supply stores and pet-friendly restaurants nearby.
The number one rule of having a pet is to be ready for anything. The same can be said for pet-friendly businesses. Make sure your property is stocked up on pet waste supplies, including poop bags and dog waste receptacles. Some hotels have even gone to the extent of implementing beautiful grassy areas on their property specifically for dog owners to use during their stay.
Hotel managers can also go above and beyond by offering custom packages for pet owners. These packages might include things such as a water bowl, DOGIPOT® SMART Litter Pick Up Bags™ to easily clean up any accidents, and a credit to a nearby pet salon. They can be strategically priced out and offered to all guests who bring their pets to your hotel.
Another important part of the guest check-in process is making sure they provide you with the best phone number to contact them. This will be used by your staff in case the guest is out of the hotel and their pet has a problem or is disturbing other guests.
There should also be clear parameters set for house keeping staff in your hotel regarding pet-owning guests. Guests who stay with their pets must agree to hang a door hanger on the outside of their door indicating they have left their room and the pet is inside. Housekeeping staff should never enter a room that has an unattended pet.
When offering pet-friendly accommodations, it’s important to always have a plan in place. If your hotel offers services and amenities for pets, policies and procedures to address safety, cleanliness, noise and other potential issues can make and keep your property a great option for pet owners.