The Pet-Friendly Trend: Welcome Your Guests’ Furry Friends to Your B&B

Have you been getting more enquiries about whether your guests can bring their furry friends along to stay at your bed and breakfast? You’re not alone.

More guests are looking for pet-friendly accommodation, and hotels of all sizes are scrambling to adapt.

In fact, 37% of owners are taking their dogs along on vacation (source), and the number of member hotels allowing pets has gone up to 60% last year from 52% in 2010 (source).

Why? There is a huge untapped revenue opportunity in the pet-friendly accommodation market. In the US alone, it’s estimated that Americans will spend more than $60.5 billion on their pets in 2015 (source).

And there’s no signs of this slowing down. The number of travelers who bring their dog when they’re away from home for two nights or more almost doubled over the past 10 years, from 19% in 2004 to 37% in 2014 (source).

To get more guests walking through your door (and increase your revenue on upsell items) it may be a good idea to turn your bed and breakfast into a pet friendly accommodation stay.

But if you have no idea where to start, here are some tips on just how to do it (without breaking the bank).

Give Them Treats

A dog has got to eat, too! There are many ways you can provide food for pets at your bed and breakfast, depending on the type of property you have.

  • If you have a restaurant on your property or if you do provide breakfast or other meals to your guests, add a small menu for pets, even if it is dried or canned food from the supermarket.
  • If you don’t have the means to provide food for pets, partner with some local restaurants that are pet friendly and provide your guests with all the options.
  • Find some dog treat companies who can deliver pet food to your door, which you can then upsell to your guests.

Whichever option you go with, this is a great opportunity to upsell your meals to pets!

Go Fetch

Pets love their play time. If you have the space at your small property, even if it is a small area, create a play zone for your guest’s pooch or kitty.

This can be as simple as a small room with a few toys or an outside area where they can play and run around a bit.

Don’t forget to get a litter for the felines and an area for the pooches to do their business.

Provide Beauty Sleep

Just like us, pets need somewhere to sleep. It’s important to offer a range of bedding options for your guest’s pets.

A great way to do this is to create add-on packages for pets that your guests can choose to add to their stay at the time of booking.

Prices should vary according to size. Have a sleeping package for small, medium, large dogs and a basket or small bed for cats.

The packages can include different bed sizes, a water bowl, a treat, maybe even a bowl of milk for cats, you can get creative here.

Get Them Out and About

Guests with pets want to be able to take their pets out with them to explore, but not all outings are suitable for pets.

Perhaps you know of some beaches that allow pets or some good dog walking areas that are scenic or even malls/bars/cafes.

Suggest some fun options for your guests for where they can take their pets nearby.

Dog Sit

Your guests may want some ‘me’ time away from their pets. For example, they may want to visit some attractions near your bed and breakfast that simply aren’t pet friendly.

Why not offer a dog sitting or walking service as upsell options? Whether you are happy to do it yourself or you can work with an external company, this is a great way to capitalise on a guest stays with their pets.

Get Sniffed Out

How do travelers with pets know that your bed and breakfast is pet-friendly?

Most importantly, you need to get found online. There are many association websites for each country or city that are dedicated to pet-friendly accommodation options. Make sure you get your bed and breakfast listed!

If your bed and breakfast is listed on an online travel agency website (OTA), make sure you describe your property as pet friendly.

Pets = more revenue!

It would be wise to explore whether you can start opening your doors to guests and their pets. Especially if it increases your revenue for each guests’ stay.

Use your hotel booking engine to create pet-friendly packages and upsell items. That way your guests can search for which rooms are available and select the packages that suit them best.

If you are on the hunt for the best booking engine for your bed and breakfast, learn how to do so with the complete Buyer’s Guide to Hotel Booking Engines for small accommodation providers.

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