How to Choose a Pet Friendly Vacation Rental

Dog Friendly Oceanfront Rental
All Inn Dog Friendly Oceanfront Rental, Virginia Beach, VA.

Pet friendly vacation rentals are a great choice for people who are going on trips with their pets. They offer a wide variety of options and amenities that include plenty of space and privacy as well as the ability to cook your own meals and relax with your friends and family. Whether you slow down, speed up, or simply move about at your usual pace, vacations homes are unique in that they allow you to adopt the rhythms of your own life to new and beautiful surroundings.

Here are Petswelcome’s suggestions on how to choose the right vacation rental for you and your pet.

  1. Start Looking Early

When looking for pet friendly vacation rentals, it’s a good idea to start early to make sure you have a chance of securing one for the dates you have planned. It is not uncommon to book a rental a year or more in advance, especially in popular resort areas and shore locations. This is not to say that if you decide on a spur of the moment trip you should rule out rentals. A property manager who controls many rentals might very well have some openings due to cancellations, or other reasons, and therefore could still find you one on short notice.

  1. Do Your Homework

As with pet friendly hotels, not every pet friendly vacation rental is the same, so it’s important to do your homework before committing. We recommend that you start by checking out Petswelcome’s Pet-Friendly Vacation Rental listings. We have done the pet-friendly research for you and guarantee that all our listings allow pets. We also suggest that, in addition to visiting the realtor/owner’s official website, you check their Facebook page to get a gauge of whether they have a lot of favorable—or any negative—posts. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the owner or property manager for references from people who have stayed in the rental you are considering.

petswelcome vacation rental
Johnson Creek Farmhouse, Mountain View, AR.
  1. Pay Attention to the Details

If you do decide on a rental, be prepared to put down a large deposit. Usually it’s a minimum of 50%, but could be the full amount, depending on how far in advance you’ve booked. And always look carefully at the cancellation policy to see whether you will be able to recoup all or any of your money in case you have to opt out of the contract.

With regard to pet policies, be sure to ask specifics. In many cases, there will be a stated pet policy but it might not be as detailed as one you would find at a hotel so it’s important to make sure you know what is or isn’t allowed. For example, a policy might state that dogs are permitted but not say if there is a size limit or a fee, or that the pet is not allowed in specific areas of the rental property. This vagueness with regard to pet policies is usually due to property managers not being able to get every detail from the owners. If it is a privately owned rental, it could just be that the owner is less stringent with regard to the policy details and, after talking with you, will be more open to adjusting it to accommodate your needs.

petswelcome pet friendly rental
Ashling Cottage, Spring Lake, NJ.
  1. Property Manager or Private Owner?

This brings up another aspect of looking for a rental: Whether to rent from a property manager (realtor) or a private owner. While the rental itself (its location, accommodations, and amenities) is going to be the biggest factor in your decision, who you rent from should be another consideration. There are no hard and fast rules. Overall, property managers, since they are businesses and deal with more renters, will probably be more adept with regard to handling details such as dropping off/picking up keys and quickly dealing with any issues you might be having with the rental. They also may be able to provide amenities such as coupons or other discounts for nearby restaurants and services. On the other hand, private owners have their own advantages. If they’re allowing pets into their home, they probably own a pet themselves and therefore might be more flexible with regard to allowing your pet even if it differs from the initial policy requirements. And, if they live in the area, there’s a good chance they’ll have a deeper local knowledge than a realtor. Whichever way you go, though, make sure you will have access to the owner or manager throughout your stay and will be able to contact them at any time. Many rentals now offer a 24/7 texting number, which is a great way to ensure you can get through to them whenever you need to.

  1. Have Fun!

Whether it be a home, cottage, cabin, condo, or duplex, vacation rentals provide the opportunity for a more personal travel experience, one that better allows you the opportunity to march (and explore) to the beat of your own drum. We highly recommend you try the rental option. It’s great way to hang with your pet—and your whole family—in a fun, relaxing, and thoroughly enjoyable atmosphere.

If you are considering a pet-friendly vacation rental and would like some advice and/or assistance, please feel free to contact Cindy Dahlen at 320-766-9374 or email her at [email protected].

See our article 7 Reasons to Rent a Vacation Home to read about the many benefits vacation rentals have to offer.


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