Nearly 65 percent of households own a pet, and many can’t imagine leaving their cat or dog behind when they travel out of town. Nonetheless, many vacation rentals do not allow pets out of concern for potential damages. Thanks to home automation, pet-proofing your vacation rental has never been simpler. If you take the right precautions, your pet-friendly rental property can give you an advantage in the rental market, provide your guests a friendlier experience, and bring in up to 30 percent more rent than properties that don’t allow pets.
Here are six ways you can pet-proof your vacation rental and make a great impression with pet-loving renters.
Install Pet-monitoring Cameras
Traveling pets can be nervous, insecure, and more likely to display bad behavior in an unfamiliar place. It’s likely they will be left alone, if even for short periods of time, so making it possible for pet owners to monitor their pets remotely is a perk that can preserve your property and the sanity of your guests. Luckily, there are now plenty of awesome products that let your renters monitor their pet right from their smartphone. Outfit your rental with a Petzi Treat Cam or PetChatz, which use a camera, voice, and treat dispenser to soothe animals and prevent nervous chewing, scratching, and barking.
Maintain an Efficient Temperature
As animals are susceptible to extreme temperature changes, it’s important to maintain a comfortable environment in the home. Installing a smart thermostat, like Nest or Lyric, can keep both your renters and their pets happy. Depending on the length of their stay, a smart thermostat will learn their temperature preferences and adjust to them. Offer renters access to the app and they can check on and adjust the temperature remotely. You can also use automation apps and systems to remotely control fans outdoors or indoors. While smart thermostats cost around $200, the energy savings will reduce your energy bill and save you money in the end.
Add a Smart Dog Door
A dog door is essential for pets to get in and out of the property and avoid accidents when the owner isn’t around. But some renters may only want their dog, not their cat, to access the backyard, or may want their pet to access the backyard only during certain times of day. Simplify the solution with a smart dog door: only pets wearing the connected smart key can unlock the door. You’ll keep stray animals from coming inside and indoor pets from going outside. Smart dog doors cost between $80 and $150 and are generally simple to install.
Connect Motion Sensors with Alarms
Just because your rental property is pet-friendly doesn’t mean you can’t decorate your home with delicate art or fragile accent pieces. If you want to avoid cats or dogs from jumping on top of shelves, getting into cabinets with hazardous cleaning materials, or accessing other potentially harmful areas, use contact sensors. When pets approach, the sensor will trigger an alarm to keep the pet away. This will protect your valuables and keep your guests’ pets out of harm’s way. While smart Wi-Fi motion sensors cost nearly twice as much as traditional motion sensors — $40 versus $20 — they are simpler to automate.
Automate Toilet Seats
Most people don’t think about the potential dangers of an upright toilet seat unless they own a pet. Kittens could drown by accidentally jumping into the toilet, while dogs and cats could get sick after drinking from it. Luckily, there’s a simple solution: an automated toilet seat. This smart device ensures the toilet seat is always down when not in use, preventing any accidents. There are a few different types of smart toilet seats, including ones that are triggered by a toilet flush or by sensing motion. Smart toilet seats can cost anywhere from $70 to $300, depending on the features you want, but they are an impressive bathroom addition for humans and pets.
Provide Robotic Vacuums
While the last thing vacationers want to do is vacuum, a robotic vacuum is a great smart device to offer renters who like to keep the living area fur-free and the floors clear of dirt or other messes dragged in by paws. By running a robotic vacuum as needed, your renters don’t have to worry about dirty floors, splattered cat litter, or potential accidents. Even better, renters can run the vacuum when they’re away from the house and schedule it to turn off when they return. Robotic vacuums range from $150 to several hundred dollars, but double as a renter perk and a convenient cleaning supply.
Once you’ve pet-proofed your rental property with home automation and smart devices, you are ready to impress future renters with pets and offer them a comfortable experience they’re sure to remember — and recommend to fellow travelers with pets. Remember to mention these pet-friendly upgrades in your rental listing to promote your property in a unique way and attract more renters.
Clair Jones is a community safety and home security advocate with SafeWise.com, a site dedicated to helping everyday homeowners compare security systems to find the most affordable, functional, and convenient solution for their home and family. To read more of Clair’s writing and learn about how you can protect your home from intruders, natural disasters, and everyday household safety concerns, visit the SafeWise Blog.