As an outdoor property manager or owner, you prioritize your guests’ experience every day. However, it’s easy to overlook the guest experience for your furry, scaled, or feathered visitors — pets! But with Kampgrounds of America, Inc (KOA) reporting that 62% of their campers bring pets to their locations, this is an opportunity for your outdoor property to provide pet friendly lodging that will have pet-loving campers stampeding to book their reservations.
Here, we’ll discuss the benefits of pet friendly lodging, five tips for making your property pet friendly, and ways to market your pet-friendliness so you can capitalize on camping trends and improve the guest experience.
Benefits of Pet Friendly Lodging
Since 30% of all pets accompany their families on camping trips and more than 65% of campers bring a pet on RV excursions, having a campground that’s inviting to pets can increase your bookings. Plus, there are additional benefits to creating an inviting atmosphere for our animal friends.
Pet Friendly Accommodation Expands Your Pool of Potential Customers
Since people trust their friends and acquaintances, word of mouth is the most valuable form of marketing. When your campground becomes popular among pet owner communities, you may gain access to a whole new demographic of campers, which could drastically increase your bookings, especially for long-term reservations.
Pet Owners May Be Willing To Pay More
Many pet owners view their pets as part of the family and are willing to do what they can to keep their furry ones happy and safe. In fact, 37% of dog owners stayed home with their dog instead of going on a planned vacation in 2018. Having a reasonable pet accommodation fee can increase your revenue and let your visitors know that you are prepared to accommodate their pets.
How To Make Your Property More Pet Friendly
While there are benefits to accommodating pets, you may need to update your property and policies first. Pet friendly lodging might include:
1. Setting Designated Areas for Pets
If you have one or more fenced-in areas for animals at your property, pet parents will know where they can safely take their pet. This may also help to decrease the chances of pets escaping the care of their owners or running loose on your property.
If viable, a dog park or covered patio can provide a fun place for owners — and their pets — to socialize and spend time together. Improving the guest experience in this way can help campers have a memorable time at your property with fewer pet-related worries.
2. Providing Cleanup Supplies and Maintaining Pet Amenities
Cleanup supplies, such as dog-waste stations, eco-friendly pet cleaners, and more, may help your campers look after their pets and help keep your property clean.
You or your staff will want to check that all pet amenities are clean and in working condition, which can be added as a new task of your staff’s housekeeping duties. Leaving a good impression with clean and working amenities can mean repeat bookings and rave reviews from your campers.
3. Being Clear About Your Property’s Pet Guidelines
While keeping pets and their owners happy is important, so is maintaining the cleanliness and safety of your campground. Ensure that all rules and regulations regarding pets are followed by disclosing them with each reservation and keeping them posted around the property. You may be able to use your reservation management software to email these guidelines as an attachment to either a welcome email or a reservation confirmation email.
Some guidelines to consider include:
- When and where pets should be on a leash.
- What vaccinations pets need to visit your property.
- A limit on the number of pets allowed per reservation or by site.
- A pet accommodation fee and/or fee for damages caused by pets.
4. Having First-Aid for Animals Readily Available
Part of dog friendly lodging includes basic first aid options to help heal a canine companion if they’re injured on your property or any surrounding trails. For your pet owners’ convenience, consider having extensive first aid kits for dogs available for purchase at your store or clubhouse. You could also go above and beyond to provide basic first aid supplies for dogs along with traditional first aid kits at rest stops on your trails.
5. Making Sure You Have the Right Insurance Coverage
When you allow pets at your property, there is a risk of damages and new issues. However, this can be minimized by ensuring that your insurance policy also covers property damage caused by pets and pet-related injuries. Additionally, letting pet owners know about your insurance coverage can give them the confidence to book their stay — including their pets — with you.
Ways To Market Your Pet-Friendliness
Once your property feels ready for four-legged friends, it’s important to let your ideal campers know. Some ideas to advertise your pet amenities include:
- List all pet-related upgrades to your campground as amenities.
- After asking permission, show off pets visiting your property on social media and your website with pictures and owner-approved descriptions.You can also encourage your guests to tag you in their posts!
- Ensure you have a listing on pet travel sites such as BringFido and GoPetFriendly.com.
- Include pet friendly amenities and potential discounts on pet fees (if applicable) in your marketing efforts.
You may want to follow up with campers who brought their pets with them, as they can give you suggestions for improvements and provide you with positive reviews that mention their pets.
Enhance the Guest Experience
A successful campground strives to improve the experience of every single visitor, including those who bring their pet companions along for the ride. Managing pet friendly lodging and marketing your pet-related perks can improve the attractiveness of your campground and increase reservations one tail wag at a time.
While pet accessibility is a great improvement, it’s not the only one to consider for your campground. Discover how you can enhance the guest experience for everyone, grow your property’s reputation, and more!