My wife and I have a 2 year old called Frankie, no we did not give birth to Frankie because he is our dog of the past 8 years. If you have ever owned a animal you know it is like owning a 2 years for its life. You have to feed it, clean it and care for most all of its needs. The responsibility fall with ownership but so does the rewards of having animal, the is so happy to see you whether you are having a good or bad day. So when we have to head out on vacation Frankie goes to the kennel for a week or two. The billing for one day is between $60 and $80. That does not include food or extra walks for him. Just like other pet owners we would love to bring Frankie along but trying to find a Small Lodging, Bouquet, Inn, or even Hotel Chain that wants him well that is quite daunting task. See Frankie is 28 pounds and is a small dog with a weight issue…LOL well that is want we say. Most in the hospitality industry only take pets 25 pounds or less. If they take larger animals they charge $50 to $75 for a cleaning fee sometimes daily. So many time we leave Frankie with the Kennel just finding our self’s saying we should cut this trip short and get back to him. Many guests look at their family pet the same way and want to bring them.
Like most if we could bring Frankie I would be happier not worrying about him and I would spend more at or around your Superior Small Lodging or Bouquet Inn. I would recommend you to all my pet loving friends and neighbors as the best place to stay. Believe or not pet lover are passionate people and are loyal to companies that support them. Companies like petmeds.com and VIPpetcare.com have some of the highest ratings when it comes to customer loyalty.
Many owners and manager worry about liability, noise and wear & tear of their rooms. Well yes you are correct liability is big but so is any liability human or animal. 90% of hospitality liability issues are slip and falls from humans and for Superior Small Lodging animal claims are well less than 2% of all liability claims. The reward may outweigh the risks but it is up to you. Still most are worried about the noise and wear & tear of their rooms, well most pet lovers can and will control their pets. Honestly having a pet act up is much like having a child act up, the parent is embarrassed when it happens so are pet owners. So 99.9% of the time you have responsible pet owners and the 1% you do not, so have a policy that puts liability back on pet owners not you. Facts about Pet Ownership in the U.S., It's estimated that 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States. Approximately 37-47% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 30-37% have a cat. That is a pretty good niche market I would say and opens the doors to some great marketing opportunities.
So what can a Superior Small Lodging owner or manager do? Reach out to Pet Friendly websites and get a listing;
BringFido.com; http://www.bringfido.com/ is a dog travel directory that provides unbiased reviews, detailed pet policy information, and online reservations at more than 25,000 pet friendly hotels through a partnership with Travelocity. Information is also available on thousands of bed & breakfasts, vacation rentals, and campgrounds that welcome pets in 150 countries worldwide. Advertising listing/ opportunity http://www.bringfido.com/advertise/property/
Pet Travel http://www.pettravel.com/ was founded in 1986 by Jerry Hatfield and his best friend, a Shih Tzu named Ruggles. Jerry was a travel agent who wanted to travel with his pet, and, at the time, hotels did not advertise themselves as being pet friendly. After much researching, he launched a website, pupwup.com dedicated to providing pet friendly hotels and other information to people traveling with a pet. After a name change several years later, PetTravel.com was born. Today, Jerry works full time providing accurate and up to date information on pet passport and pet immigration information for almost every country in the world. Pet Travel is referred by the USDA and CFIA (Canada) as well as numerous embassies, the State Department, and military agencies worldwide. We are also referred by all the major airlines for pet travelers with questions on traveling by air with their pets.
Petswelsome.com http://www.petswelcome.com/ the team likes to think of itself as a high-powered mix of Harvard MBAs, power-suited Marketing VPs, and Internet IPO gurus. But, basically, we're just a couple of dogs and a cat. The web isn't rocket science you know.
GoPetFriendly.com http://www.gopetfriendly.com/ Once upon a time, two accountants took their persnickety (yet adorable) dog, “Ty” for his morning walk around Philadelphia. Upon their return home, a man ran up to warn the couple to watch out for the BIG, BLACK dog he’d just seen near their house. After a fruitless search for the dog’s owner, the couple decided to make the dog part of their family and named him “Buster.” It wasn’t long before the couple was preparing to take Ty and Buster on a family vacation. But the couple didn’t realize was how difficult it was to find fun places where Ty and Buster could go with them. They spent hours in front of the computer and on the phone just to find dog friendly hotels … where were they going to play or eat? That’s when the idea hit them … they could build a website that would make pet travel easy for everyone! They collected information on hotels and campgrounds – including detailed pet policies. They found pet friendly restaurants, and wineries, and dog parks, and beaches … where pets could romp with their people. They even tracked down veterinarians, pet supply stores, doggy day care, and pet sitters in case people needed them when they were away from home. And in 2009, they launched GoPetFriendly.com.
As you can see the people that have written these sites are passionate their pets and travel. These are just some of the top sites but there are hundreds if not thousands out there. I know it is a risk but if you are looking to expand your business with a good clientele that will pay extra, this might be the market you are looking for.
As always I hope this helped your Superior Small Lodging or Bouquet Inn!
All the best,
Oigidecht Hotels and Resorts