Close Icon
How to get more dog friendly bookings for your holiday cottage

How can  I get more dog friendly bookings in my holiday cottage?

As a nation of dog-lovers, the search for pet-friendly accommodation has been steadily on the rise.  The dog friendly holiday cottage market is a lucrative one to appeal to.  Often resulting in more bookings for your holiday let as you appeal to a wider audience.

Read on to find out why you should accept dogs in your holiday cottage. Plus, tips on how to get more dog friendly bookings for your holiday cottage.

Dog-Friendly Holidays – Are they really that popular?

In a word, yes!  According to the National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA), there are more than 8.5 million dogs in the UK and 24% of households have a dog.  What’s more, 72% of dog owners would take more holidays if there was a better attitude towards dogs. So there has never been a better time to showcase how dog friendly your holiday cottage is.

More dog friendly bookings at King George Penthouse Suffolk

King George Penthouse, Aldeburgh

Why should you accept dogs in your holiday cottage?

Less price-sensitivity

Another reason to get more dog friendly bookings for your holiday cottage is that dog owners tend to be less price sensitive.  This can for several reasons, including that they tend to be from a higher income threshold due to the cost of dog ownership.

What’s more, as they have specific requirements such as the need for an enclosed garden for example, they are more willing to pay for those requirements to be met.  Interestingly for the holiday let market, 16% of those questioned by the NCTA are willing to pay at least £200 extra to bring their dog on holiday.

Get more dog friendly bookings

More than 60% of guest searches across the Sykes Family group so far in 2023 are looking for a dog friendly holiday cottage.  This tells us that more guests are looking for a holiday cottage that accepts dogs than not. To appeal to a wider market segment, you should make your holiday let as inclusive as possible, and that includes four-legged friends.

Dogs are a key decision factor in where to stay

30% of dog owning holiday makers told the NCTA that their entire holiday choice is based on how suitable it is for their pet.  You will get more dog friendly bookings if you accept dogs in your holiday cottage, and showcase that throughout your property and it’s promotion.

Loyal, repeat customers

Dog owners tend to be high repeat visitors as well as more likely to recommend as they are delighted to find a holiday cottage that caters for their dogs needs.  It is worth investing the time and effort to win their custom by accepting dogs in your holiday cottage, as you will be sure to welcome them back time and time again.

Did you know? The marketing term for the spend of a customer who owns a dog is the ‘hound pound’.

Dog Friendly Suffolk

Suffolk is the ideal county to have a dog friendly holiday cottage.  With over 30 miles of heritage coastline, combined with forests, woods and footpaths a-plenty there are so many places for walkies!

What’s more, a huge number of pubs, restaurants and attractions welcome dogs and dog owners with open arms.  Plus there are several festivals and events dedicated to dogs in the region such as Strutt your Mutt, Suffolk Dog Day and the annual Southwold Sausage Dog Walk to name but a few! Each will be bringing visitors to the area, as well as their four-legged friends!

Dog Friendly Suffolk Holiday Bookings

Tunstall Forrest, ideal for dog walking.

As a well-known dog-friendly county and tourist hotspot, it makes commercial sense to accept dogs in your holiday cottage.

How to get more dog friendly bookings for your holiday cottage

Now that you know why you should accept dogs in your Suffolk holiday cottage, let us help you how to get more dog friendly bookings.

How can I make my holiday cottage dog friendly?

Let your letting agency know

First things first, however you market your holiday home, make sure you let those who manage it know you would now like to start welcoming dogs to your property.  This includes your local letting agency, or your online travel agent (AirBnB for example) if you market your property this way. If they don’t know, how can they let guests know?

Provide the Basics

By providing basic items it will mean your guests will feel well-catered for and that their dog is being made to feel welcome. Here’s our suggestions for things to provide to get more dog friendly bookings;

  • Water and food bowls
  • Towels especially for muddy paws/water drips at front/back doors
  • Throws for sofas/chairs (if permitted)
  • A dog bed (but you will find most owners will bring their own dog beds)
  • A jar of dog treats
  • Dog waste bags to encourage fouling to be cleared from gardens
  • A dog waste bin or clear instructions on where to put the bagged mess

Outdoor Space

If you have a lawned garden, is it fully enclosed? This is the most frequently-asked question from owners looking for a dog friendly holiday in Suffolk.  If so, make sure this information is on your property listing.  If it isn’t a fully enclosed dog friendly holiday cottage garden, could it be made fully-enclosed? You will increase both bookings and guest satisfaction if so.

Time for Walkies

Take time to put together a selection of local dog friendly walks that can be taken from the holiday cottage door. Whilst owners might be happy to travel by car for walks for a day out, walks are often first or last thing and still need to be convenient to the holiday cottage location.

Be sure to share this on your property listing. “There’s a 2-mile footpath walk from the door of the cottage through woods” for example will let dog owners know they don’t have to go far to stretch their legs!

Dog Friendly Holiday Cottages Suffolk

Dog walking on fields and footpaths from your holiday cottage door are a big hit.

Make it clear on your property listing on your website

Ensure your property listing on your website is up to date with the ‘dog friendly’ amenity selected.  When ‘dog friendly properties’ are selected in the search box your property will appear.

Even better, include the phrase ‘dog friendly’ within the property description and explain what you’ve done to make the holiday cottage welcoming to dogs. It’s the little things that will make a big difference and will result in more dog friendly bookings for your holiday cottage.

Social media – spread the word!

If you have your own social media account for your property, make sure you share with your followers that you accept dogs in your holiday cottage. Share photos of the jar of dog treats, the garden, nearby walks – the lot!

Even better, if you’re not a dog owner yourself, see if you can borrow a friends dog for a photo shoot.  Share these with your followers to help them visualise what their dog could be enjoying on holiday.

Work with other local dog friendly businesses

Why not team up with the local dog-friendly village pub or café to showcase how dog friendly your holiday cottage is?  Your welcome folder could contain details of dog friendly eateries and attractions nearby.

It’s local expertise our guests love, and the more you share the better your guests experience and reviews!  Don’t forget, guests with dogs are also more likely to review and recommend.

Dog Friendly Local Businesses Sufkolk

The Fleece Inn, Bungay offering warm dogs water on hot days.

Dog Friendly Holiday Letting: The Practical Guide

Terms and Conditions for Dog Friendly Holiday Letting

If your letting agent doesn’t manage your terms and conditions on your behalf, be sure to update your T&Cs with clauses relating to dog friendly holiday cottage hire. For example, any extra charges for pets, or additional cleaning charges.

Don’t forget any terms under which you could withhold damage deposits in extreme cases.  Include some basic rules such as where dogs are and are not permitted.

Think about on dogs on soft furnishings and whether dogs can be left alone in the property. Also essential is your dog fouling policy.

Dog Friendly Housekeeping for Holiday Letting

Don’t forget to let your housekeeper know you now accept dogs in your holiday cottage.  They will need extra time during changeovers for the removal of any pet hairs from floors and surfaces.

Housekeepers will also need to look out for any potential damage caused by dogs. They will need to inform you in line with your terms and conditions should extra charges need to be made.

Expert Holiday Letting Advice in Suffolk

Best of Suffolk are an expert local holiday letting agency that have been successfully letting holiday homes since 2006.  We know our market, our customers, and what they’re looking for.

Our finger is on the pulse of trends and market conditions. We advise our owners on ways to make their property for profitable and to get more bookings.

Why accept dogs in your holiday cottage is just one example of how our years of our valuable expertise.  Get in touch to find out how Best of Suffolk can help you achieve more bookings for your holiday home.

For a free owner guide, or to arrange a free, no obligation property visit and valuation today.

Source: National Coastal Tourism Academy