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Should I make my holiday home dog-friendly? Dog-friendly holiday let

Britain is synonymous as a nation of animal lovers, with an estimated twelve million households owning pets. Winning by a landslide, is our favourite four-legged companion, dogs! With nine million dogs in at least a quarter of households across the UK, it’s obvious the special place our furry friends have in our hearts and homes. So, when owners ask ‘should I make my holiday home dog-friendly’ the choice is quite clear. 

With over a third of British people now taking their pets along with them on holiday, choosing to make your holiday home dog-friendly can open it up to a wider audience, and potential for increased bookings and higher revenue. If you’re thinking about accepting pets in your holiday home, here is our guide to becoming dog-friendly.

Use the quick links below to read about a particular subject, or continue reading our guide on whether to make your holiday home dog-friendly.

Should I make my holiday home dog-friendly?

For many people leaving their dog behind when they go on holiday, be it at home or in kennels, is like leaving a member of the family behind.

Should I make my holiday cottage dog-friendly

Increase in UK ‘staycations’

In recent years, the UK has enjoyed a staycation boom! According to current trends, approximately two-thirds (66%) of the UK enjoyed a staycation in 2018, which was an increase from 56% in 2017. As the trend moves towards more people choosing to stay closer to home, the demand for dog-friendly accommodation continues to rise.

Will accepting dogs increase my holiday home bookings?

Yes! Having a dog-friendly cottage is a sure way to boost your occupancy rates and revenue throughout the year. In fact, pet-friendly cottages earn on average 11% more per year. At Coast and Country Cottages, guests are charged £25 per week per dog, which is an additional income for the property owner and will cover any required cleaning.

With a number of pet-friendly restaurants, beaches and coast paths, South Devon is a particularly popular location for dog owners to holiday. Accepting pets can encourage more bookings outside of the peak season holiday periods, as often dog owners choose to holiday after the 31st of October, when dog restrictions are lifted on beaches.

Consider your location

The location of your holiday cottage is key when deciding whether to accept dogs. While much of the UK is open to pets, summertime does see some beaches have restrictions, while others may allow them all year round. It’s always advisable to check if your property is in an area near to dog-friendly walks, beaches and pubs. Read our blog on dog-friendly beaches in South Devon.

Should I make my holiday cottage dog-friendly

Does accepting pets cause more wear and tear?

Whether your guest are of the two or four-legged variety, wear and tear is an inevitable part of renting out a holiday cottage. In our experience, dog owners are usually very responsible and take care that their pets don’t cause damage. However, the additional pet fee we charge can cover any additional cleaning. If there is excessive damage caused by the dog, your holiday letting agent should follow this up with the guest.

What are the negatives of accepting pets?

Although it’s an appealing idea and can boost occupancy rates, running a dog-friendly holiday let does come with elements to consider. While the impact on bookings is usually positive, there can be customers that either don’t like dogs or have dog allergies, that would prefer not to stay in a pet-friendly property.

Top tips to creating dog-friendly holiday cottages

What could be better than going on holiday and knowing that your dog will be safe and welcome when you arrive. In order to make your holiday home pet-friendly, there are a few things you will need to consider.

Make them feel welcome

Dog-friendly holiday cottages that include just a few thoughtful touches for your canine buddy will make a huge difference and not only keep your guests, but their pooch ‘paw-fectly’ happy.

Should I make my holiday cottage dog-friendly (1)

  • Equipping your holiday home with just a few extra items like dog bowls, spare leads and poo bags show guests that extra thought and care has been given to welcoming their pet. 
  • Providing a dog bed or crate will allow your furry guest to feel comfortable, safe and at home, and means there is less for the owner to pack. 
  • Having an outdoor hosepipe to wash off muddy paws and providing old towels to dry them off can make guests’ lives far more convenient. Robust, dirt-trapping mats at entrances will do well towards helping keeping your home clean and tidy.


Probably the most essential thing to make sure is that your property is pet-safe. Enclosed gardens are preferable, and it’s advisable to make sure they are secure and adequately closed off. It’s important to check that there are no areas in the fencing that need mending, no gaps in hedges and that all gates are secure to prevent pets from escaping. It’s also worth checking whether the plants you have in your garden aren’t dangerous to animals. Be sure to keep any chemicals and harmful substances locked away where they won’t be accidentally discovered.

Set out clear guidelines

Be sure to set out clear rules and guidelines for guests, to help them respect your property. If your guests are booking through Coast and Country Cottages, our booking conditions outline some dog rules However, it’s a good idea to leave a reminder.

Doggie Doos and Don’ts

  1. Specify areas of your home which are restricted to pets and that they aren’t allowed on beds or furniture.
  2. Ensure pet owners are aware that it is their responsibility to clean up any mess.
  3. It’s always advisable to ensure that dogs are kept on leads when around livestock.
  4. Point out that any significant damage or stains will have to be paid for.
  5. Pets cannot be left alone in the property at any time.

Pet proof your home

Making a few sensible choices for your holiday home can make everyone’s lives a lot easier. While luxurious carpet may appeal, it’s probably best to opt for hard surfaces around the house, which are easy to clean and won’t stain. If there are carpets, cover these with durable rugs which can be easily cleaned or replaced.

Should I make my holiday cottage dog-friendly

While owners may do their best to keep their dogs off sofas and beds, it’s not always possible. Having washable covers on cushions and sofas as well as fewer items that need dry cleaning mean far less hassle.
If you have ‘no-go’ areas for pets, providing a stair gate will help towards keeping them out of specific areas.

Useful information

Providing a dog-friendly information pack will always be well received. With details of local grooming parlours, pet shops or vets for ease of reference. Include advice on walks, beach restrictions and dog-friendly pubs and restaurants. Read our blog on dog-friendly pubs in South Devon.

Dog-friendly pubs in South Devon The Victoria Inn

Dog-friendly South Devon

South Devon is the ultimate utopia for dog lovers. With incredible walks along coastal paths and on dog-friendly sandy beaches, to rolling hills and green country pastures. Not to mention all the fabulous dog-friendly pubs and restaurants to visit after a day of running about or taking a dip in the sea.

Should I make my holiday cottage dog-friendly
Of our 400 holiday rentals in South Devon, over 150 holiday cottages are dog-friendly. Whether you are thinking of letting your holiday cottage or need advice on whether your holiday home should welcome dogs, contact our local New Property Team for advice or visit our ‘let your cottage’ page to order a free copy of our owners guide.


* Statistics are accurate to the best of our knowledge at the date of publishing. Taken from pfma annual report 2019 & Sykes Cottages staycation index 2019.