Currently, there are 13 million registered dogs in Spain. And according to the main indicators, it is believed that this number will increase in the coming years. Moreover, each owner spends annually on the care, leisure and health of their pet between 1,000 and 1,200 euros approximately.
What is the trend in Spain? And in Navarra?
In Europe, dog friendly establishments are common and it is not necessary to ask if they accept or have specific services for pets. In Spain, although this trend is more or less established, it still does not reach European levels.
On the other hand, in Navarra, although it has great places to take your pet, it is still not a dog fiendly reference when we observe the limitations in restaurants and bars, especially when compared with other autonomous communities, such as Catalonia or Madrid. We see this difference mainly in the hospitality industry and in municipal ordinances, which make Navarra a less friendly destination for pets.
Currently, the boom is such that establishments are opening that once seemed implausible. Establishments such as spas, hairdressers or clothing stores exclusively for dogs are something increasingly common in our country.
What is the customer like?
In this sense, the owner of a pet or dog does not respond to a 100% defined profile. It can be both a family with a pet, a couple or a group of friends. What we do know is that they are recurring customers and that they are willing to pay more if the establishment welcomes pets.
Since there are many places that are not dog friendly, or what is the same, do not allow or facilitate the service for animals, the fact that pets are allowed is a differential factor in the choice of accommodation, shows or hospitality. Pet owners highly value the willingness of business owners to allow pets. And in a rural house, it is no different. Once they discover a welcoming place to go with their dog, they will come back and recommend it to other pet owners.
Is it profitable for me to accept pets in my rural house?
This is undoubtedly the question that every owner has ever asked. Although accepting pets exposes you to many more travelers (remember that there are already 13 million registered dogs in Spain), the refusals of many owners are not without foundation. The cleaning required by a pet, added to the scratches and deterioration of the buildings, make it not sustainable for many owners to accept this type of clientele.
On the other hand, the advantages that attracting this clientele is going to bring us are diverse. The main one: loyalty. The moment you accept pets, pet owners will repeat at your accommodation. If they repeat at your accommodation, they will not have to go through the OTAs and you will save their commission. The reservations you have throughout the year will increasingly be of a direct type, instead of going through Booking or Airbnb.
Another advantage is that these clients love nature, animals, and by association, the rural world. It is not the same to make a restaurant for dogs (rare) than a rural house that accepts pets (highly demanded). If you reject pets, you are losing a large flow of customers.
Now, accepting pets is not free. What are the costs? The main cost is related to cleaning. These expenses, added to the time and effort, can become excessive for a homeowner.
The cost of cleaning is amplified to the extent that it is necessary to disinfect and further clean the traces of animals (ticks, hair, excrement) to prevent future guests from suffering allergic reactions.
To reduce or make this task more feasible, it is recommended to enable a specific zone or area where the pet can be. Although this is a great idea, some guests may not respect it, so it may be advisable to add additional measures or rules.
In summary, accepting pets exposes your rural house to more reservations, whose guests will repeat, and you will save the commissions of the platforms. If your house already works, you may not have to accept animals today, but it is likely that you will in the future. If your rural house does not attract reservations, this may be a good option to get your house boosted.
RURAL HOUSES OF NAVARRA
From Casas Rurales de Navarra we are preparing a section that classifies rural houses that allow pets, in such a way that users looking for this type of accommodation can do so quickly.
To find out which places allow or have a specialized service for pets, pet owners often use applications, such as Ikershiba, that show them those dog-friendly places.
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