Wednesday 19 October 2022

Dogs on holiday

 One of the advantages of our cottage is that guests can bring their pet with them. It avoids the cost of boarding your dog whilst you are away from home. This greatly reduces the stress on the animal of staying with strangers in a strange place while owners have deserted it. Your dogs are not exposed to disease/injury from other dogs at the kennels/home. 

How's your dog when you are on holiday?

Most pets are well behaved and don't cause any significant problems. We have extra work during turn around cleaning at the end of the rental, but that tends not to be a major issue, so we don't charge extra on the rental fees for an accompanying pet.

There have been problems in the past:

  • A dog trader from Ireland rented the cottage and used it as a base to sell dogs to people in the region. We didn't find out immediately, but when we did he was immediately banned from any further rental.
  • At one time this dog trader brought a dog cage into the kitchen to stop the dog causing damage when left alone, but rust engrained itself into the kitchen floor tiles. We had to use hyrochloric acid to remove that stain.
  • There's been several "accidents" when dogs went to toilet inside the house. In this case, guests always clean up, but sometimes they are not successful and we have to take action to fix the stain  before the next guest arrive. On one notable occasion we had to have carpet professionally cleaned to remove the stain just a few weeks after an earlier cleaning..
  • One dog brought a flea infestation to our cottage. The fleas migrated to the carpet and we discovered flea bites on our ankles after cleaning the cottage. Fortunately there hadn't been a follow-on guest that week, so we immediately returned and treated the house with insecticide and UV-C light. Checking a few days later showed no flea further activity, but we recleaned all of the carpets. 
  • We were showing a new set of guests around the cottage at the start of the rental and their labrador dog lifted his leg inside the cottage and pee'd on the settee leg in front of me. They'd travelled a long distance to get to the cottage and hadn't taken their dog for a relief walk on arrival. We always have appropriate biocide/deodouriser and cleaning cloths on hand, so I was able to clean up without a fuss.
  • One set of guests left a pile of dog poo on the carpet in the bedroom to greet us after their departure.
  • Some guests have not bother to clean dog mess from the garden, so that is on our checklist.
  • We've had a few guests shower their pets in the bathroom shower cubicle. We can always tell when this has happened as the shower drain gets clogged with a clot of dog hair.
  • Some guests have used our expensive fluffy white cotton bath towels to dry off their muddy dogs. We leave dog towels in the pet cupboard in the kitchen for that purpose. In one case they returned the towels folded to the linen cupboard without laundry.
  • We've had furniture chewed, door paint scratched by anxious dogs left alone in the house by the guests.
Our latest excitement is a Houdini dog. We have a fence around the garden, but she is really good at escape. As we find the escape routes we take action to close them. Most recently the bitch has found that by climbing a four foot drystone wall, she can wriggle through a bush onto the higher level garden. There's free range chickens that she likes to investigate.  Today I'm awaiting delivery of a roll of 6 foot high wire mesh fencing. We'll not be beaten!