Let’s face it: we think of dogs less like pets, and more like family members. The American Pet Products Association tells us that over 60 million U.S. households include at least one dog. We also know that many dog lovers prefer to have their furrier, better halves with them at all times and can’t bear the thought of leaving them behind for even one day—let alone a full week.
That’s why we uncovered top pet-friendly vacation rental destinations across the U.S. and polled travelers about how their animals influence trip planning. We also evaluated the benefits vacation rental homeowners gain by opening their doors to dogs—and the results might surprise you.
But before we jump in, let’s take a minute to appreciate a photo of Arlo (left) and Winnie (right), our recent guests at Arbor House in Yachats, Oregon, who rated their Vacasa home 5/5, would stay again.
We teamed up with Allison+Partners to survey 1,003 Americans above the age of 18 about their travel plans over the next 12 months, and we learned just how important vacationing with Fido really is. Here are the highlights:
53% of dog owners would pay an extra $100 or more to ensure pet-friendly accommodations, versus only 29% of cat owners
To identify the most coveted dog-friendly vacation rental destinations, we used a comprehensive set of Vacasa and partner data to rank our U.S. markets by their percentage of short-term rentals that allow pets.
Then, we filtered the list to uncover destinations where pet-friendly units have historically earned more positive reviews than non-pet-friendly homes. Finally, we factored in areas where pet-friendly units have garnered more bookings compared to non-pet-friendly rentals over the last 12 months.
Most of the destinations on our list are away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and close to large bodies of water that are sure to have tails wagging.
Featured dog-friendly Vacasa home: A Wise Way
Revered among locals as “a small town with a big heart,” Port St. Joe tops our list of most pup-friendly destinations. Following Hurricane Michael in 2018, Port St. Joe has bounced back quickly. We know that more than 70% of travelers are headed to the coast this summer, and all but one of Port St. Joe’s beaches are dog-friendly, with calm ocean waters that even the most timid pooches can enjoy.
View all of our dog-friendly vacation rentals in Port St. Joe.
Featured dog-friendly Vacasa home: Bear Bottom Creek
Tucked away along Blue Ridge Lake, this tiny town is a hidden gem surrounded by the dense woods of Chattahoochee National Forest. Dogs can run freely through the trees, then join their owners to catch fish or embark on a boating excursion.
View all of our dog-friendly vacation rentals in Morganton.
Featured dog-friendly Vacasa home: Thunderbird Chalet
A striking waterfront town in the heart of San Bernardino National Forest, Lake Arrowhead is close to shopping, dining, and even a popular adventure park for us humans, while offering plenty of room for pets to run.
View all of our dog-friendly vacation rentals in Lake Arrowhead.
Featured dog-friendly Vacasa home: Aloha House
Many stunning vacation rentals with unique architecture and ocean views welcome pets in Sea Ranch. With its secluded beaches and more than 40 miles of hiking trails, Sea Ranch is perfect for dogs to explore and run wild.
View all of our dog-friendly vacation rentals in Sea Ranch.
Featured dog-friendly Vacasa home: Whispering Pines
This picturesque mountain town is close to White Pines Lake and has seemingly endless forests bathed in sunshine. Arnold has several great pet-friendly restaurants, including a local favorite that’s appropriately named Dogwood Seasonal Cuisine.
View all of our dog-friendly vacation rentals in Arnold.
Featured dog-friendly Vacasa home: Gorman Beach House
A quaint retreat on the Oregon Coast, Neskowin has a neighborhood feel and plenty of friendly locals who can’t resist stopping to pet every pup they see. Dogs and their owners are free to do what they love most—running, eating, and taking in the sights.
View all of our dog-friendly vacation rentals in Neskowin.
Featured dog-friendly Vacasa home: The Ski Barn
Bethel is a blend of serene forests and vast farmland. A peaceful getaway for humans and dogs alike, this laid-back town is filled with attractions like Grafton Loop Trail, Goose Eye Mountain, and the beloved Pizzeria Lauretano.
View all of our dog-friendly vacation rentals in Bethel.
Featured dog-friendly Vacasa home: Solare Garden Villa 981
Buzzing with more activity than the other destinations on our list so far, South Padre Island is best for dogs who don’t mind the occasional crowd. Visitors can birdwatch (or chase birds) along the bay, and thrill-seeking pups can try out wakeboarding.
View all of our dog-friendly vacation rentals in South Padre Island.
Featured dog-friendly Vacasa home: AquaVista 503E
Another lively destination for adventurous dogs, Panama City Beach has miles of white-sand beaches. Visitors love to stroll through the popular outdoor shopping center, Pier Park, with their dogs, then finish the day at one of the city’s many pet-friendly restaurants.
View all of our dog-friendly vacation rentals in Panama City Beach.
Featured dog-friendly Vacasa home: Meadows Crossings
South Lake Tahoe’s Bijou Dog Park is always a big hit with canine tourists, not to mention dog retreats like the weeklong Wild Blue Dog Camp in September. Offering close proximity to the wilderness and dog-specialty shops, South Lake Tahoe is truly a pup’s paradise.
View all of our dog-friendly vacation rentals in South Lake Tahoe.
Clearly, pet owners are picky about where and when they go on vacation so they can bring their dogs and keep them happy. If you’re a vacation rental owner and you’re considering opening your home to pets, here’s why you should make the leap:
Only 25% of vacation homes in the U.S. allow pets, which means that your home will rise to the top of the list for guests who are traveling with their dogs.
On average, homes that allow pets have 10–20% higher vacation rental income and higher occupancy than those that don’t, during peak season and the off season. And, guests will want to return year after year with their pups.
Contrary to popular belief, welcoming a dog into your home doesn’t mean extra cleaning for you. Professional management companies can make your home look like new after a furry friend visits.
At Vacasa, we handle everything for our homeowners, from cleaning and maintenance to marketing and booking. So, you can spend your time doing what matters most: building memories with loved ones—and, yes, of course that includes pets, too!
Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Allison+Partners data collection occurred in May 2019.
Photos of dogs Winnie and Arlo: Courtesy of Bryce LaDuc and Callie Sharp