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  • Writer's pictureMichee

The Policies of Pet-Friendly Places


Cat looking at the camera

Originally published at ineedamichee.com


My partner and I love bringing our furbabies to new places, so we always call ahead and make sure the place we’re going to is pet-friendly. Even if it says so on their website, we still call or message because we’ve learned from the past that some have hidden conditions. 


We’re pet-friendly but …


… make sure your dogs do not bark

… they’re not allowed to swim in the sea

… you can’t bring them inside your rooms

… only if your pets are tiny

… [INSERT INSANE CONDITION HERE]


Listen up so-called pet-friendly businesses, if you’re one of these, this is what you’re practically telling people with pets:


🙄 “We’re trying to attract your market-base but we really don’t know you at all and we don’t really care enough to understand you.” 

🤑 “We kind of want to say we’re ‘this’ because it’s gaining popularity but we really don’t want you here. We only want a share of the pet-friendly profit pie.”

😨 “We tried this but there was a time when we had [INSERT ONE BAD EXPERIENCE HERE].”


Of course, businesses need policies. That is a given and we get that. Policies help keep a business’ great standard and also helps manage expectations.


The problem starts when policies come from fear and are created without properly understanding your market. It becomes extreme that we forget the people that we are trying to serve. 


Instead of focusing on giving them a great experience, you alienate them. And alienating people is one of the stealthy things that can break your business. 


How do you know when the policies you create are based on fear? 


The number 1 indicator is if your policies have a lot of negatives - “Don’ts”, “Can’t”, “Not” and so on. When policies are created because of a negative experience, most of the time the policy is to not allow something. 


For example, an irresponsible fur parent did not clean-up their furbaby’s poop inside their room. The immediate policy would be:


“Pets are not allowed in rooms.” 


How do you turn this so that it still provides a positive experience for your target market? 


“Please make sure to clean-up after your furbaby. Upon check-out, our custodians will do a final inspection for any mess left or damages incurred. An extra fee of $xx will be deducted from your deposit for cleaning and repair fees.” 


See how that was way different than a negative blanket policy? 


Language matters. When going to resorts and restaurants and we read a Pet Policy that took the time to find solutions and even insert some furbaby lingo, we know that not only do they know their market but they truly care and welcome the furbabies that stay in their place. 


When you create your policies, ask yourself these questions:


  • Does this policy sound unwelcoming and negative?

  • Is this policy alienating the people I am trying to serve?

  • Does this policy drive away my target market?

  • Does this policy actually make us a better company?


Look at your answers. If you answered YES to any of the first 3 questions above or a NO to the last question, you’ve got to re-think that policy of yours.


 
Hey, furparent! 👋 Aren’t you tired of the boring pet record book that you have for your furbaby? 

Level it up with Booboo and Poppet’s pet record book. These were created specifically for cats and dogs by furparents that wanted more for their furbaby. Because they deserve the best? Am I right?

Cute cat and dog record book

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