Hosting Hotline: Tricks for Avoiding Pet Smells in Your STR (Episode 344)

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[00:00:00] Sarah: Hello, listeners. Welcome back for another great week. My name is Sarah Karakaian.

[00:00:08] Annette: I am Annette Grant. And together we’re–

[00:00:09] Both Annette & Sarah: Thanks for Visiting.

[00:00:10] Sarah: And this is the–

[00:00:11] Both Annette & Sarah: Hosting Hotline.

[00:00:12] Sarah: Today we have a question from Samantha. If you want to ask your question, head on over, record your voice, ask us the question, any hosting question, any business question. We’re here for it. We love answering these, and you help thousands of other hosts and myself. And if we don’t have the answer, we’ll get someone who does. So today we have a question from Samantha.

[00:00:34] Question: Hey, there. We recently started our short-term rental business, and we currently have two rentals down at the beach. And we are allowing pets at both of them because we’re dog lovers ourselves. And our first guest had two dogs, and when we went in after to make sure our cleaning crew did what we expected of them, we just noticed a scent, a dog, if that makes sense.

[00:01:04] Do you guys recommend using any products or staying away from scented products? I’m not really sure what to do because I don’t want to give anyone, not allergic reaction, but some people are highly sensitive to sense and others could care less, so yeah. Let me know, thanks.

[00:01:21] Sarah: Great question, Samantha.

[00:01:25] Annette: No scents.

[00:01:26] Sarah: No scents.

[00:01:26] Annette: Probably told this story before, but my mom is extremely allergic to scents. Literally, we have to leave the building. I’ve canceled Ubers before, flights, all the things. So I just say no to that. Plus, if there is a smell of dog and then you sab some sort of other scent piping in, it’s like, what are they trying to cover up here?

[00:01:50] But we love that you’re welcoming pets. I don’t think this is going to be something that is going to be super common. I’m wondering if the dogs maybe jumped in the water and it was a wet dog.

[00:02:01] Sarah: I want to offer that to you, Samantha. I’m not on a beach, but I will say I’ve been pet-friendly for several years now, over a decade. And I don’t think I’ve ever gotten the complaint that the place smells like dog. That being said, I’m not saying it can’t happen, but I wonder if that was an anomaly.

[00:02:17] I also want to direct you to the episode that we just had with Sarah Sokol, Episode 335. I’ll link to it in the show notes because she has her– if you’re going to be pet-friendly, I wonder, Samantha, if you lean into it a little harder, so if guests do walk in and maybe they can smell a dog–

[00:02:34] Annette: You got to set yourself up for success. How are you setting yourself up for resisting the scent of the dog? Did you leave covers for the furniture to make sure that those could be washable. Do you have washable beds? Do you have washable covers?

[00:02:50] Also, we want to make sure if you’re having two dogs, our school of thought that is an added investment in the stay, I think if you could become more scent resistant and not supplying the guests with things to help the scent not be there. Are you leaving dog towels for them to use when they’re coming off of the beach?

[00:03:11] Sarah: Specific dog towels.

[00:03:12] Annette: Yes.

[00:03:12] Sarah: Not just human towels.

[00:03:13] Annette: The ones with the little paws.

[00:03:14] Sarah: And make it cute too, like when they walk in from wherever they come out. Because I would think a wet dog coming in and then shedding is probably what you’re smelling. Sarah also had some really cool ideas about– she has a Roku that her guests can use during their stay if it doesn’t–

[00:03:29] Annette: Is a Roku– that’s not the TV?

[00:03:31] Sarah: I know, Roku.

[00:03:32] Annette: I was just talking about the Roku.

[00:03:32] Sarah: A Roomba.

[00:03:33] Annette: I was like, a Roku’s a TV.

[00:03:35] Sarah: Thank you.

[00:03:35] Annette: Okay.

[00:03:35] Sarah: Wow. Because I was like, a Roku? Rokus are still around? And Annette told me they’re amazing. A Roomba, a vacuum that guests can use during their stay. It’s not a cleaning rule that you’re asking me to do, but if they want to, and she said a lot of her guests do.

[00:03:51] Again, I’m pretty sure she leaves pet shampoo if they need to have a bath. The one thing I really want to– maybe this particular situation, this is something I would share with my turnover team and let them know. Maybe if you can let them know if there were some pet pals that spent the night. When they come into clean, I always love just cranking open the windows. I do that in short-term rentals. I do it at my own place. I think getting a blast of fresh air after any stay if the weather permits is just a great way to refresh the house. And who doesn’t love fresh air?

[00:04:30] Sarah: There are some cleaning products too, Samantha, that are not toxic to pets or humans that use science to combat those scents.

[00:04:40] Annette: Break them down.

[00:04:42] Sarah: It neutralizes it.

[00:04:43] Annette: That’s the word. Yeah.

[00:04:44] Sarah: And actually, I’ll send you over to ETI Solutions. Let them know Thanks for Visiting sent you. This is one of the things that he prides himself on. And at ETI Solutions, they specialize in cleaning products for short-term rentals. Again, it’s very eco-friendly. That is very important to them.

[00:05:02] And so if you connected with them, Samantha, tell him what it smelled like. Do you have a lot of carpet in the home? Do you have a lot of fabric couches? And they will design a cleaning product line.

[00:05:14] Annette: Yeah. They have enzymes that break– one of the cool products they have is, again, for a lot of beach towns is it’s like this enzyme that breaks down the scents in refrigerators. So if people had crab legs and shrimp, it’ll help. The enzymes will break down and neutralize those pesky scents.

[00:05:35] Sarah: He even suggests that he’s got this spray that you can spray on your door jam, your front door jam. And it’s not a smell like Annette was talking, that would bother her mom. It really neutralizes. But when the guest walks in, they get that experience of the air just smelling like air, and it’s quite lovely.

[00:05:52] So I’ll also direct you to ETI Solutions because they specialize in short-term rentals, vacation rentals. But yeah, and listen to that episode with Sarah Sokol. And you can also DM Sarah Sokol on Instagram. I’ll put her handle in our show notes. But she really is the queen of being pet-welcoming, pet-friendly.

[00:06:12] And as you start this journey, Samantha, I can tell you again, I’ve been pet-friendly for years, and I don’t regret it one bit. And we welcome people who don’t bring pets, and they still love staying with us. So just hang in there. You’ll learn what’s best for you and your property and your guests.

[00:06:26] Annette: Yeah, just make sure to equip your guests, leave them cleaning supplies for the pet if the pets were to have an accident, or again, those pet-specific things that let your guest help you. And believe it or not, actually, they’re going to be more helpful than you could ever, ever imagine. But great question. We’re excited about your new endeavor. And yeah, keep letting those four-legged friends have overnight stays too.

[00:06:50] Sarah: We want to hear your question. Go to, ask us your questions. We’ll answer them here in the podcast. With that, I am Sarah Karakaian.

[00:06:57] Annette: I am Annette Grant. And together we’re–

[00:06:59] Both Annette & Sarah: Thanks for Visiting.

[00:07:00] Sarah: Talk to you next time.