Many cottage owners have dogs. They are fun to have at the cottage and their antics as they leap off a dock or sit proudly in the bow of a boat or canoe, are a joy to see.
Those of us who are pet owners are happy for our rental guests to bring their fur friends to share the cottage vacation. However, there are particular rules of the cottage that apply to all pets, so make sure you read the guide your host leaves for you.
Make sure the cottage you have selected will accept your pet. Many owners will not allow pets and do not make exceptions. Arriving with a pet in your car may mean you will be denied entrance to the cottage, and will be asked to leave. If the owner is not there and you take a pet into a no-pet cottage, you risk being charged the full amount of the damage deposit, and eviction with no refund, if the owner finds you have ignored their pet restrictions.
Here’s our ten-point plan for a successful vacation with your pet
- Make sure your pet carries a tag that has your cell phone number. If there is no cell phone service at the cottage but has a landline, have a tag engraved with the cottage phone number, for use while you are there.
- Remember this is a new location for your dog just as it is for you and there are wild animals in cottage country – bears, raccoons, porcupines, skunks etc. Do not let your dog outside unless it is leashed and accompanied.
- If your dog has any tendency to stray or run off, keep it on a leash from the moment you arrive.
- Do not tie your dog outside and leave it unattended at any time. The wild animal caution above applies here too.
- Do not leave your dog in the cottage or tied outside when you go out. You must take your pet with you at all times. This is a strange environment for a pet, and a fearful dog left alone in a strange house may bark, cause damage, or otherwise behave in ways that can be costly.
- Read the cottage guide as soon as you arrive at the cottage. Each owner will have different requirements regarding your pet and these will be detailed in the cottage guide.
- Do not let your pet climb on any furniture or beds. If your dog is used to sleeping on the bed at home, he won’t understand why you are not letting him up while you are at the cottage. In this case, get him used to sleeping on a dog bed or blanket for several weeks before you go to the cottage. This way, it will not be too much of a change for him.
- Scoop that poop. This is the most important part of these rules. Every cottage is carefully checked after a rental ends and if there is any evidence of this nature, you will be charged on your damage deposit. Dispose as instructed in the cottage guide.
- Ask the owner if they can recommend a veterinary practice in the area. Find out if it is a 24 hour service and they will accept temporary/visiting patients in an emergency. Call the practice before you go and establish what services they offer.
Bringing your pet to the cottage is not a right. Many owners will not allow pets, often because there are allergies in the family. If a cottage does not allow pets DO NOT TAKE YOUR PET. Doing so is a violation of the rental agreement and can result in eviction, and you will be charged the full amount of the damage deposit.