Should You Allow Pets in Your Airbnb?

Explore the essentials of hosting pets at your Airbnb, weighing the pros and cons, and ensuring your property is pet-ready. Learn about pet-friendly amenities, handling service animals, and tips for a smooth experience for both you and your furry guests.

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Many people see their pets as family members, so they often bring them along on vacation. For this reason, the demand for pet-friendly Airbnbs will always be high. Does this mean you should automatically allow pets in your Airbnb? Well, that depends. 

Allowing pets on a rental property can be risky, sure. But before booking anyone, you should think about what your property can comfortably offer them.

In this post, we’ll break down the pros and cons, provide you with tips, and share info on service animals. How do they fit into this conversation? Let’s find out!

Can Your Airbnb Comfortably Allow for Pets?

Wondering if your Airbnb is cut out for hosting pets? It’s not just about saying ‘yes’ to furry friends; it’s about ensuring your space is truly pet-friendly. Here are some key questions to mull over:

  • Space matters: Is your place roomy enough for a pet to roam around and feel at ease? Pets need their space just like we do.
  • Neighborly concerns: Got neighbors close by? Think about how they might react to a barking dog. It’s all about keeping the peace.
  • Outdoor access: Do you have a fenced yard for safe, off-leash fun? If not, are there parks or trails nearby for those essential pet walks?
  • Local amenities: Consider the surroundings of your Airbnb. Are there pet-friendly spots in the neighborhood where guests can take their pets for a stroll or some nature time?

Answering these questions honestly can help you decide if your Airbnb is ready to welcome pets. It’s about creating a comfortable experience for both your two-legged and four-legged guests.

Pros & Cons of Allowing Pets

Deciding whether to allow pets in your Airbnb isn’t just a matter of preference; it’s about balancing potential benefits against possible drawbacks. Let’s break it down:

Pros

  • More guests — Your listing will stand out in a market where pet-friendly options are rare. This significantly increases your guest pool.
  • Charge extra — You can ask for pet fees (hosts usually charge $25-$50), increasing your revenue per stay.
  • Longer bookings — Since traveling with animals isn’t easy, pet owners often prefer longer stays. 
  • Returning Guests — You will become a forever option for pet owners. If they had a good experience, they’d want to return.

Cons

  • Potential for damage — Your guest can swear their pet is well-behaved. But even with a diploma in good behavior, accidents happen. 
  • More cleaning required — Hosting pets usually means more thorough cleaning to ensure the space is allergen-free for future guests.
  • Possible noise issues — Dogs barking in unfamiliar environments is almost a given. This could lead to raised eyebrows or even complaints from neighbors.

Tips for Running a Pet-Friendly Airbnb

Let’s dive into how you can create a cozy and safe spot for pets without stressing yourself out.

  • Start with clear rules – First things first, lay down some ground rules. What pets are you okay with? Dogs, cats, maybe a hamster? Make sure your guests know what’s expected of their furry friends. It’s all about keeping things smooth and hassle-free. You can also display clear house rules signs on your property. Include specifics like ‘Feed pets only in designated areas,’ ‘Keep pets off the furniture,’ or ‘Pets not allowed in certain areas.’
  • Pet-proofing is key – Next up, pet-proof your space. Check that your yard is escape-proof and clear out anything that might be dangerous for pets. Go for furniture that can take a bit of roughhousing. It’s all about balancing style and durability.
  • Little touches make a big difference – Think about the small things that can make a big difference for pet owners. You can also make your property more appealing to pet owners by having beds, toys, and food bowls. It’s these thoughtful touches that can really make your place stand out. 
  • Cleanliness is non-negotiable – Pets can be messy, no two ways about it. Have a solid cleaning plan in place. This isn’t just about keeping your space looking good; it’s also about being considerate to guests who might have allergies. This can include investing in pet-friendly rugs that are durable and easy to clean and a high-quality vacuum cleaner for tackling pet hair. 
  • Fair fees for furry friends – Considering a pet fee? That’s totally reasonable. Just be upfront about it in your listing. It’s all about setting expectations.
  • Safety first – Always have the safety of your four-legged guests in mind. Keep emergency vet contact info handy and maybe even a pet first aid kit.
  • Communication is crucial – Before they book, chat with your guests about their pets. This helps ensure everyone’s on the same page. And when they arrive, clear instructions can make all the difference. Be upfront about behaviors you will tolerate and behaviors you won’t. This conversation can help establish clear boundaries and ensure guests know exactly what to expect. 
  • Feedback helps you grow – After your guests leave, ask them how their stay was. Their insights can help you tweak things to make your place even more pet-friendly.
  • Insurance matters – It’s wise to consider insurance options that cover pet-related incidents. Airbnb’s AirCover for Hosts is an excellent resource, as it has expanded to cover damages caused by guests’ pets.
  • Show off your pet-friendly space – Make it clear in your listing that pets are welcome. Photos of your pet-friendly amenities can really catch an eye.
  • Be ready for the unexpected – Accidents happen. Have a plan for dealing with them. Remember, a little understanding can turn a tricky situation around.
  • Local tips are a bonus – Recommend some pet-friendly spots in your area. It’s a nice touch that your guests will appreciate.

Tips for a Pet-Free Airbnb

If you decide not to accommodate pets, here are some tips to keep your Airbnb pet-free.

  • Communicate your rule — State your no-pets policy in your Airbnb listing to set expectations. Remind visitors of this policy in your welcome message and signs around the property. 
  • Get security cameras If a guest brings a pet into the house against your rules, security cameras can help you catch them and provide proof when you report the problem to Airbnb support.
  • Have a plan for when a guest violates your rule — You need to know what to do in case someone ignores your rule. Whether refusing entry, terminating bookings, or communicating with Airbnb for support. If you need to involve Airbnb, contact their support team through the Help Center on their website or app. They also have community forums for advice and a direct contact option for more immediate support issues.

About Service Animals

Airbnb promotes inclusivity by having policies that support people with disabilities. Basically, they want to ensure that no guest, especially those needing extra accommodations, faces discrimination or is denied service. In this spirit, service animals, which are either dogs or miniature horses, are a part of Airbnb’s inclusive approach. 

Service animals assist their owners with specific tasks. These animals are not considered pets, so you can’t charge additional fees as a host. The rules are clear:

  1. You can ask if the service animal is required due to a disability.
  2. You can ask about the specific task the animal has been trained to perform.

You cannot ask for additional documentation or information about the service animal. On the guest’s side, they must always keep their service animals under control and ensure they are housebroken.

Emotional support animals are subject to different rules. For example, hosts can’t charge extra fees in New York and California. Outside these states, hosts can decide whether to charge a fee or allow them to stay. 

Final Thoughts

If you love animals, making your Airbnb pet-friendly can be rewarding. It’s a great way to connect with fellow animal enthusiasts and tap into a specific market. 

But remember, not all pet owners are the same. Some might leave their pets alone for long periods, which isn’t ideal. Be proactive: ask questions and consider a Ring doorbell to monitor pet arrivals. Clear rules and fees are essential.

If you still want to allow pets, check out our host checklist to ensure your Airbnb has everything it needs. Our guide is designed to help you get your space ready for guests.

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