Elevate Your Rental Property

How to Make Your Airbnb Pet-Friendly

68% of American households own at least one pet. Although pet-friendly traveling is becoming more commonplace, as a vacation rental host, it can be overwhelming to think about what to expect. Luckily, preparing for and cleaning up after pets in your Airbnb is not as difficult as you might think. Below, find our top tips for managing a pet-friendly vacation rental.

By Stephanie Kidd

Last updated: April 06, 2022

Does Airbnb Allow Pets?

Per the Airbnb pet policy, vacation rental hosts can decide whether they want pets to be able to stay with guests at their properties. This means that if you own or manage a short-term rental, it’s up to you whether you choose to have pets accompany your tenants when they stay at your place.

Whatever you decide, there are several considerations to keep in mind when preparing for a pet-friendly Airbnb. Among these considerations are charging a pet fee, accommodating service animals and emotional support animals, and providing pet-friendly amenities.

Below, learn how to make hosting a pet-friendly vacation rental a positive experience for yourself, your guests — and your cleaning crew.

Understanding the Airbnb Pet Fee

The pet fee on Airbnb is an additional cost that hosts can charge to guests who bring their pets with them during their stay. The fee is intended to cover the costs of cleaning up after the animal and to repair any damages to the property if they occur.

How Do I Charge a Pet Fee on Airbnb?

When deciding the fee to request for allowing pets, it is generally acceptable to charge based on three factors:

  • Breed
  • Size
  • Age

The breed is necessary because hypoallergenic animals do not shed fur. Therefore, it will equate to less cleaning time. Size and age are important because they impact the risk of possible property damage. For example, younger animals may be more rambunctious and prone to cause accidental damage than older animals.

Consider these factors when determining a pet fee for your Airbnb. Many hosts charge an additional $10 to $50 a night, depending on the factors listed above.

Airbnb Service Animal Policy

Vacation rental booking sites have certain rules and recommendations about service animals and emotional support animals.

In short, Airbnb cannot deny service animals, and guests do not have to pay a pet fee or cleaning fee. The Vrbo service animal policy is similar in that hosts cannot charge a pet fee or increase the security deposit for guests with service animals.

In any vacation rental, service dogs or other animals should be allowed in any part of the property to accompany their owner. An exception, however, is a pool should the Airbnb or other short-term rental property have one.

Do Vacation Rentals Have to Allow Emotional Support Animals?

As a host, it’s up to you whether you want to welcome an emotional support animal (ESA) at your property. If your Airbnb is pet-friendly, it makes sense that you would allow an ESA too, but this is something that should be discussed and decided upon with your guests.

Keep in mind that certain jurisdictions, such as New York and California, require hosts to permit emotional support animals to accompany guests if requested.

4 Ways to Prepare for Vacationers Traveling to Your Airbnb With Pets

To successfully market your Airbnb as pet-friendly, make sure to incorporate these ideas into your listing. Not only will the guests be happy about the place, but the pets will be as well.

1. Set Clear Expectations for Pet Owners

It is important to be specific in your listing description regarding which pets you will and will not allow and the maximum amount. For example, some Airbnbs accept dogs and cats, while some are dogs only.

Make sure to also update your house rules. If there are any places or rooms where the pet is not allowed, such as the pool or bedrooms, be sure to specify them in the listing. Include details of where the pet must remain on a leash or whether guests are allowed to keep their pet in the rental alone for any period of time.

2. Promote Nearby Pet-Friendly Areas

Do your research beforehand about pet-friendly areas near your property. Pet owners want to have as many options as possible when it comes to doing activities on vacation with their pets. Give suggestions for local parks, beaches, and eateries that are pet-friendly.

3. Stock Up on Pet Supplies

While not required, providing guests with a few key pet amenities during their stay will be sure to excite them. By providing a few staple items, the pet has a way to exercise their needs while keeping them busy and not relying on using your furniture as a chew toy.

Top supplies for a dog-friendly Airbnb include:

  • Treats
  • Bowls for water and food
  • Toys, such as a ball or chew toy
  • Dog bed or pillow

Top supplies for a cat-friendly Airbnb include:

  • A scratching post
  • Litter box with litter
  • Food and water bowls

If you are worried about the furniture, consider purchasing pet-friendly furniture covers and towels designated for wiping off paws at the front door.

4. Invest in Top Cleaning Tools

Whether you are working with a cleaning service or handling the cleaning on your own, there are many tools and gadgets that will make cleaning your pet-friendly Airbnb a breeze.

Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum

The Dyson Ball is the best vacuum to pick up the pesky fur stuck on the carpet floor. With the ability to clean all floor surfaces and the flexibility to go under any furniture, this vacuum is perfect even if you don’t have a pet-friendly Airbnb.

For a handheld mini vacuum just for pet hair, check out the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium-Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum. It’s perfect for reaching the small, hard-to-reach spots.

Gonzo Pet Hair Lifter

The Gonzo Pet Hair Lifter sponge does the job of removing stubborn fluffs of fur stuck on any furniture or bedding. This is the perfect addition to any pet hair removal process you may have.

Rocco and Roxie Professional Strength Stain and Odor Eliminator

Accidents happen. It’s only natural to prepare for those accidents in case one does happen in an Airbnb. Use the Rocco and Roxie Stain Remover to tackle those stains first-hand and make it look like they never happened. The best part? It’s non-toxic and safe on carpet, flooring, and any fabrics.

Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag

Worried about pet odor lingering in the Airbnb? Moso absorbs these pet odors using bamboo charcoal to purify the smell. This is a better alternative to air fresheners, which are riddled with chemicals that can harm pets.

The Moso Bag is reusable for up to two years, and you can even use it on other odors that aren’t from pets, such as in the car or even in shoes.

In addition to these helpful tools for preparing for pets, establishing a certain trash area just for pet waste can also be beneficial in keeping the area clean.

Should You Allow Pets at Your Vacation Rental?

Although Airbnb has a flexible policy when it comes to allowing pets, it may not be the best decision for you or your property. Consider the following when deciding whether or not to welcome animals into your short-term rental.

Do You Have the Accommodations?

If you’re renting a high-rise condo surrounded by little grass, this might not be the best place for a dog. Similarly, rentals that are in close proximity to other units may also prefer to remain pet-free due to potential noise issues.

If you have a landlord, property manager, or homeowner association, make sure they permit having animals stay in your unit as well.

Is It Worth the Risk?

If allowing guests to bring pets makes their stay more pleasant, and they are more likely to book your rental, it’s certainly a tempting choice. However, if your rental is frequently in demand without allowing pets, you should consider whether the risk is worth the reward.

Pets can cause damage, unwanted odors, allergens, and inconveniences to other guests. If you’re all booked up without taking in pets, it may not be a worthwhile allowance.

How to Address Pet-Related Damage to Your Airbnb

In many cases, vacation rental hosts will expect the pet owner to be responsible for any damages caused. According to Vrbo, “the host can retain the damage amount from the guest’s deposit.”

Hosts can also utilize their short-term rental insurance policy or reimbursement program to help cover the costs of damages. For example, Airbnb’s AirCover offers hosts up to $1 million USD for damage protection.

Can You Compensate Cleaners?

Pets usually leave behind hair and other messes that will take any good vacation rental cleaner extra time. Due to this, you may not want to host a pet-friendly Airbnb if you aren’t willing and able to compensate cleaners for their additional time and elbow grease.

On the other hand, if you can potentially pay more to clean up pet messes, utilizing a professional cleaning service can be a lifesaver. The TurnoverBnB cleaner marketplace helps you find reliable cleaners in your area, allowing you to spend more time focusing on your business and keeping your calendar booked year-round.

Make Managing a Pet-Friendly Airbnb Easy

Allowing pets in your Airbnb can make your listing stand out, attract a larger pool of travelers, and increase your revenue — or it could be a doggone bad decision.

If you decide to make your vacation rental pet-friendly, one of the best things you can do is prepare.

Update your listing to include clear instructions about your vacation rental pet policy, and make sure you understand the rules for allowing service and emotional support animals. Purchase a few amenities, such as dog treats and food and water bowls, to help make traveling with pets easier for your guests. Lastly, don’t forget to have a professional cleaning service lined up.

To find an experienced cleaner who can help you handle pet messes in your Airbnb, turn to TurnoverBnB.

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