One of the most amazing things about staying at an Airbnb is that you feel more at home. The accommodations are more spacious, warm and inviting. So what could make you feel even more at home? Being able to bring your furry companions along for your vacation! In an ever-growing fur baby culture, where people are willing to spend a small fortune on the happiness of their animals, it’s important to consider whether or not to make your Airbnb pet-friendly.

Here is a list of considerations to take into account when deciding whether or not you’re fur real about allowing pets!

Do You Have the Accommodations?

Before considering allowing pets, an owner or property manager should decide whether or not it makes sense for their property. Are you renting a high rise condo surrounded by a lack of grass? This might not be the place for a dog! Also, your HOA may not even allow pets in rentals anyway. Rentals that are in close proximity to other units may also prefer to remain pet-free due to potential noise issues.

Is it Worth the Risk?

How much extra business do you anticipate generating if you allow pets? 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. 

Can You Compensate Cleaners?

How much will you charge for a pet fee, and how much of this charge will go to the cleaner? The amount charged should depend on the number of animals and would likely be a flat rate reflecting the price point of the rental. Because more expensive rentals typically have higher-end furniture and fixtures, it would be more acceptable to charge a higher amount in such cases. This can add up to a higher profit margin for a host, but how much of this fee is actually forwarded to the person cleaning up the mess? As a vacation rental cleaner, I understand that a portion should go to maintenance issues caused by the animals. However, I think it’s very important to consider that pets usually leave behind extra hair and mess that will take any good cleaner extra time. Cleaners shouldn’t be responsible for handling out of the ordinary messes without being compensated, especially when the fee paid by the guest would be funding their extra wages.

Be Careful of Deception

Unfortunately, allowing pets opens up a wormhole of situations where people fib or outright throw your policies to the wayside. The most obvious lie is the one where people pretend they don’t have a pet at all to avoid paying the pet fee. As a cleaner, I let my property managers know every time there’s evidence of a pet (usually accompanied by photo documentation) so that if they were not informed they can pursue reconciliation. Other lies include people pretending Fido weighs 8 lbs instead of 80, and that puppy Fifi is housebroken when she isn’t. The honor system is still honorable but allowing pets may open you up to the chance of deception. 

At the end of the day, it’s a heads or tails toss-up and it depends on your particular rental. Allowing pets can allow your bookings to stand out and increase revenue, or it could be a doggone bad decision!