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How to Make Your Airbnb Pet-Friendly

66% 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 The Turno Team

Last updated: April 17, 2024

What Does it Mean to Have a Pet-Friendly Airbnb? 

As a vacation rental business, you’ll want to consider accommodations for all sorts of travelers. A dog-friendly Airbnb or pet-friendly, in general, is another option for your business. But, what does it mean to operate an airbnb with pets? 

Pet-friendly vacation rentals are properties that allow travelers to bring their pets with them for their stay. Providing guests with an option to bring their furry companions along is a great way to differentiate your Airbnb listing. Also, you have the potential for an increase in guest satisfaction – leading to higher guest reviews. 

However, if you plan on opening your property to animals, there are a few things you’ll want to be aware of first. Airbnbs pet policy is in place for hosts who list their property as pet-friendly. Their policy ensures that hosts provide extra amenities for the animals, like food and water bowls, scratching posts and litter boxes, etc. 

In addition, hosts are expected to update their guidebooks to include pet-friendly venues like local dog parks, pet-friendly restaurants or cafes, and more.

Pets can be messy. Find a vacation rental cleaner that can help!

Are All Airbnb’s Pet-Friendly Vacation Rentals?

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.

Also, Airbnb leaves the choice of what type of pets are allowed on the property up to the host. However, all service animals cannot be denied to accompany their owner. More often than not, hosts choose to be primarily a dog-friendly Airbnb. Cats are rarely seen in vacation rental homes due to the smell of their urine if an accident were to happen and the high allergy rate in guests.

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.

A dog laying in front of luggage in a pet-friendly airbnb

Understanding the Airbnb Pet Policy

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 repairing 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.

Puppy biting and pulling at a couch cover in a dog-friendly airbnb

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, you are expected 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.

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

Airbnb pet-friendly listing labeling example

How to Make Your Listing a Pet-Friendly Airbnb 

Creating a pet-friendly listing is easy! 

Airbnb makes highlighting your additional services simple. Under settings, you have the option to select “pets allowed”. This automatically places you in any guest query on staying in a pet-friendly vacation rental. On your listing page, it’ll be shown under “What this place offers”. 

It is also recommended to update your listing description to mention that your vacation rental is pet-friendly. Keep in mind that this is a great opportunity to list any animal amenities you provide or if your property is near dog parks or other venues that allow pets. 

Best Pet-Friendly Airbnbs 

Before offering your property to your guests as pet-friendly, look at other vacation rentals that allow pets. Gain insight into how other hosts operate their vacation rental business with animals by looking at their listings and guest reviews. 

Top examples of pet-friendly vacation rentals: 

Find Pet Friendly Airbnb Cleaners
on the Turno Marketplace

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:

Additional dog-friendly amenities to include in your Airbnb:

a dog playing with a frog toy with other toys and bones around him in a pet-friendly airbnb

Top supplies for a cat-friendly Airbnb include:

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.

A puppy yawning in a dog-friendly airbnb

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?

Allowing guests to bring pets makes their stay more pleasant, and they are more likely to book your rental, it’s 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 turnover cleaning service can be a lifesaver. The Turno 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.

Don’t Let Pet Hair Ruin Your Airbnb Reviews.

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 for your Airbnb, turn to Turno. Our software connects you with reliable and affordable turnover cleaning specialists that are guaranteed to handle pet messes. Ensure quality control by building customized, comprehensive pet-related cleaning checklists. Include removing pet hair, cleaning pet bowls, laundering pet beds, and more. Let Turno get you started in simplifying your cleaning tasks.

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The Turno Team Avatar
The Turno Team , The Turno Team researches and publishes articles designed to provide short-term rental Hosts, Property Managers, and Airbnb Cleaners with insightful, useful resources. Articles written by the Turno Team cover a wide range of STR interests, from the latest industry data and best practices to real-world, practical advice on running efficient, revenue-generating vacation rental businesses in an ever-changing market.