What you need to know about hosting pets

Get details on pet fees, reimbursement for pet damage and service animals.
By Airbnb on 9 Nov 2021
3-min read
Updated 6 Mar 2024

Many guests are travelling with their entire families, which often means bringing along their pets. We know that hosting pets isn’t always possible. But if you’re able to make your space pet-friendly, you can choose to add a pet fee to your nightly price.

How it works

Use the pet fee to cover the cleaning you’d expect to do after hosting four-legged guests, such as vacuuming fur off the furniture and wiping nose or paw prints off sliding glass doors.

You can add a pet fee as part of your price settings, and it will be spread out equally over the course of a guest’s stay. The pet fee will show up as part of the nightly rate in search results, and in the total price at checkout.

Setting up a pet-friendly space

Many pets are accustomed to travelling with their owners and don’t require much additional hospitality.

However, if you allow pets in your space, it may be helpful to supply:

  • Bowls for food and water
  • Pet-friendly furniture covers
  • Plenty of designated towels to wipe off paws at the door
  • Scratching post and litter tray (the cardboard kind will do)
  • Extra cleaning supplies

Updating your listing details

Guests travelling with pets may want to know what to expect in your space, such as whether you have a fenced-in garden or a private patio. Be sure to include any pet-friendly features and amenities in your listing details.

Other things you can do to make your listing pet-friendly:

  • Update your house rules to tell guests how many pets you allow per stay, from one to five. In your house rules, clarify things like what types of pets you accept, whether it’s OK to leave a pet unattended in your space, where a pet isn’t allowed on the property, when a pet needs to be on a lead and where to properly dispose of pet waste.
  • Update your guidebook to include recommendations for local dog parks, vets and pet supply shops. Consider suggesting pet-sitting services and kennels too.

Getting reimbursed for pet damage

Pet fees and cleaning fees are meant to cover expected costs. But no matter how well trained or well behaved a guest’s pet may be, accidents sometimes happen.

For unexpected costs caused by pets, like repairing scratched upholstery or deep-cleaning stains from accidents, there’s Host damage protection, a part of AirCover for Hosts. Be sure to document any damage with photos and request reimbursement through our Resolution Centre.

What about service animals?

It’s important to understand that service animals are not considered pets. A service animal is a dog or miniature horse that’s individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with disabilities.

You must allow service animals to accompany guests while they’re staying on your property unless you are granted an exemption. You can’t charge the guest a pet fee. You also can’t charge additional fees, unless they generally apply to all guests. 

Some guests may travel with emotional support animals, which are different from service animals. You can charge fees for emotional support animals, except in places where laws may not allow it, such as New York state and California.

Learn more about service animals

Host damage protection isn’t an insurance policy and is subject to these terms, conditions and limitations. It doesn’t protect Hosts who offer stays in Japan, where Japan Host Insurance applies, or Hosts who offer stays through Airbnb Travel LLC. For Hosts who offered stays in mainland China, the China Host Protection Plan applies. For Hosts whose country of residence or establishment is within Australia, Host damage protection is subject to the Host Damage Protection Terms for Australian Users. Keep in mind that all coverage limits are shown in USD.

For listings in Washington State, US, Airbnb’s contractual obligations under Host damage protection are covered by an insurance policy purchased by Airbnb. Host damage protection isn’t related to Host liability insurance. Under Host damage protection, you’re reimbursed for certain damages caused by guests to your home and belongings if the guest does not pay for those damages.

Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

9 Nov 2021
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