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Should you allow pets at your Airbnb?

Pros:

1.  More traffic: People love to be able to travel with their pets and the majority of listings don’t allow them so you will end up with higher demand for your property.
2. Increased Revenue: Because of this higher demand, you can charge more per night or added pet fees.
3. Better Reviews: Generally there is a high level of appreciation for allowing pets as this is harder and harder to find on AirBnB

Cons:

1. Potential for damage: Having dogs in your property does increase the potential for damage. However, if you are careful about explaining what you expect of your guests with pets, you can mitigate this risk.

2. Loss of renters with allergies: This is a small portion of the population compared to the extra views you will get because your property is pet friendly.

How we mitigate the issues associated with allowing pets

  • Include a very clear description of what you allow in your listing:

  • Make sure your guest has to tell you they are bringing a pet. This is located under Listings> Booking Settings> Guest Requirements at the bottom of the page. I have a question on AirBnB when they book:

  • Once I know a guest wants to bring a pet they receive this automated response from my Messaging Software, SmartBnB, to make sure they understand the rules of having a pet on my property.

3 additional Safeguards!

  1. Refundable Deposit: My default is $300. This is just enough to make sure people are careful but not enough to deter most from booking with us.
  2. Posted Rules & House Manual: Posted quick sheet of house rules which includes pet rules & a house manual with more in depth details on this.
  3. Dog Towel: We leave a brown towel and dog poop bags by the door of the unit so there is no excuse for a wet dog in the house or poop to be left around the property.

Hope this helps you decide whether to allow pets at your property or not!

2 comments

  1. Jake – how do you handle bad owner / poor pet behavior? Don’t you always get negative reviews if you have to request $$ from a pet owner or guest after a stay? (I know I do unless they’ve written their positive review before I file my claim).

    1. Hey Natalie,

      Great question! I have had pretty good experience so far dealing with guests whose pets cause damage. Most of them have reached out to me and told me a table was chewed on, pillow was damaged, etc, and how much do I owe you to replace the item. The couple of times they have not reached out, I sent a picture and asked if it was possible that their pet caused the damage. I have only had 1 occurrence where an owner denied it was their pet. I let it slide as it was minor damage and the good review was worth more to me than the $50 to repair. Every other time the pet owner admitted it must be their pet and they were sorry and can they pay for the damage. My main goal is not to accuse and get them upset. Instead I take the tact of could this be your pet? They usually have no idea it happened and are happy to pay for the damage. Let me know if I can help with anything else!

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