Traveling with your dog can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it also requires careful planning and preparation. Choosing the right pet-friendly accommodations is crucial to ensuring that both you and your dog have a comfortable and enjoyable stay.
Fortunately, pet-friendly Airbnb properties are becoming increasingly popular, making it easier to bring your furry friends along with you. However, finding the perfect Airbnb pet-friendly property can be a daunting task. In this article, based on our experience, I will share fifteen tips and everything you need to know to have a stress-free, enjoyable, and memorable Airbnb dog-friendly stay.
Understanding Airbnb’s Pet Policy
Before booking a pet-friendly Airbnb, you must carefully read and understand Airbnb’s pet policy.
Airbnb hosts can set their own pet policies, including the types of pets allowed, the number of pets allowed, and any additional fees or restrictions.
It is important that you read the host’s pet policy thoroughly before booking your stay to ensure that you and your furry friend can commit to these rules.
Airbnb Exemptions for Assistance Animals – Service Animals
Airbnb recognizes that service animals are not pets, as they are crucial aid for their owner’s disability. So, Airbnb hosts are required to accept service animals (even if their short-term rental property listing does not allow pets); except in some cases due to health and safety circumstances. For more information, check the Airbnb Accessibility Policy.
15 Tips For A Great Stay In A Pet Friendly Airbnb
1. Location and Host
Location is an essential factor to consider when choosing a pet-friendly Airbnb. Since you will not know the property address until you book your stay, use the “Where you’ll be” map and listing description as a guide.
I also recommend that you choose an Airbnb Superhost. Why? Typically, they have a great property and pride themselves on having earned this status from Airbnb by being experienced, dependable, responsive, and receiving a high rating from their guests.
2. Check Amenities
When booking a pet-friendly Airbnb, make sure to check the amenities. Confirm that “Pets Allowed” is listed under “What This Place Offers.”
Look for a listing that caters to your dog’s needs to ensure a comfortable stay. For example, if your dog is large (like my golden retrievers), look for pet amenities such as spacious accommodations that provide ample space for your pet to move around. We always book an entire home with 2–3 bedrooms and a decent-sized living room (where we typically spend most of our time).
Examine the property photos to ensure that the home has pet-friendly flooring (preferably not carpeted). Also, for safety, look for properties that have a fenced-in yard.
3. Read Reviews
Reading both positive and negative reviews from previous guests is an excellent way to get a better sense of what to expect from the Airbnb property.
Find and read the reviews specifically from guests who are dog owners and have brought their dogs along with them.
4. Carefully Read The Airbnb Listing Policies
Before booking an Airbnb, make sure to carefully read the listing. Check to see if there are any pet type, size, or breed restrictions, as well as any extra cost plus rules and regulations. While some Airbnb hosts do not charge additional fees such as pet or cleaning fees, many do. Some hosts may have specific rules for pets, such as not allowing them on furniture and in the pool.
These fees can vary depending on the host and the type of pet you have, so be sure to read the listing carefully before booking.
I have seen some pet friendly Airbnb charges over $100 for pet and cleaning fees. Based on our experience, on average, you can expect to pay $50 per pet, per stay, and an additional $100 for cleaning fee.
It is also important, if you have any concerns regarding these additional fees and rules, to clarify all of these pertinent pet fees, house rules, and restrictions with the host in preparation for your Airbnb pet friendly stay.
Doing these will help you avoid any surprises or misunderstandings with the host during your stay.
5. Contact The Host To Verify Pet Policies and Fees
Before booking, it is a good idea to communicate with the host to ask any questions you may have about the property.
Also, this is a good opportunity to confirm and ask any questions about their pet policy or any specific accommodations they may have for pets.
Questions You Should Ask The Host
Are there any additional fees for pets?
Are there any additional cleaning fees?
If there are additional fees, how will you be charged?
Are there any specific rules for pets?
Are there any areas where pets are not allowed?
Make sure to clarify all of these questions with the property host and read the property policy once more before booking.
In our experience, the host usually responded to our messages. At one of the properties we stayed at, one of the host property managers was our main contact. Make sure you check who answers your messages.
6. Prepare For Your Dog Stay
Don’t forget to pack all of the essentials for your dog, including food, treats, toys, leashes, collars, water bowls, and medication if needed.
When traveling with your pet, it’s important to be prepared for emergencies. Make sure to bring along a pet first aid kit, as well as the contact information of local veterinarians and emergency animal hospitals. It’s also a good idea to have a plan in place in case your pet gets lost or separated from you.
It is also a good idea to bring your dog’s favorite blanket or dog bed to make them feel more at home and helps your dog stay off the couch and other furniture (which is one of the main pet house rules – no pets are allowed on any furniture).
TIP: Just in case, especially if your dog loves to be comfy on the couch, bring a flat sheet to cover and protect the furniture.
My golden retrievers are very good and well-trained dogs. Occasionally, they like to be on the couch but prefer to chill on their beds (or travel mats), or on the floor (where it feels cooler).
7. Review Payments
Once you book your stay and make a payment. Typically, the host will send you a message like this:
“Thank you so much for booking the _________! We are looking forward to hosting you!
We will reach out to you a few days before your arrival to give you check-in instructions, but feel free to reach out in the meantime if you need anything or have any questions!”
Also, the host sends out additional house and pet rules.
From our experience, I had to message the host again regarding the additional fees as it did not show on the booking payment. Some hosts prefer payment after the stay.
8. Acclimate Your Dog
When you arrive at your pet-friendly Airbnb, take your dog on a walk to familiarize them with the surroundings. This will help your dog to feel more comfortable in the new environment and also gives your dog a chance to stretch his legs after the long car ride.
Just a reminder, when outside your Airbnb, make sure to keep your dog on a leash to ensure his safety and prevent any damage to the property. Remember to also clean up after your dog and dispose of any waste properly.
9. House Assessment With Your Dog
With your dog, explore the inside of the property. Visit each room that is a pet-friendly zone. Then, find the spots where you can set up your dog’s bed and bowls.
TIP: Take photos of each room upon your arrival.
10. Contact the Host
Typically, you will receive an automatic welcome check-in from Airbnb and have the option to message the host.
From our experience, I always contact the host after we check in and inspect the property (outside and inside). At this point, I also share with the host any concerns I may have during our stay. Most of the hosts responded immediately and accommodated any requests we had.
11. Respect the Airbnb Rules – Be Responsible Pet Owners
Make sure to respect the rules and regulations set by the host. It is essential to be a responsible pet parent. Set up rules for your dogs. Clean up after your dog, and keep him on a leash when necessary.
From our experience, typically there’s a folder on the property upon check-in (placed by the host with the house keys) that contains the rules and regulations of your stay. Make sure to read it carefully.
As I mentioned, one of the crucial pet rules is “No dogs allowed on furniture or in certain living spaces.” Many dog lovers find these “silly” pet-friendly house rules. Be a responsible dog owner and guest. Make sure to keep your dog well-behaved and under control at all times.
Failure to follow these rules may result in unexpected additional charges.
12. Before Leaving Contact The Airbnb Host
This is optional, but I find it helpful.
I always contact the host and confirm the list of all the “departure must do” like running the dishwasher, placing all the dirty towels in the washer, throwing the trash away, and leaving the house/garage keys on the kitchen counter.
Also, at this time, I will share some insights about our stay with the host. Lastly, I always share with the host the time we plan to leave the property.
13. Leaving The Airbnb Clean
It is important to leave your Airbnb in good condition. When you have a pet, dog hair is unavoidable.
From our experience, we always vacuum before we leave the property. We make sure no or very little pet hair is visible.
Leaving your Airbnb in good condition will help you build a positive relationship with the host. You are also being kind to the future guests of the property.
14. Take Photos
For safety purposes and to protect yourself from extra charges that the host might dispute, take photos and/or videos of every room before checking out the property.
I can not emphasize enough the importance of this tip.
Typically, when we check out the property, I always message the host to inform of our departure and provide only a photo of the house and garage keys.
15. Review Your Stay
After your stay, you have 14 days to submit a review.
Typically, you will receive an email from Airbnb to do the review.
Take your time to review the property and your experience with the host.
It is important to share your positive experience about the pet-friendliness of the property and the host. Also, share any feedback on your overall experience that can be helpful for future guests.
All hosts want to receive positive reviews. However, there are times a guest can not provide a great review.
From our recent Airbnb experience, only one property was not up to our standard. I made sure to properly rate our stay in the Airbnb star rating review, and I wrote a mediocre written review.
Also, Airbnb has a two-sided review system: a guest has the opportunity to review the host, and likewise, a host can review their guest.
From our experience, after I submit my Airbnb star rating and written review, the host typically submits a review back.
As a guest, leaving an Airbnb review is an important part of the Airbnb experience. It helps hosts improve, helps potential guests make informed decisions, encourages accountability, and builds trust between guests and hosts.
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5 FAQs When Staying At A Pet Friendly Airbnb
A: Are all pet friendly Airbnb charges extra for pet and cleaning fees?
Q: Most properties charge additional fees such as pet and cleaning fees, while others may not. Make sure to read the pet policies carefully before booking, and always contact the host to confirm these additional costs for bringing a pet.
Q: Can I bring more than one dog to a pet-friendly Airbnb?
A: It depends on the specific Airbnb listing. Some listings may have a limit on the number of pets allowed, while others may not have any restrictions. Make sure to check with the host before booking if you plan on bringing more than one dog.
Q: Can I leave my dog alone in the Airbnb?
A: If you have plans to leave your dog alone in the Airbnb, make sure to check with the host. Typically, Airbnb pet-friendly hosts require that the dog be supervised at all times.
I do not recommend leaving your dog alone, especially in an unfamiliar environment. It is not hard to plan a pet-friendly vacation that allows you to spend time with your furry companions.
Q: What should I do if my dog causes damage to the property?
A: As a responsible dog owner, you are responsible for any damage caused by your furry friend. Take photos, and make sure to contact and inform your host.
Q. Is staying at a pet friendly Airbnb better than a pet friendly hotel?
A. It really depends. We choose to stay at a pet-friendly Airbnb because of these three reasons: 1) all the pet friendly hotels we prefer are fully booked, 2) there are no good pet friendly hotels to choose from, and 3) the pet-friendly hotel rates are priced almost the same as a pet-friendly Airbnb.
Thus, before making your reservation, it’s crucial to obtain relevant options and knowledge about booking a pet friendly Airbnb.
Staying At A Pet Friendly Airbnb With Your Dog
Traveling with your dog can be a fun, rewarding experience, and staying in pet-friendly properties on Airbnb can be a great place to stay, but it’s essential to research, plan, and carefully prepare to ensure a comfortable and stress-free stay for both of you and your dog. By following these tips, you can ensure that your Airbnb pet-friendly stay is an enjoyable experience.
Happy Stay in a Pet-Friendly Airbnb!
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