Wondering if anyone else has experienced anything like this...? This was something I hadn't even considered.
I had a recent guest leave in the middle of the night, and woke to find a message from her, saying that she had to take her dog to the emergency vet in the middle of the night because it was very ill. The diagnosis was that it had consumed some kind of marijuana edible out in our yard. This edible would have come from some other recent guests (and I'm pretty sure I know which ones).
Happily, the dog will be OK...but the guest now has a $2000 vet bill.
While I, obviously, pick up trash and other belongings between guests, I am not at all confident that I would be able to find something small like this. While I will now look more closely, I can't go over the entire yard to the extent that I can be 100% certain that it is safe.
So...this is a hazard that I feel like I can't adequately defend against. This guest was very gracious and understanding, and we both agree that I am not liable for this...but what if she didn't feel that way? Or...what if it was someone's little kid?
I contacted Airbnb about refunding the guest, just to compensate a bit for her ruined vacation and huge vet bill. They would not even facilitate a full refund to her, so I have only been able to send her the amount that I received. I will refund Airbnb's portion myself when I can figure out how to do that...but it would have been great for Airbnb to make that happen.
I also asked about compensation for her for the vet bill, as this was directly related to her stay and to damage/hazards left by other guests. Airbnb offered nothing. I may try to address this through the claims process, but it sounds unlikely that I would get assistance for her that way.
Part of the reason that I host through Airbnb is that I believed that they had my back with situations like this...but, unfortunately, this seems not to be the case.
I will be changing my listing to no longer allow pets, which is unfortunate, and I will be adding a disclaimer for guests bringing small children. I will also be highlighting that marijuana use is not allowed on the property (although I realize that won't stop it).
Anyway...just a heads up about a hazard that I had not considered...a new way for guests to disrespect your property...and a disappointing lack of support from Airbnb. This makes me reconsider my listing entirely.
@Kara-and-Ross0 we are also pet friendly and we get around this sort of nightmare by saying that pets must be supervised in the yard. We have a 1.25 acre wooded lot and I can't possibly anticipate every critter or plant a dog might ingest so its up to our guests to police their own furry family members. We don't have a fully fenced yard, there is wildlife sauntering through (snakes, skunks, foxes, etc) and the neighbor's chickens who come to visit, so it is imperative that guests understand the possible dangers of letting their pets wander.
We have lost bookings because we don't have a fully fenced area which allow dogs to be put out in in lieu of structured walks or exercise. Its to a host's advantage overall that guests DO monitor dogs outside as they are much more likely to identify where the poo happens! There are a lot of pet owners who want to just let an animal out and forget about it. We don't really want those guests.
It was very kind of you to offer to refund the stay. I probably wouldn't offer the whole thing but I might make a courtesy gesture. Anyone in your space is responsible for all the dependent pets and children they bring. Period. Your guest even agrees. I would just make sure you are clear on what you expect from pet owners and any other guests in your space. Sometimes weird things happen. You can't anticipate them all nor are you responsible for them all.
Thanks for the thoughts! It just bothers me that this is a guest-introduced hazard...but yes, definitely falls into the category of "weird things happen"!
@Kara-and-Ross0 think of it the same way as if a guest dropped chocolate in your yard. You probably wouldn't see it and it's toxic to dogs. Maybe it was a neighbor walking by and not even a guest. Chocolate is readily available and easily camouflaged. My dog will eat just about anything if I don't watch him carefully.
Much as we would like to, we can't control everything about our spaces or guest experiences. We had a guest who wandered barefoot in the yard in his underwear and complained that his feet were damaged as a result. Not something we expect people to do. Not something we can prepare for. I see this in much the same way. Thankfully your guest sounds reasonable and I am glad the dog is ok.