New host: pet stay without notice...advice

Level 3
Dallas, TX

New host: pet stay without notice...advice

We are new. 

We are dog friendly, but ask that guests let us know upon booking as a courtesy and because pets are an additional fee. This is stated in our house rules.


Our first guests (checking out tomorrow) brought a dog and didn't give us a heads up. We know they are aware because they have avoided the security camera since first entering the front door. They take the dog out via the garage instead.

We don't have an issue with having the dog, but they clearly didn't follow the house rules and requirement about letting us know. 


Our wonderings: 

1. Do we message them before they leave and request the pet fee via the resolution center (which we aren't even sure if we can do this.)?

2. Do we message them, let them know we are aware of the dog, give them a "slap on the hand" and let it go?

3. Do we ignore it completely and pray there is no damage?


Thanks in advance!


33 Replies 33
Level 10
Victoria, Australia

@Jerry422 Jerry send a message ' Hi , I have noticed that you have a pet travelling with you. you may not be aware but all Airbnbs now charge pet fees . It is a one off fee of ,   however much ,. I will send you through a request for this amount . Please accept when it arrives . Thank you . Please do not hesitate to call for anything else . I Ihope you are having a lovely stay ." H

Level 2
Lincoln City, OR

Hello @Jerry422 , even though your post is older I wanted to comment on what has worked for us.  We launched our listing in October of 2019 and have been pet friendly since the start.   At first we did not require a pet fee since it wasn't built in to the booking process (like extra guest fees).  But we did start charging last year at some point.  We've updated our house rules as needed and also had to add dogs only, no cats since even though we only referenced dogs in the past, at least two stays brought cats.  We use Instant Booking and have a note in the pre-booking message to let us know about dogs, however,  I'd say about 30% of the time they do not mention them.   Our solution - we message our guests the morning of 3 days prior to check-in.  We specifically do it at that day/time before they receive the auto 3 day reminder from Airbnb about their upcoming stay.   We have keyless entry with a Nest lock, so we msg them mainly to select a 4 digit code for their stay.  However, we also started confirming the number of guests and if they were bringing any dogs (we allow a max of 2).     This has worked wonders on many levels.  Mostly we want to make sure they're not bringing unannounced extra people, but if they also mention dogs, we send a request for $ right then for the pet fee.  If they did mention dogs in their initial booking, then we just say "confirming" instead of "are you bringing?".   This has worked so well since often times the reservation may have been booked several months ago, and things may have changed.  It also helps that we're getting the guest to confirm the details just a few days before arrival in case things go awry with damages, extra people , etc if we have to make a claim. 


Hope your listing is going well.

Level 2
Asheville, NC

How should I approach the following situation?? Guest has a cat, this is a private room with shared bathroom, kitchen, & living room. Cat will "supposedly" stay in the bedroom the whole time. This is a long stay of 45days. Should I charge both a nonrefundable cleaning fee plus a refundable security deposit? 

@Lee4364  Just decline. This guest is trouble. Your House Rules say "no pets," and this poor cat would be miserable being left locked up in a bedroom for 45 days. Don't even get me started on the litter pan issue. No, no, no.

Community Manager
Community Manager
Galashiels, United Kingdom

Hi @Lee4364!

You might like to start a new conversation about this in the "Help" section of the Community Center.  The post you've replied to is quite old so you might not get as many answers as you could with a new conversation.


Head here if you'd like to start a new conversation and I'm sure you'll get some great advice from our Members!

Let me know if you need any help getting started.


Can't find what you're looking for? Click here to start a conversation!

Be kind and helpful to each other, and ensure you respect our Community Center Guidelines!

Level 10
Corning, NY

I am fairly new (7 guests in 1 month) and we are pet-friendly. I do not allow Instant Booking for the very reason that guests need to tell me about their pets before I accept a booking. For our property (country acreage), being pet-friendly is a drawing card. So far, so good. I enjoy pets, and would not really want to stop being pet-friendly. 


I am wondering if Original Poster's guests are using a side door simply because of some other convenience?  My mode of operation for life is to think the best of people.


I do have to admit that I did not know AirBnb would not help with any possible damage from pets. I'll be thinking about that, and how to protect myself better.  One thing I do communicate, is that if a pet will be left alone, it must be in a crate. The responsible pet owners booking with us have all expected that themselves. 

Level 5
Irvine, CA


Level 10
Pensacola, FL

@Mark1723  a couple things to note please!

All CAPS = screaming, throwing a temper tantrum  is a button you don't wanna be pushing on social media. There is pretty much zero tolerance for it on any platform. 

And on CC community center esp. unnecessary, un-liked and uncalled for. This is where hosts share, exchange and it is NOT where airbnb sees, responds or works to assist hosts on a personal level. So your please respond! shout is a joke - I felt compelled because your post is like banging your head against a wall and expecting it to move a foot and be painted a pretty color. It will not work as you imagine.  


Your post almost made me laugh..".You have repeatedly requested!!! Don't know why this has not been done???" Do you know how many hosts are hosting on Airbnb? like 4 million...!


I have suggestions for your questions: Do not IB instant book - always message and converse with the guests before excepting their booking request. ASK the guests if they are bringing a pet - inform about a fee. Tell them if they forget to pay the fee you will request it or ask them to board their pet at a local shelter. 

Put in your listing Pets Welcome - Pet fee will be charged - and as soon as you see there is a pet - put in a Resolution Claim for your fee - if you wait, your bad. 

any situation should be addressed immediately - those that wait have done a multitude of errors, IMHO - increased their own stress about the issue, allowed it to go on and spoiled the trip for many guests at the end. Created an atmosphere that messes up the experience for hosts and guests.  Deal with it, and get over it or have the guests pet leave. (you can't cancel guests reservations because of pet - but can ask the guests to board their pet and still allow guests to stay) 

This is  my take on it.

Chill --- its small stuff in many worlds these days!



Level 10
Frederick, MD

@Jerry422I am a pet friendly host and have a different perspective. We don't charge a pet fee because we don't like this exact situation-- people will do anything to avoid what they feel are "extra fees" or "hidden fees." So we have instead raised our nightly price in order to cover any extra clean up. 


The vast majority of pets do not do any damage. We only had one instance where significant damage needing repair was done and ABB denies any pet claims as they are not covered on their policies. So instead of chasing guests for a pet deposit,  we put up a "security deposit" which ABB does not collect but serves as more of a psychological deterrent. We raised our nightly price, added pets in the guest count as "beings" for the sake of capacity (we have a 4 being limit. 2 humans plus 2 dogs equals capacity, though only the humans are charged.)  It has cut way down on the aggravation of trying to get people to pony up for Fido.


One more note. At 8 people, $115 a night the nightly cost per person is $14.75. That is about what it would cost for my Starbucks and a sandwich at McDonalds. This is not enough to stay in your beautiful, well cared for home. RAISE YOUR PRICES or lower your guest counts!

Level 5
Orinda, CA

Allowing pets is asking for damage to your property and loss of income. 

What you do is option  3. Do we ignore it completely and pray there is no damage?
AND Don't forget, you can give your guest a 1 star review and state in your review the guest did not follow house rules.   Learn from this experience and let other hosters know there is a guest which isn't being honest.  

Level 5
Irvine, CA

Nonsense! The fix is for AirBnB to implement a nightly pet fee option in the guest registration form.

I'm a "Double SuperHost" (two rentals) I've been pet friendly for over two years and have hosted hundreds of guests.

I feel I get a _lot_ more reservation due to our pet policies.

Most pet owners are considerate. Some are not.

Pets can cause extra housekeeping efforts, which is _exactly_ why AirBnB should implement a pet fee in the guest registration form!

I find the fact that they haven't an example of AirBnB "deaf ears syndrome." If they listened to the hosts, they would have done this long ago!

AS IT IS, THE ONLY WAY TO COLLECT PET FEES IS THROUGH THE "SEND OR REQUEST MONEY" FEATURE IN THE RESOLUTIONS AREA. Utterly unacceptable and unworkable! How do I know if a guest is planning on bringing a pet?

And how does the guest know we request a pet fee?

Level 2
Balearic Islands, Spain

I think you should have pointed them out about their mistake and asked them to reread your rules. If they ignored your advice, you could contact support and ask them to solve the problem in your favor.

Level 3
Dallas, TX

Thank you so much for all the GREAT feedback! We are thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful group willing to support and advise when needed!

Level 10
Mount Barker, Australia



At this point you are new to hosting and need all the good press you can get. My feeling is you need to use this experience as a learning curve, be as @Anonymous  says and be a doormat, don't antagonize this guest by calling them out! It will do you more harm than it will the guest!


Suzanne, when we host, we are running a business! In most instances we are not helping people in times of crisis, we are letting them use our properties for a financial reward, and the trick in successful hosting is to minimize the risks that are attached to that financial reward. 

Allowing pets does pose a high level of risk. Pet owners look on their pets differently to the way others do. 

That German Shepherd that just knocked over your hall stand was not trying be destructive, it was just pleased to see his owner come back......that little 'bladder with 4 legs' that ran in from outside and piddled on your white rug was not trying to be destructive, that's what it does at home and the owner just accepts that this is what happens when you have a pet!


Suzanne, we have a pet, an Aussie Shepherd dog, here she is waiting for the next guest to arrive...

IMG20181014134747 b.jpg

But I state in my listing description I do not allow pets. Our dog has a lovely nature, loves everyone and everything, but she is a known quantity.....we know where we stand with her.

I had one guest who asked if she could bring her two dogs. I asked her what sort of dogs were they and she said they were about the same as our dog. I thought about it for a while and figured it would be good company for our hound. When this woman arrived she arrived with two Burnese Mountain dogs each weighing about 70 Kgs and the pair of them destroyed our garden and frightened the bee-jesus out of our Betts. On leaving all she said was..."I hope the dogs were not too much trouble" and with that she was gone.

IMG20170319182255 bcc.jpg

At that point I removed pet friendly from my description, that is not to say I won't take a pet, but if someone specifically asks I will asses the request and I certainly would not charge a figure for the pet.

By charging a pet fee you are doing two things.

1/......You are encouraging guests to do what you have experienced here and try to sneak the pet under the radar.

2/.....Because  the guest has paid for the pet that entitles the pet to become a 'guest' and do what ever it likes.


Suzanne, as I said, learn from this experience and pull up the drawbridge with your pets policy. That way you will have at least got rid of one of your hosting risks.

All the best.




@Melodie-And-John0  @Emilia42 @Linda513  @Lorna170 



Level 10
Alberta, Canada

@Robin4 I love that picture of your Betts! I love dogs too, and I had a beautiful Berner until she passed recently. They are just the most gentle natured, amazing breed. It's sad that their owners let your two Berner doggie guests ruin your garden. They are big, and they do love to dig! As much as I love all animals, I decided right out of the gate that it wasn't worth it to be pet friendly on Airbnb. It's highly annoying how Airbnb pushes hosts to be pet friendly to the degree they do, yet offer absolutely nothing in return in the way of support.

Level 10
Mount Barker, Australia


This is my favourite photo of Betts......

If dogs could talk.jpg

Those eyes just talk love!


Airbnb's only concern is bookings Colleen, they encourage hosts to accept pets while telling the host they will not accept any responsibility for damage that pets might cause. It is probably only a matter of time before Airbnb link the hosting of pets to their anti-discrimination policy, to yet further limit the hosts powers of discretion where it comes to accepting guests. 


The way Airbnb's treatment of hosts is concerned I will stick out this year but, unless there is a radical shift back to the way hosts were treated by the company 4 years ago, I will pull up stumps come the end of this year and move to other hosting alternatives. It is simply a matter of time now before Airbnb's heavy handed cavalier treatment of hosts is going to make it completely unprofitable to continue. There is only so much water you can drag out of a well before it runs dry, and this is a concept that the powers at the top do not realise. You have to protect your bread and butter, not screw it! You have to leave something in it to make it worthwhile and  it is frustrating that Airbnb have this scorched earth attitude towards their hosts.



Level 10
Alberta, Canada

@Robin4 " It is probably only a matter of time before Airbnb link the hosting of pets to their anti-discrimination policy." Hmmm, I wonder if they'll still be referring to pets as 'vermin' when they make that shift? 🤔


At least hosts would have recourse against guests who cry 'refund!' to Airbnb when they see a spider in the corner. "Oh no, that's vermin, vermin are accepted around here."🤣


Love that photo too! Yes, love shines from that sweet face 😍

Level 3
Hampton, VA

Some advice I read in another forum suggested that if you can fit it in, every single thing that is critical to you should be in your description. The four things that caused me the most headaches (meaning, misunderstandings because the potential guest didn't read) were that I charged a pet fee, I am not close to VA Beach, I am owner occupied, and a rental agreement is required. I fit that into my description fearing that it my bookings would plummet. Nope. I stay fully booked through the season and the mistaken bookings have been reduced to zero. It also did away with teen beach partiers. We're near a beach, but they don't want an owner on the property. Go figure. 

Level 2
Cedar Bluff, AL


 Can you give me a little more information about the rental agreement you reference above?  Is this something outside the typical Airbnb process?  Thank you.  

Level 3
Hampton, VA

@Michael5832 I feel really badly that I never answered you. I dummied up a rental agreement based on something I read in another forum. It is pretty standard looking and it sounds legal but I have no illusions that it would stand up in court. The purpose is simply to discourage nere-do-wells It has done a very good job of that. Airbnb doesn't seem to have a problem with it as it does not violate the TOS. I have never had a guest object. I even have them list the names and ages of those that will be staying and tell them it is because the fire department advises me to do this for safety reasons (which is true). This is another feature which discourages people from abusing my place by bringing too many visitors. I even have them register day guests on the rental agreement. I capture their email address and phone number as well in this way. By now you have probably already worked out your own rental agreement or such. I apologize for taking so long to respond.

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