Collecting for pet damages

Airbnb doesn’t cover pet damages, or so I’ve heard. Still, I do have a $100 deposit listed on my room and I welcome pets with a fee. The guest who stayed paid a pet fee in advance of the stay via the resolution center so it was “on the books.” The morning after I walked in the room and immediately smelled dog pee. I found the spot, took a picture though it didn’t show up and started my clean up process. I also blocked off the next three days between her stay and the next booking. I also called for carpet cleaning but my guy couldn’t fit me in until two days later.

I requested a partial payment for the carpet cleaning of $25 via the resolution center. The guest didn’t respond and I escalated it with Airbnb. They asked for a photo and although it doesn’t show damage it was taken the day I discovered the damage. They also asked for the receipt. The payout was approved.

It doesn’t come close to covering the costs which were between $50 and $200, the $200 being potential lost bookings. But this is the chance I take by hosting dogs. This is the second dog incident in 5 years. The first one the guest volunteered the information about the issue as well as payment which was done via PayPal.

This is my first claim for pet related damage but it appears that pet damage isn’t an automatic no. Maybe this is covered by the deposit rather than Airbnb’s host guarantee.

Now to write the guest’s “do not recommend” review…


I think you lucked out because you only charged $25 and because Guest didn’t actually decline. Glad to hear it though. Curious, why did you only charge $25? Even without including the lost income you certainly paid a lot more to get it cleaned, not to mention your time and effort. What was the professional cleaning fee that you had the receipt for? Why not charge AT LEAST that?

I think so too but wanted to share my experience in case anyone is in a similar situation. I expected a flat “no, we don’t cover pet damage” as my first and final answer.

  1. I was hoping the amount would be reasonable enough for the guest to just accept it. The total on the receipt was $81 for the Airbnb room and some area rugs in my part of the house.

  2. I get the carpet professionally cleaned annually anyway and it was time. So I figured I’d charge, in effect, a pro-rated charge. If I had just had it cleaned and this happened it would have been a different matter.

I’d like to think my being reasonable was both the right thing to do and resulted in a payment.


Huge props. Integrity is so hard to come by these days.


@KKC Do you have a Bissell “little green machine?” I am on my third one. Not that they wear out quickly but I’ve used them since my boys were toddlers. Now they’re exclusively for dog disasters as I have two senior pugs. If you don’t have one, it will be the best $90 you will ever spend. They do a spectacular job.

I don’t. I used to have a different machine and it was such a pain. I might consider one. Here’s the big con for Airbnb use: I can’t be reimbursed for cleaning it myself. I need a receipt from a pro.

I’m getting an estimate for tiling the room in the near future and my part of the home is all tile save for three area rugs.

I get that. I only have carpet in my two Airbnb rooms and hope to replace that with hardwood in the next couple of years. The LGM has saved me on furniture spills so many times. And friends who were overserved at happy hour. It can minimize damage till the pros can get there! And it’s super easy to use. Takes every bit of one minute to have it ready.

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I have an idea. Once doggie pees, other dogs like to pee there. What if you charged $100, and then rebated if doggie was a good boy?

Get a UV flashlight! Urine stains will glow under a UV light, so you can get pictures. If you allow dogs, you need one so that you can inspect after every guest. As others have said, even if you can’t smell it, other dogs will, and pee in the same spot.

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I have one.

I appreciate everyone’s input about dog pee. I actually know a lot about dog pee since I’ve had about 400 different dogs in my house over the last six years.

That’s why it’s time to get tile now. When I replaced the carpet in my home I vowed I’d never have it in my home again. This carpet was just in such good shape…sigh. Either the carpet or dogs will have to go now.

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I have one of those. I even leave it with liquid in it and instructions for guests on how to use it if there are any accidents. I don’t think anyone does but I’ve used it after spotting some suspicious wet looking patches on area rugs.

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And that is why we charge a pet fee!


Before our homeowners’ association banned dogs, I had many many guests with dogs of all sizes. Cats too. Two stand out in my mind - a guest who brought her three cats and another who travelled with four dogs. (Small ones but still.)

Maybe I was lucky but I never had an animal-related cleaning problem. Probably due to the fact that both apartments have no carpet, no rugs and are fully tiled,

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I spent half of today with a hot mess of a dog owner who instant booked, questioned my pet fee, asked for early check in and as a consequence of all that, was offered a refund to cancel. He showed up anyway and seemed really nice. He offered to pay me cash to watch his dog while he’s away tonight. Then drove away and messaged me that he wasn’t happy with the space. He requested a refund of the pet fee and one of the two nights booked. Because I’d already offered him a refund to cancel it was an okay deal for me.

Oh, he also said he’d been leaving his dog in the car in the shaded part of the hospital parking garage with the car running. Not cool and I hope someone notices the dog and calls him in.

When he returned to get his stuff he was very nice and again, apologetic. He then canceled and requested $75 of the $135 paid. I’d told him while he was here that if I could rebook the room I’d refund both nights. But after all that, I just accepted his request and sent him the $75. He owes me $60 for being a colossal PITA. He’ll probably give me a bad review too.

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I honestly don’t understand why hosts would accept pets, period. If you do, of course dogs will pee on your furniture and chew on your things, claw at your bedroom doors. This is whats dogs do. What if a guy travels with his tarantula pet and loses it in your house? (It actually happened to me at work, a guy had one in an aquarium on his desk and one day he lost it). I would not accept pets if you kill me. I don’t travel with my cats. I always find people to care for them. I have friends who put their dogs in kennel if they travel.
I mean there are people and people. Only last week the police discovered an alligator walking about in a suburb neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA and after investigation, they confiscated about 30 pets that were emaciated and poorly cared for from his house. What if this guy were your guest and he traveled with poisonous toads or lizards? He was not totally there, mentally, if you ask me. You can’t keep that many pets and neglect them in a suburban house! The alligator in question is on his way to a sanctuary in Florida, in case you wonder. But now, alligator is a pet and I would not want anyone showing up at my house with such a pet. With any pet!

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Some people prefer animals to people :slight_smile:

I’m not one of them but I’ve truly never had any real problems with hosting animals (in the days when we used to). Of course, our place is well suited to them - the floors are all tiled, the two sofas are pretty tough leather and because the apartments are small, there’s not really a lot for them to damage.

Like @KKC I provide some cheap throws that guests can put on the furniture/bed if the animal is going to get up - and they usually are.

I’ve found pet owner guests to be really careful too - the lady who came with her three cats brought her own bedding to use in case her cats jumped up on the bed

Mind you, I was rather puzzled after one couple with a dog had left and I found dog hair in the kitchen sink. That was a bit odd (thank goodness for lint rollers).

I liked it when we were able to have pet guests. I think that in many cases the (human) guests were relieved to find somewhere that would accommodate them. I used to have pet food bowls, dog or cat treats for them plus a little brochure about pet-friendly restaurants, coffee houses, beaches and parks locally. I enjoyed it.

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Isn’t that the truth?

And nothing I say would make you able to understand it. The great thing about Airbnb is that everyone can find one that suits them…in most cases.

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well, that’s wonderful that people who accept pets still exist! After a regular tenant damaged my house to the point i had to pay 15k to fix their damages, excuse me for not being more sympathetic towards people and pets.


The best policy is a no pets policy. You will loose the business of the travelers with pets, but you will gain the business of travelers who prefer a pet free environment. I have pets, but never travel with them. I cannot stand checking into a place that smells of cat and/or dog. Everybody’s pets are well behaved. Then all of sudden they chew up a chair leg or pee on a rug. The response is often, “wow, they never did that before”.

Not for me.

I’m pretty much fully booked and I don’t have to deal with picky people/people with allergies very often at all. As long time readers here know, my pet friendly listing has done exceptionally well.

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