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Guest left her dog unsupervised in my cottage for 15 hours


LOL. At least none of my human guests have bitten me.


@CatskillsGrrl What did the cleaner report?


@K9KarmaCasa The cleaner went over every inch of floor with a UV flashlight (the first of MANY things I learned from you) and found nothing. She checked all the pillows and shoes and all the usual things dogs chew and again, nothing.

I was very lucky, but I stand by my decision and actions.


Yay! Good news.

As you should. Your house, your rules.


How do people usually travel
With dogs ? Are they allowed to leave them at the rented space or not. Only once I let people stay with a dog as it was hurricane and I wanted to be a Good Samaritan. I asked them
Not to leave their big puppy alone but they did anyway and puppy chewed my curtain😀.
I love dogs and had one myself , he was our baby and slept with us and we were crashed when he was gone, I would never let him stay
By himself in someone’s house . I didn’t allow dogs until this couple and I won’t allow it again. I had another family staying who brought a small dog without my knowledge and she ate a remote control.


@Como thank you for chiming in. And Yes, that was exactly the mistake I made. I normally make that assumption. What did Regan say? “Trust, but verify.” Our interactions had been so warm I let my guard way down.


Yet :slight_smile:


I can understand your annoyance. I always try to tell guests, on booking, that I don’t want dogs left on their own and recommend some doggy day-care. The answer is always that their dog is well behaved, used to being left on its own etc etc. However, I don’t want to collude with any anxiety that the dog might have with this arrangement or to risk annoying my neighbours if the dog is a barker. And it’ funny - the well behaved, small dog, ends up being a great, hairy monster that seems to be allowed to sleep on the sofa! I like dogs, but I don’t want to have to worry about their welfare.


@CatskillsGrrl I appreciate being able to read this and also the details that you provided. You may have already addressed this in the comments as a possible solution, but if this were to ever happen again, God forbid, perhaps you can have a list of emergency pet sitters that you can call and have them come over to pet sit and make sure you get a receipt, and then submit the receipt through the resolution center with Airbnb and request that the guests pay for the pet sitting. You can also charge for any other expenses incurred, including possibly your time for having to deal with this, however much you are paying yourself an hour to run your Airbnb business. I have had various events where I feel as you do, that things are spinning out of control and a guest is not being upfront with things, no matter how nice they are acting. I just went through this New Year’s but not with an Airbnb booking, this was through my own website. The guest could not have been nicer from the original booking on, but one sneaky thing after another occurred and was uncovered, and I think the only reason the house wasn’t destroyed or burned to the ground from (illegal) mortar fireworks was because we live on the property and were able to manage things before they got out of hand. It was very upsetting, and it makes me wonder what on Earth people are thinking when they rent someone’s home and then treat it with such disrespect. As a dog owner, it is absolutely unacceptable to leave a dog unsupervised that long in a new environment or even in a familiar one. Anyway, I applaud you for how you handled it and ignore anyone here who says otherwise. Some people rent out places that maybe they don’t care about that much, others of us are renting out our homes, and that is very personal.


Very good advice. I think Cats should not have to source pet sitters and do the work of the guest for them. Just easier not to accept pets?

I’ve had clueless guests but only one or two who were openly disrespectful.


I used to accept pets but decided not to any longer. Too many unknowns,
even with a signed pet addendum and pet fee. There are already enough
unknowns with the human guests!


I don’t anticipate changing my pet policy, but I am happy to keep a few names of pet boarding places on hand. I am not in an urban or suburban area, so it isn’t as easy to find a pet sitting as one might think. Lots of kennels, not so many licensed and vetted pet sitters. Honestly, in six years of hosting it has never come up before, because folks have shown good sense AND – even if it is not out of concern for my home - an unwillingness to leave the dog alone in a strange environment for very long.

As my cleaning lady can attest, kids are far worse on the place than pets. I would like to add a surcharge for kids under 8, but I can’t.


As an antidote to this story…I just had guests here two nights with 3 dogs. They took the dogs with them in their vehicle most of the time but they had funeral related activities last night. They booked and paid me a generous amount through Rover to watch their dogs for the 4 hours they were away. And when she returned she tipped me $40 and insisted I keep it. Frankly I think the dogs would have been fine in the room alone and if I’d heard anything like barking or scratching I could have gone in the room and intervened but they are responsible pet owners who wanted to make sure all was well.

Yes, I went out of my way for this couple in more ways than one (that I’m not going to post about here) but they appreciated it and it showed. They and their dogs were wonderful.


Easy fix, don’t allow pets! Use as a take away and update your listing to add no pets or guidelines for your house manual to limit amount of unsupervised hours.


As I said above in at least a couple responses, I will continue to allow pets because that is an important factor in my market and a large part of my returning, perennial customer base.


I was a landlord in a vet college town and always had tenants who loved and respected their pets.

I am certain that a lot more of us would accommodate pets if the owners respected us and their pets. Owners need to have specific plans for their pets, as well. I really don’t mind a pre-arranged babysit of a friendly pet, but I will not allow a pet to be traumatized.


My first Airbnb Instant Book since the unsupervised dog lady and it said:

My husband and I (from Northern Va) are meeting my nephew and his wife (from Boston) to a weekend of skiing in the Catskills. Your place looks perfect for us. We will be bringing our two dogs. They are well behaved Australian Shepherds. I hope your place is available.

Why? Why, why, why, why bring your dogs when you plan on skiing all weekend? Are you just too cheap to board and think that leaving the animals alone all day in my house in the cheaper option?

I responded and asked if they were comfortable with my rule about NOT leaving the animals alone in the house for longer than 3-4 hours and they did not respond. I called Airbnb and asked if I could cancel them without penalty and they agreed. I would have done it anyway. (The Air rep, however, took a LONG time to read my rules before she agreed.)

I have a HomeAway family coming in February who plan on skiiing, but they made the effort to let me know that the non-skiing wife will be staying at the house to be with their dog. I appreciated that very much.


Just an idea, don’t know if it’s economically feasible or temperature wise acceptable: Would it be an idea to construct an outdoor dog kennel? Something like this… In my home country it’s very widely accepted to leave dogs in these kinds of things for several hours.


Aww, thank you, @GutHend! It is indeed a fabulous looking kennel, but it is not the American way, nor mine. Honestly, I don’t mind folks leaving the pets alone for a few hours - assuming they have booked in good faith, knowing what their pet is comfortable with. But day trips to Manhattan, ski trips which I assume means a day-pass. No. Just no. Leave your pet at home.


Out of curiosity, is this a rhetorical question where your answer is right, or do you actually want to know why someone would bring their dogs with them on vacation?

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