Guest refused to stay because of my pets

Guest and partner booked to stay for two nights (Sunday/Monday just gone) a few weeks ago. Didn’t reply to my ‘thank you for booking’ message or my ‘here’s how to find your room, check in and please let me know what time you plan to arrive’ message for a week. Finally replied the night before check in, I let her know I might not be here when she checked in but she had access and I would see her later that evening or the next morning. 7pm that night I received a message from her (I was out at a function) saying that although my property was lovely, she wouldn’t be staying as her partner was allergic to dogs and they were going to stay elsewhere. I thought ‘oh well, it’s clearly mentioned and photographed in my listing so I get a ‘freebie’ so to speak’. Next morning AirBnB phone to say she has complained and they are refunding her and not paying me. They said the dogs weren’t mentioned in my listing. They are and always have been, under ‘The Space’, Things to Note’ and ‘Photos’ PLUS when I messaged her to tell her how to check in, I said ‘my dogs will come out to greet you but they’re harmless’ (cocker spaniels). AirBnB said she had no idea there were dogs on the property. AirBnB is currently my only income source so I’m possibly feeling it more than I normally would but it just doesn’t feel fair. I don’t want to come across as a crazy dog lady in my listing but I don’t know how much clearer I can make it that my guests will encounter my two pooches either. My other guests rave about how lovely and funny my pets are and they are usually quite a selling point (some guests even take them out and threaten to take them when they leave).
I have since messaged my future bookings saying ‘please confirm you know I have dogs on the property’.
All advice welcome, TIA!

That is wrong on behalf of airbnb to refund. I also mention our pets and have photos included. Maybe you should put it right at the start. One of our properties has a harmless python which I mention also, even though it is not a pet but wild.


Or maybe take a new profile picture with myself AND the dogs?

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Poor service from Airbnb - what did they say when you pointed out the multiple places that the dogs were mentioned?


Ring and make a complaint to Air - if it’s in your listing them why should you suffer


This is very strange that you have all these mentions of dogs and Air told you that its not mentioned in your lisitngs.
Its not only your guests did not see it, which doesnt surprise me, but Airbnb people also???!!. The fact that your guest had no idea about dogs does not matter at all if you communicated it with her. If they can read in your correspondence and if there are pictures, (though i have a picture of my dog too, but my puppy is not with us anymore and noone ever asks), then it should not matter if she paid attention. Its there.

I would not give up and call agaain, and write a letter, Its not right.


Suze- Do call again. Airbnb CS is inconsistent at best. Very nice folks often but not always clear on the rules. See the post about the prostitute. I do believe you’ll get satisfaction if you push this up the chain.

Good luck and let us know what happens!


Well, with Airbnb adding more checkboxes and things all the times, it might be that you never updated the listing to “officially” add the pets - even though they are showing up everywhere all over your listing.
However, common sense seems to no longer apply … neither to guests nor customer service reps.
So, go to your listing, check amenities and special features. Check the appropriate boxes for any animals you have.
And by all means go back to the resolution center and point out what is obvious. You might want to mention that your listing has been up for x years before they even came up with the checkboxes and you never got an email from them etc etc .


I own a dog and love animals. However, those who don’t have pets may not understand that when you mention that you have dogs in the property that the dogs will be interacting with guests and be hanging out in “common areas”. Those who are not pet owners may think that the dogs are in your place but somehow locked away in a separate space. Therefore, you need to be clear not only that you have dogs but that the dogs will be accessing the same areas as the guests will be using when they are staying at your place. Look, I’ve had friends who came over our home knowing we have a dog, yet they somehow expected that the dog would not be around when they are visiting us.

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@dcmooney I agree with you, @suzehamling should call CS again. That seems very unfair that she should be penalized when it is clearly stated she has dogs!


They said I had updated my listing AFTER this particular guest had booked. Which just isn’t true. My general feeling is that they didn’t really look into the whole story - just went with a ‘customer is always right’ attitude. To be honest, I am currently letting this room out very cheaply (NZD$70 per night) as it doesn’t have its own bathroom so it would’t be worth the time following this up (now that my property is teeming with builders putting a bathroom in!). And when Air called, they gave me the distinct impression this was a closed case. The best outcome for me is make sure this doesn’t happen again - or to anyone else!

Don’t let them walk over you on this one. If you disclosed this in your listing to the extent to which you say, all of the leverage is in your court.

You simply can’t force a guest to read the whole listing. Their declination to do due diligence in reading the full listing is not your responsibility.


As a point of principle I wouldn’t let this go. Basically they are saying that you are lying and I really think you should challenge that, even setting the money issue aside.


I have written to plead my case, watch this space. Thank you so much to everyone who replied, really appreciate the support and this forum in general.


You need to ring they will never reply to your emails regarding this

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1-415-800-5959 in the US

She’s in New Zealand so would use the nz or Australian number

Ah, right. Well if she can’t find it on the website, as they have those numbers buried, she can call the US number and get it. Thanks.

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Hi suzehamling,

I’m sorry to hear that Airbnb didn’t support you. We had a similar experience; Airbnb let us keep the full payment and they refunded the guest. We have gone to ever greater lengths to make sure that potential guests know that we have large dogs. At first, we had the Pet Owner Dog(s) box checked and a picture of them in the scroll through pictures. We had a guest who was uncomfortable with dogs because of his religion. We added a picture of the dogs that shows when you open our listing. We had another guest who was uncomfortable with dogs because of his religion. We added this to Other Things To Note:

Our two large dogs are very friendly. We are willing to keep them out of the guest room, but they have access to the rest of the house. If you are a dog lover you will have a great time here. If you are uncomfortable with large dogs this listing is not for you.

Now, most of our guests tell us that we’ve made it very clear that we have dogs.

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Hi @EllenN, thanks for that. I have taken those steps also and have checked with my latest two check-ins who said I make it very clear on my listing about the dogs. The good news is that I gained Superhost status today (must be doing something right, ha ha!) so I will jump on the phone (to the NZ number thank you @Kirsty_Jane) ASAP! Thanks all