Hosting, pets, and new work schedule

Hello everyone,

I have not posted in awhile (not since I had the broken toilet while a guest was here, turned out to just be the flapper, but I knew nothing about plumbing and still don’t). I have not had any disasters since that happened!

Now I have a new challenge: hosting while I have a full time job. I’m starting a new job tomorrow. I will be working at an office in April and May, then in the summer I’ll be home (off - job follows a school year calendar), then beginning in August I should be out of my home office full time. So, I’m looking at a period of 2 months of working outside the home.

The issue I am concerned about here is my dog. Guests always love him - he’s fully housebroken and potty trained and super mellow. Rarely barks.

I’ve freelanced since I got him 1.5 years ago so he is used to me being home with him and being let out every few hours. He does not need to be crated when I leave usually, either. I don’t even have a crate for him because when I first got him I quickly found he didn’t need it.

However I am worried with being gone a bit over 8 hours a day for these two months that he will potty in the house, at least a couple times, while he gets used to my new schedule. My check-in time for guests is about an hour before I will be home from work (I have a lock box for guests getting here if I’m not). I don’t want guests to get here and find pee or poop as a first impression.

I need to honor the reservations already made for April and May before I knew I was going to get an offer for this position, but I’ve blocked off from taking others until I have a solution for this.

Things I CANNOT do:

  • Have a spouse/boyfriend/family member let the dog out for me while I’m at work (no family in the area and I’m single)

  • Ask a neighbor or friend to let the dog out (they all work full time as well)

  • Hire a dog walker or doggy day care (cost prohibitive - I’d spend close to what I charge guests per night on this option per day for the dog, and I can’t increase my price because I have a shared bath and no extra amenities really to justify that) - but for the reservations I do have that I need to honor, I may just have to eat this cost and not making any profits in April and May, to ensure that the dog isn’t a nuisance for guests while I am at work. I’m fine with this.

  • Leave work at lunch time to let him out - they told me the staff usually all eats together, and at least early on I want to join them until I get a feel for whether I can slip out at lunch to do this

  • I could possibly confine my dog to a room (instead of crating) that has the door closed, but then my concern is that if guests arrive while he is in there he will bark nonstop from hearing people and wanting to be let out of the room. I don’t want barking to negatively impact the guest experience either.

I know many people with pets work full time and leave them at home so I may be overthinking but I really am worried about guests finding an accident if they get here before I get home to clean it up.

This all will only be temporary for April and May like I said, then I’ll be home most of the time again all summer, and then should be home based following that. Just don’t want people leaving reviews about potential dog messes, even if they are rare, while I adjust to my new job.

Again, my dog is fully housebroken, please don’t comment and say he’s not if he can’t hold it while I’m at work. He is a bichon frise so a small breed and therefore a tiny bladder and even as a human I have to pee every four hours. :slight_smile: I’ve freelanced from home since getting him so I’ve never been gone more than a few hours at a time but that is all changing this week, temporarily, for the next 2 months.

Should I message guests with upcoming reservations to give them a heads up about all this? :confused: I feel like I should.

There are some true dog folks on this board who will no doubt have brilliant ideas. Mine is just simple. Starting now, before you start the job, start to leave the house during the day for increasingly long amounts of time. Find a cafe that you can do your work in. The dog will need to get used to being alone, which some dogs really don’t like, and holding its pee for longer periods of time. Perhaps a slow training to get to this level of separation would help both of you?


Thanks! I am starting the job tomorrow. I don’t have any reservations until Thursday next week, because I am traveling for my first three days on the job to work out of another office, because no one will be in my local office until the end of the week. My dog is staying at a lady I like to board him with from DogVacay. :slight_smile:

Many humans can hold it through the night, but not through the day. This is because neither humans nor dogs eat and drink while they are sleeping. No dog should be left for over eight hours without being able to relieve himself/herself. If you truly can’t afford day care or find anyone who you could trade some favor for letting your dog out, you should put pee pads in your bathroom and train your dog to use them.

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I can’t put the pee pads in my bathroom. I have a shared bath with guests…lol. Otherwise that would be a fab idea. I could put them somewhere else though.

But, given that this is a temporary situation (only 2 months working out of the home, then summer off, then home-based starting in August) I am thinking the best course of action is: block further weekday reservations in April/May, give current reservations the option to cancel, and for the non-cancelled reservations, bring him to day care to avoid messes on check-in. Then on other days once I get a feel for office culture, run home at lunch to let him out regardless of if I have a guest or not.

Dogs, like humans, can develop health problems as a result of holding in their pee all day. If you have a fenced in back yard, why don’t you install a dog door?


Please forgive me if I sound impatient here:

  1. I actually don’t have anywhere to install a dog door. I have a front door and a side door. The front door does not go to a fenced in area. The side door does, but it’s antique and I don’t want to put a dog door in it (plus there is a storm door as well, so I’d have to remove the storm door).

  2. If you read my OP and subsequent replies at all, I’ve indicated that I’ll only be working out of the home in April and May. Two months. Then I’m off all summer, and then come August I will be home-based in my home office. A dog door over 2 months is a permanent fix to a temporary problem.

  3. Again, if you read my OP at all - I said I am willing to pay for daycare for him, though costs would be a wash with what I earn hosting at that time in April and May. I am 99% at a yes for doing this while I am working out of the home.

I appreciate your concern, but it is pretty obvious that you are not taking time to read (and understand) what I have already written here.

I did read what you wrote. I believe that it is cruel to leave a dog, especially a small one, inside with no pee pad for over eight hours for even one day.

I have a Maltese which is a breed smaller than a bichon but in the same family, and have had to leave her for long stretches… and I just won’t give her the only option of holding it. I have what they call a potty patch which is a small square of artificial turf over a small tray that you can clean. I know I will get scolding from K9 for having this in the house, as many dog people tell me you should not have anything that allows or encourages them to pee in the house. I keep it in the bathroom but I know you said something like that is not an option.

Now I know you mentioned the baby gate. I have these as well. I like k9’s idea of gating off your bedroom, maybe leaving the potty patch in there.

Other options may also include,

Calling Air and asking for the reservations for April and may to be canceled with no penalty due to extenuating (you secured employment).

Using that doggy daycare you mentioned just for those two months. Suck it up only because you have to look at this as an expense because you have those Air commitments.

Much cheaper than doggy day care would be paying someone to come in around midday and letting the dog out to the toilet and giving him a few pats. Have you contacted your local dog walkers? Most of them probably offer this service

I’d transition the dog outdoors since you mention the weather isn’t bad. Many cultures couldn’t imagine having a dog roam inside the house, and their furry pets are perfectly happy and well-adjusted living outside. This doesn’t have to be your solution, but I always scratch my head when people mention that “it’s cruel” to keep a dog outside. That’s where 99.9% of the animal population lives, after all… and while humans have bred dogs as companion animals, their perk is that even outside, they get a nicely fenced area, food, and shelter.

Anyway, why not give it a shot by leaving your dog outside for longer stints at a time? Make a nice sheltered space, get a dog house, whatever… but see if your dog can adapt?

Limit or even remove his water and food while you’re away and provide lots in the evening right up to bedtime. Get him to empty his bladder and do his other business at least a couple of times before you leave the house in the morning. Leave a pee pad near the exit he usually goes out, just in case. But ideally you need someone able to look in, and for emergencies.

It is cruel to keep a dog outside all the time. What they want most in life is the companionship of humans. Dogs prefer the company of humans to the company of other dogs. Leaving them outside is consigning them to a life of constant loneliness. Also, dogs that are unsocialized are the most likely to bite. I don’t care what other cultures think of keeping animals inside. People who find the idea of keeping dogs and cats indoors offensive shouldn’t be pet owners.

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I object to what is said above…
NEVER remove water from a dog. All dogs should have fresh drinking water at all times.
Also, I think it is dangerous to leave a maltese outside. It will be stolen.

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It’s a bichon. I don’t think leaving him outside was one of the options the OP gave.

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I am sorry allow me to correct myself please, and write more clearly - CORRECTION =
I think it is dangerous to leave a small dog, like a Bichon or a maltese outside. It COULD be stolen.
Also, although Nancy_in_TO, above, suggested to remove the water, it is my firm belief that an owner should NEVER remove water from a dog. All dogs should have fresh drinking water at all times.


I agree. I’m not sure where that comment was coming from. Depriving a dog of water to keep it from peeing is inhumane.



I apologize for going MIA from the thread. I started my new job on Monday and had to go out of town Sunday-Wednesday for it.

Unfortunately while my dog was at the sitters during that, he was attacked by another dog. He received emergency treatment while at the sitters and I am now home (though I still need to be at work at the local office, so I went today and will go in tomorrow).

I feel AWFUL because I truly have no one to help me look after him while he recovers from those injuries, and then I also had a guest arrive today, and I feel like I messaged him a ton about my dog (just about the new work schedule/potty situation at first) and then again with a heads up about him being in rough shape due to the attack and an apology if some blood from the drain got on my floors, though I of course will clean up behind it and make sure things are as spotless as possible. This guest didn’t give me an arrival time, and I had to follow up with our normal vet, and of course the guest got here as I was getting ready to walk out the door to the vet, so I just feel really bad because I gave him a rushed house tour and etc. (I messaged him this morning yet again to tell him I had this vet appointment and would leave the key in the lock box - he never responded).

I really wish I could cancel upcoming reservations for the next week or so due to the fact that my dog is recovering and it’s just too much chaos for me right now with the new job. IDK if Air will side with me on the necessity of it. What are your thoughts?

I’m very, very sorry to hear that your dog suffered an attack from another dog. I hope your dog heals quickly and completely. If I were you, I would call Airbnb to ask if this is considered an extenuating circumstance. If you get a reasonable customer service representative, particularly a pet owner, I think they will allow you to cancel your upcoming reservations.

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Thank you. The only reason I didn’t call Air to cancel today’s was that I planned ahead, and had the guest room/house cleaned on Sunday prior to when I left, knowing that I’d have an arrival the day after returning from the business trip. But I am exhausted after driving home last night, looking after the dog, going through training at my new job…etc.

I will call them tonight and see what they say.