Instant Book and pets

Hi all, I have my primary residence in metro Phoenix, in which I have a private room and bath available in my home for Airbnb guests for the past 4 years. With a few minor exceptions, my guests have been wonderful. The last 2 guests, not so much. Last week’s guest was sketchy. She was anxious to instant book. When she arrived that day, her eyes were glazed, and she would not give eye contact. Her speech was slurred and intelligible. She brought with her a non-disclosed pet. I contacted Airbnb about this guest, and the next day, the guest cut her stay short and checked out…problem solved.
The next guest attempted to instant book, and I offered her 2 days which was available before long term guests arrived. She did tell me she would be bringing dogs, but no other details, not even arrival time other than needing to check in ASAP. Since I work from my home office, I was outside when the guests and 2 large dogs arrived. Since the front door was unlocked, they walked right in and began dropping things off in the room. I was surprised to see them when I came back into the house. Her first comment was that I needed to move my dog, so they could bring theirs in. After dropping off 2 dogs and some luggage, they promptly left with the dogs in the room. The poor dogs barked, scratched at the door, and barked and howled whenever I walked by the room. I messaged her through the Airbnb messaging that I could not accommodate both themselves and the dogs. After spending the night (arriving late that evening), they cleaned up, took the dogs, and left. I did refund her for the unused day.
I’m not sure what is going on, other than the moratorium with evictions here in Phoenix was recently lifted and a number of people have been left homeless. As much as I want to help, I have turned off Instant Book and changed my settings to ‘minimum of 1-day advance notice’, and selected ‘no pets’ in the booking options. Has anyone else had a rash of sketchy guests and/or have any suggestions for controlling bookings without being biased?

Do you charge a pet fee? I allow pets but charge a $15 per night per pet fee. I get mostly one nighters passing through but I do discount for more than one night and usually for more than one pet. Airbnb doesn’t have a built in way to charge the pet fee so when they book you have to send a change request or payment request. Also put it in your rules that dogs can’t be left unattended without prior permission. I board dogs in my home so if someone needed dog day care I could provide it but they would have to pay.

Don’t let anyone in until they pay the fee. This can be tricky when they are same day requests and they want to arrive quickly but stand firm on your policy.

I use instant book.


I use instant book but our settings are a 3 night minimum and not allowing anyone to book last minute (w/in 14 days shows we are unavailable). We don’t get the “Hey, we’d love to stay at your house tomorrow!!” crowd that then books for 1 person but attempts to bring 12 :roll_eyes:


It seems like you’re actually open to pets, so it’s a shame to have to turn that on. I assume you have a pet fee or questions you need to ask about pets before accepting? The good thing is that since you have a shared space, you can even exclude the emotional support animals if you feel that you need to.

Unless you get a lot of bookings just 1 day in advance, you might want to make that at least 2 days. It gives you a chance to communicate a little more.

It definitely seems to be a theme that started not long after the pandemic started.

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No aquí mi amigo, no aquí…

Seems to be a US thing where you’re all getting shitty guests. Here in the depths of south west Spain we got no complaints, in fact its the inverse, guest quality gone up, albeit quantity has gone down!



I’ve noticed that, too. Most of the reports of horrid post-Covid guests on hosting forums seem to come from US hosts.


No decline in guests here at my US rental.


Send me some, now.



We haven’t had any issues, except that drunken raving nutbag that screwed up my birthday weekend. All’s well that ended with that one though … Hell hath no fury like this pissed off birthday girl :joy: But otherwise, everyone has been nice this year.

I will note - We have had a ton of elopements! Big weddings have been cancelled in favor of small “just the two of us” weekends and people have been booking us for an elopement and honeymoon. I love those :heart:


My guests have been about the same as usual. Most are fantastic, some underwhelming and there’s the occasional (harmless) pain in the butt. However, it seems a common complaint right now from some hosts about sketchy guests and perhaps my number just hasn’t come up yet. So, I’m not sure what to offer for that. Some hosts swear that raising your prices will help get better guests. I do keep my prices high, but I always have so I don’t have any evidence contrary.

I use Instant Book and also allow dogs. I have had an excellent experience so that I prefer guests with dogs. I can offer suggestions for that. It is going to be lengthy but it works.

Our top House Rules states that “dogs must be pre-approved prior to booking”. Most people do contact me prior booking, already demonstrating that they are good guests since they obviously read the house rules. Some people instant book and then tell me in their message that they are bringing a dog or dogs. I approach both types with the same questions about their dog(s) and how they “parent” their dogs. The best guests, which are most, will have already told me a lot about the dog in their first message and they get a free pass and don’t get any questions.

  1. How old is the dog: I don’t want young puppies staying because they are not reliable yet and I have expensive rugs. If it’s a really really old dog, I sometimes confirm that it’s still continent.
  2. What kind of dog is it: If it’s a chihuahua or another tiny dog, I follow up and ask if wee-pads are involved, because I don’t allow wee-pads, because dogs don’t keep it all on the pads and it’s also a sign of someone planning to leave the dog alone for too long. Dogs must go potty outside only. No exceptions.
  3. Has the dog traveled before or is being in a strange place going to be a new experience for it: I want to know if they’ve thought of this and how they are planning on mitigating it. I want to know if they are being responsible.
  4. Is the dog reliable to be left alone or will it be crated: again, I just want to know if they know the answer to the question and have a plan. Responsible dog owners have a good answer to this question.
  5. Sometimes I ask about it being barky or not but not always. Sometimes I use it as a follow up question if someone seems a little shifty but I still want to give them a chance.

People who contact me prior to booking, after answering the questions, are either sent a pre-approval or are told that they are welcome to stay but that we won’t be able to accommodate their dog. Sometimes they board the dog but they usually just disappear, understandably. It’s very rare that I don’t approve the dog(s) but some people disappear after I send them the questions and I think that those are the dogs that might not have been approved. And its easier than declining uncooperative people, so it helps all the way around.

People who Instant Book and then tell me that they are bringing a dog and I don’t feel comfortable with it and don’t approve it are told that they are welcome to come but that their dog can’t. If they don’t want to come without the dog then they need to cancel. And they will once you make it clear that the dog is not allowed. Even if they call Airbnb and say that the host should cancel, you point out to the guest and Airbnb that the House Rule is to have it “pre-approved prior to booking” and then the guest will cancel when Airbnb sees the House Rule.

The way I presented it probably makes it seem like a hassle, but it’s really just copy and paste and only takes a minute. It is much easier than dealing with people who don’t take responsibility for their dogs as its likely they don’t generally take responsibility. You don’t have to explain why you can’t accommodate the dog, you just say that you can’t and that’s that. And there’s no Acceptance Rate for dogs either.

Funny story, if you Instant Book on a Thursday morning for Saturday and tell me you’re bringing a dog without getting it approved and then don’t get back to me and my questions until late on Friday night and then you act like a complete ass…well then you have to cancel and you don’t get a refund. Only happened once but Airbnb completely supported me : )


I’ve had dogs off and on all my life and I had never heard of pee pads until I started reading hosting forums. Unless a dog is old and arthritic, or injured, so can’t really walk well enough to be taken out, they seem like a utterly bizarre and gross concept to me.

It’s like letting your child wear diapers until they’re 6 because you’re too lazy or clueless or have some erroneous idea that it’s best if they do it on their own when they’re ready, to potty train them.


I hadn’t either until a couple of years ago. A neighbour (the nutty one) got a little dog but I never, ever saw her take it out for a pee/walk. I mentioned this to another neighbour who told me about these pee pads. It was yet another of those only-in-America moments for me , although I suppose they have them in England too now? :slight_smile:

But yes, lazy.


Soooo lazy. The funny thing is that when guests want to bring a dog, they will boisterously proclaim, “he’s only 12 pounds” because they somehow think that hosts prefer smaller dogs (and some do but I believe it’s misguided). So, I never have to ask how big the dog is for these little ones as guests seem to think the small size is some sort of free pass.

And then when I follow up with, “do you use wee-pads?” They will proudly tell me that they do as if it’s some sort of perk for a host. But what it tells me is that they are too lazy to take their dogs out and they get a prompt message that they are welcome to stay but that we cannot accommodate the dog. Invariably they go in full circle by sending a reply that exclaims, “but he’s only 12 pounds”. :roll_eyes:


Yes, we do, for new style puppy training purposes. Waste of bloody money really; we always used old newspapers, and a separate bucket and mop with disinfectant. Accidents do happen with puppies!


I’ve always had big dogs and in general, I find small dogs to be less well-trained than large ones. One of the first things I taught my dog was not to jump up on people. Yet small dog owners think it’s fine for their fluff balls to jump up on people’s legs or jump into your lap when you sit down on the sofa- “Oh, he really likes you!”

A dog’s natural inclination is not to foul its own nest, as is the case with pretty much all animals, if given the choice. My dog won’t even pee in my yard- she trots off down the road or into a field behind my house. She had one “accident” on the outside terrace, the first day I had her, she was so thrilled to see me after I had been out all day, and never again.

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I’ve only had one dog that was supposed to be pee pad trained as a lifestyle matter. It was a Maltese mix and the owners were Quebecois. They didn’t present the fact with pride, they simply explained that when you have a two story house and the dog needs to go out in the middle of the night, it’s 4 degrees and there’s 8 inches of snow on the ground that pad training the dog makes sense. I’ve also had a couple of geriatric dogs that came with the pads but that was just a late stage accommodation for an increasingly incontinent dog.

In my home there is a doggy door and about 80% of the dogs small enough to go through it do, even if they have never used one before the other dogs train them quickly. It’s also usually mild temps with no snow. So I didn’t have to use the pee pads for that dog.

I do have dainty dogs that go out the door and relieve themselves on the covered patio which is dry.

What I haven’t had in the hundreds of dogs who have stayed here are the little foofy dogs with owners too lazy to take them out or train them. I wonder why?

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Weird- I’ve never had a dog that needed to go out in the middle of the night. If they got let out or walked right before my bedtime and again in the morning, that was sufficient.

I drove from where I live in Mexico to Canada one year and brought the dog (now I fly and leave her home with my housesitter). She was about 2 and had grown up here in the countryside where she is free to roam. She’s good on a leash, which I only use if I take her to town with me. So it never occurred to me that she was so accustomed to being private about her business that she wouldn’t relieve herself while on a leash. In spite of stopping every 2 or 3 hours while on my 8 day road trip and taking her for a 10 minute walk before continuing to drive, she refused to pee or poop while on the leash. So she just held it for the 8-10 hours of driving I did every day until I got to where we would spend the night and found a safe place to let her off-leash.

Once when there was a uncommon amount of snow on the ground on Vancouver Island when I lived there, ( mostly it just rains and the temps don’t normally stay so low that the occasional snow doesn’t melt within a day or two), I had shovelled a path to the woodshed and the snow was banked up to a meter-high on both sides of the walkway.

My cat, which didn’t use a litter box, but did her business outside, was let out, only to take a few steps, look at the wall of snow surrounding her and look up at me like, “Are you friggin’ serious? You expect me to go out in this? It’s a apocalypse!”

Ummm, no. All that says to me is lazy owners.

In a previous life, been there, done that, and both me and my (Heinz) dug had to thaw out for god knows how long.

Why on earth would you let an animal urinate and defecate in your house.

It’s a bit like me saying to my OH, I’m just going to have a shit in the kitchen because I can’t be arsed going to the toilet.



Oh goodness. Y’all have never had pugs!!! They are notorious for their pee/poo stubbornness. (Poop strikes we call them). They don’t like rain, snow, wind, wet grass, cold weather, hot weather… I have four here and it’s a circus for sure. They’re all rescues so I give them a break. I do have two fenced areas outside so they spend a lot of time in the yard but January and February really test my soul. Pee pads and diapers on the old guys. My guests are great though, if we have an accident about 99% of them will grab a poop bag or the ever present mop. And I’ve never gotten less than 5 stars on cleanliness so it’s quite a job.

Still sounds lazy and overly tolerant of letting an

We live on the 3rd floor now and there’s more than 8 inches of snow. Even in NY, where we lived in a 4th floor walkup and had to walk 1/2 a block to the park, we still took the dog out. She did get really sick once with a stomach virus during a snow storm and had to go a couple of times an hour but was too weak to do the stairs. We got some of those pads and but we couldn’t get her to use them, she would just shake and cry so my husband just carried her (90 lb dobie-mix) up and down until she was strong enough again. Crossfit, lol.

Our current dog is pretty fussy about sinking into the snow to go so my husband shovels a path out to her favorite tree tht she likes to go under. We call it the Princess Path to Pottyville :rofl: