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Licensed Pet After the Fact; Host has Allergies

A guest stated after I approved him that his guests had a licensed service dog. I clean my property and am allergic to dogs. How do I handle the booking!?!


Message the person and state that you have allergies and cannot accommodate them.
I don’t know if you can ask for proof of licensed service dog, but if this is an Emotional support animal with a “license,” you can cancel the booking. Ask the guest.

Now, for the negative:

  1. If you have allergies, your listing should state “No Pets” and the reason - Host is Allergic.
  2. Host is Allergic to animals should be in your House Rules and all over all your information
  3. Service animals are a tough decline if you haven’t made it clear in your listing that you’re allergic.
  4. If this is a home share, you’ll probably be able to cancel within 48 hours without penalty. If it’s not, then you may have issues with Air and the person with the service dog.
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My allergies are not stated, but will be in the future. Not a shared space. They are traveling from MA so I’m assuming they are flying. (I live in Chicago.) I probably will have to air it out and have someone deep clean the place after they leave. How will I know it’s truly a licensed animal?

We had someone in this situation a few years ago. They had a separate place and the daughter that sometimes helped to clean was severely allergic. Airbnb didn’t back them up.

Here’s Airbnb’s policy:


Because you don’t have it stated in your listing, and it isn’t a shared space, you won’t have an easy time trying to get it cancelled, and I wouldn’t even try, as it could easily result in Airbnb suspending your listing due to “discrimination”.

At least these people forewarned you instead of simply showing up with the dog, which if it’s really a service dog, they don’t actually have to disclose when booking.

Now what you need to do is look at that assistance animal policy KKC posted, and let the guests know the requirements for that- housebroken, never to be left alone, etc., and if you like, ask them the 2 questions you are allowed to ask.

Yes, you’ll have to get someone else to clean after they leave. I’d also explain about your allergies and provide them with some old sheets and towels to cover any furniture the dog gets up on, to mitigate the hair situation.


Here’s one way to reply - to remind them that as a service dog (or even an ESA) the dog can never be left alone in the space and must be with the owner at all times. If it’s a true service dog, then this is not an issue.

I would however tread very carefully, airbnb is very fussy about this. I would probably bite the bullet on this one and then list but as KKK said Airbnb may no back you up even with your allergies.


She might get a bit upset at being referred to as a white supremacist group :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

It’s KKC.


At least with Lynn I know it’s a typo. :rofl:


This is what I’m writing to the guest: Thank you for letting me know. I will make up a pallet for the service dog to lie on in the bedroom and living room and have some poop bags available on the doorknob leading to the backyard. We’ve also been having a bit of rain so I will also have towels available for you to dry and warm him/her up when you return from outside.

What do you think?

I think you should also remind them that they can’t leave the dog alone in the rental per Airbnb policy. It sounds like you just want to accommodate them and are not concerned with the additional costs incurred by having to pay someone else to clean?


If the dog is used to sleeping in bed with its owner, or on the sofa, it isn’t going to sleep or lie on a “pallet” (have no idea what you mean by that) on the floor.

As KKC said, your first communication about the dog should be reiterating the rules for service animals. After that, if they indicate they agree to abide by that, don’t make presumptions like making a bed for the dog. If they are driving, they will likely have the dog’s needs covered themselves, with food and water bowls, and the dog’s bed if it sleeps on one.

If they are not driving, you could ask if they need some appropriate dog bowls (so they don’t use your good dishes or crockery for this), and as I said before, leave some clean but not valued sheets and towels to use for the dog.

The poop bags are a good idea- tell them where you would like them to put the used ones.

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I am concerned but what else can I do w/o discriminating? I will revise it and include the other suggested verbiage! Thanks everyone!

I’ve been looking for rules i.e., no sleeping in bed, picking up poop, etc. Is there a list of rules?

Those are not the rules we are referring to. The rules you need to reiterate to them are the Airbnb ones for service animals. Read the Assistance Animal policy that KKC posted.

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The fact that they told you it was licensed guarantees that this is an emotional support animal and not a service animal. However, if you read the link @KKC posted, you can see that Airbnb doesn’t distinguish between the two types and groups them together as “Assistance Animals”

Unfortunately, too many entitled pet owners use this as a way to travel with a pet and stay in no-pet accommodations and/or not pay pet fees, and these animals, whether they are genuine emotional support animals or not, are rarely trained beyond a that of a typical pet and they will almost certainly be laying and sleeping on your furniture and beds.


:face_with_symbols_over_mouth: Well, won’t get my best linen!!!


Perhaps it is an emotional support animal ( which really shouldn’t be allowed - I wish Airbnb would follow the law, not make up its own rules). More likely, it is a fraudulent service dog - I’ve run into a few of these now.

Personally, I would ask some questions: licensed by whom (no such thing for service dogs), and did you mean service dog. When I’ve pointed out that I train service dogs, I welcome service dogs but report frauds ( penalties, if any, vary by state). As of yet, I’ve had no takers after asking a few questions.


Sorry that’s not true Airbnb include emotional support animals under their service animal policy .

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Can you get someone else in to clean the property after these guests .

You are entitled to ask the guest what tasks the service animal helps with and make it clear as it’s a service animal the dog must be with the owner at all times and therefore can’t be left in the listing alone .

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I fortunately have a home share so Airbnb let me forbid all dogs based on my dog allergy. My understanding is that they don’t make allowances with spaces that are not shared even though many owners need to clean them. I think it is also unfortunate because many guests search for pet free places due to their own allergies. If someone is severely allergic it is tough, and sometimes expensive, to remove every trace of an animal before the next stay. Guests have yet to test me on bringing a service animal that is not a dog.

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