Renting to dog owners. Your thoughts?

Hello forum users.

I’d love to gather feedback on allowing dogs. Do you? Have you?

Good experiences? Bad?
Tips? Hard earned lessons?
Any size or breed restrictions? If yes, why?

Thank you in advance for your replies!

I have been allowing dogs for the past 6 years. I am in a South Carolina beach area and I was getting a lot of requests so I decided to give it a try.

I screen out aggressive and shedder breeds and puppies. I allow up to 2 dogs and charge $20 per dog per night. I do sometimes discount that. I also charge a $400 “good care” deposit against damage or excessive cleaning (and I have used it). Luckily, when I had re-carpeted I bought commercial wall to wall and it is fairly bullet proof. I keep a bottle of pet stain treatment under the sink and I tell them to use it. I also rent one of those rug cleaning machines from the hardware store twice a year. I also require them to be on some sort of flea/tick treatment. I think I charge a high enough rent plus the pet fee and damage deposit to discourage the less responsible pet owners.

I would not recommend allowing dogs if you have high end floor coverings or a really high end place in general.

I am in a very competitive market for high season and generally few of my competitors allow dogs so that gives me a little edge in low season as well. In 2015 the pet fees were equal to an extra weekly high season rental.

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Thanks KIKC. How do you know if a dog is aggressive or a shredder? Do you ask for pet resume, etc?

I have hardwood floors and washable carpets, so I don’t worry too much. I also provide fleecies to put on the furniture if a dog is allowed to sit on furniture usually. It’s rare that I have any problems with pets, but not being carpeted is probably why.

Btw, how do you add the charge for pets? I can’t a way to do that on the system.

You can google for aggressive or shedding breeds.

On Airbnb if you have a pet fee you should prominently mention it both in the description and in the house rules. Depending on when you find out about it, you can alter the quote, special offer it or amend the price. On all the sites I use, when it comes to my pet fee, it is always about “the workaround”.

Yes, Google is full of great articles that point out that a dog’s behavior is a function of personality, circumstances and management. No such thing as a bad breed. My thought was to restrict small dogs (the horrible high pitched barking) but I really don’t want to discriminate.

Hmm. I guess I need to do more thinking on how to make this work for everyone. Thanks for the feedback.

I don’t allow pets anymore because its very hard to remove pet hair from my linens and blankets. Soooo tedious to pull hairs out that won’t wash out.


What other sites do you use? apart from Airbnb of course …

I currently use HomeAway and VRBO on subscription (they also have pay per booking). I added Airbnb about 7 months ago. I am considering, another subscription site.

I don’t allow dogs for the same reason I don’t allow kids: it’s inviting so much more risk without really much benefit. Then again, I live in a townhouse in a very urban area, where it’s not practical to house dogs, and the room-renting is really just a hobby/vacation money thing for me…not a full time gig, so I can afford to be picky. I realize not everyone can.


I’ve thought about hosting dogs with a pet fee to increase my bookings and make more money. I have a fenced backyard in an urban environment, so I see that appealing to dog owners. However, I also have backyard chickens and don’t really trust owners to keep their dogs from taking a bite. I also don’t know if the profit would be enough to outweigh the extra wear and tear on the house, as I imagine my laminate floors and furniture would have to be replaced sooner.

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We say no dogs but often get asked and have accepted them. We also have two dogs, a cat, chooks as well as sheep at our farm. I think I will add a pet fee. Having experienced it once on new years day when the guests left the dog tied up and it howled and cried for hours I know say they can not leave the dog unattended at home. has worked since. I always warn the guests about our animals and so far no dead chooks or sheep.

My sister is a dog owner and after seeing how her dogs behave at vacation rentals (and her attitude about it) I will never allow pets in my rental. She contacts people and explicitly states that her dogs are well behaved and housetrained when this is absolutely not the case. Both times I’ve stayed at a rental with her dogs, they urinated and pooped in the house. She lets them up on the bedding and the furniture.

I think many pet owners and pets are great but there is no way to weed out those who are lying and disrespectful. If you do rent to pets, I think you have to assume that accidents will happen (even well trained pets can be unpredictable or territorial when sleeping at a new place).


Absolutely not. I wouldn’t be confident that my next, non-dog-owning guests wouldn’t be troubled by lingering smells, or have allergies triggered by traces of hair/skin/saliva/dander (and I’m an obsessive cleaner!).
As a previous contributor noted, some owners - not all of course - have a very different view as to what ‘well behaved’ looks like and are unaware of the issues faced by the non-doggy folk who share the space or who follow on to clean, or stay as next guests. So sorry, it’s a big no from me as a host, and as a guest I don’t want to stay in a place that has had dogs in the space.

It only takes one nervous dog left alone in an unfamiliar place to cause you to need to replace carpet and furniture items.

While there is a good market for folks who want to travel with pets, I’ve also noticed a number of people who are looking for places that don’t accept them because of allergies, etc. So, you win some in either direction.

I’ve allowed dogs for 3 years and have had no problems. I do get the pet owners cell phone, in case they leave the dog alone and they start barking. Only needed that once. I also do not charge a pet fee as I find that to be “nickeling and dimming” and in the big picture I rather have the owner back, paying me $150. After all it’s the guest we seek to impress. That’s worked well for us with several referrals. We also ask guest to bring “Fidos” bedding, so far, so good.

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I agre with jackulus. We won’t allow a dogs anywhere near our cabana, even though it has tile floors with throw rugs. We get more non-dog owners that owners, but all it takes to ruin you ‘rep’ is to have non-dog folks complaining about doggy odors.

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Thanks for all the responses. We ended up deciding to allow select dogs with references (pet resumes are great!) and it’s been going well. We ask a few questions to help us know if their dogs are house and crate trained and we have dogs beds, bowls, poop bags and a wire crate available. People who do a good job (everybody so far) get good reviews, so if you allow dogs, remember to indicate how they did so other hosts can make informed decisions.

I should add that my husband and I have stayed in several airbnb places that allowed our dog (thank you hosts!) so I was somewhat leaning in that direction. It’s been a great experience. Dog owners are always so grateful to have spaces that welcome them, so I’m glad we’re participating this way.


2 days ago I had some guests turn up with a dog the size of a calf.

They never mentioned when booking, and were surprised they have to pay extra for the dog.
They are first time AirBnB users, and I explained them that normally guests mention it when booking.

It would never cross my mind to take a cattle size pet with me, without mentioning it. (Even though pets are allowed)