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Service dog damage?

Hey there,
We specifically do not allow pets in our rental, but we were just told by guests that they are bringing a small service dog. This is the first time we have encountered this situation so I laid out a few simple requests (don’t leave the dog unattended, cleanup up after, don’t have on the furniture/bed, etc) but I’m nervous :grimacing: We have new rugs and it’s a newly renovated property

They’re checking out Monday and I’m just wondering if there are any pet damages or urine stains… how best to deal with it/be compensated (being a service dog and all) and not wanting a negative review as retribution. Thank you!

Airbnb policy is that service dogs can’t be left unattended in the rental. Make sure they know that before arrival so have it in the message thread. That said, I allow pets and only a small percentage have had any issue, maybe 2%. If there is damage ask them to pay but don’t expect anything from Airbnb.


@kkc Gotcha. So you recommend first asking the guests for compensation (if there are any damages from the dog) even if they haven’t written a review yet?

@HudsonNY Read the Airbnb policy on service animals. There are a couple of questions you are allowed to ask the guest and in addition to not being able to leave the animal alone, they must be housebroken and I think one other thing I can’t remember offhand. Make sure your guest is clear on this.

If it’s really a service dog, you shouldn’t have an issue with damages, service dogs don’t do things like that. If you find evidence of urine, defecation, anything chewed up, the guests were lying, it isn’t a service dog.

They still might shed, of course, so expect some extra cleaning re dog hair.


Take very good BEFORE pictures, time stamped, prior to guest arrival, especially the carpeting, so should there be any damage you have documentation for any dispute.


If you’re thinking about Airbnb compensating, they won’t.

We can no longer accept dogs (as per our HOA) but we used to for years and I don’t remember there ever being extra cleaning or damage. Dog hairs yes, and some of it in the most extraordinary places (kitchen sink?), but never required more than an extra 30 minutes or so clean up. That’s tolerable every so often.

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I don’t allow myself to be held hostage to reviews and I have enough good ones to more than offset one vengeful one. So I’m not the best to ask. There are others here who are more adept at the review game than I. But remember they will get a review from you as well.


@KKC our Airbnb is still pretty new since we just finished reno this summer, so we def feel that pressure to not rock the boat :sob:

Thanks everyone for your valuable ideas!!


Yeah, we expect some extra fur cleanup and you’d be surprised at how much some guests shed too :rofl: I’m mostly worried about stains on new rugs.


I’m betting most of us wouldn’t be surprised at all. :grinning:


Hosts shed as well. I can personally attest to that.


I know you live in a cold climate but if you can take any of the rugs up you might do so with future service dog bookings.

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As @KKC says, the best option is to remove the rugs. Tell the guests when they arrive that you’ve done it so they ‘won’t have to worry’ about the dog (so as though you’re doing them a favour).

I supply two throws when we have pet guests to go on the sofas. I point them out to the guests saying “I’m sure that your lovely boy doesn’t go on the furniture at home but sometimes they can get excited in a new place so just in case…”


Had a service dog stay, but they didn’t bother to ask or inform me. I have a team of cleaners and the one who worked with me ended up with a major allergy attack.
The amount of labrador hair was utterly ridiculous. There were DRIFTS! Had to get all the rugs cleaned immediately after and the fur haunted me for several cleans after.
No objection to the dog, but would have preferred to be advised that it was coming, so I could prepare. She didn’t like the review I left as I pointed out her lack of manners, so she moaned about a bed, and my response was …you had 3 beds to pick from, or I could have come and put a topper in the master… or didn’t you want me to see the dog? Silence after that!


FYI- folks do NOT technically have to ask you permission if it’s a service dog. I’m not sure they even have to let you know, but I sure appreciated the heads up!

My dog isn’t a lab, but sheds like that. If I stayed somewhere with her, I’d request that the host leave a vacuum cleaner and lint roller ( she never goes on the furniture, it just floats around and sticks to everything)- I’d be ashamed to leave all that for the cleaner or host to deal with.


Wasn’t looking for them to ask permission, I wouldn’t have refused the booking. Just good manners to let a host know, the air of entitlement was insane!


If a service dog causes damages it is the same as if a non service dog causes damage.

ADA only requires that service dogs be allowed, they are not allowed to tear things up.

Likely the dog is an actual service dog and there will be no problem. I allow dogs in my space and rarely have any problems and those I have are very small.

A Guest is accountabe for Service dog damage. PET Damage is NOT COVERED at all by Air.


Dog damage is rare and when it happens the guest will make a reasonable payment for said damage when asked. That’s been my experience and I’ve hosted hundreds of guests with dogs.

The key is not to allow the dog to remain unattended in the rental unless crated.

Don’t let the irrational paranoia and negativity cloud logic.

@HudsonNY the guest has checked out so how did the stay turn out?

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