Service Dog reservation... interesting one

Hey all, had a fun twist to our AirBnB hosting experience. First off, let me state that after reading through the forum I’ve found the following;

  • Against law to ask for documentation
  • Against law to cancel b/c of service dog
  • Against law to charge more for the service/emotional support animal

We have a strict no pet policy b/c we wish to keep the home pet free for not only our guests but our family (one of which has severe allergies) that uses it occasionally during the off-season and when available. I certainly do not wish to discriminate against those with needs, though wish to respect the well-being of not only my guests but my family that stays in the home periodically. Do I need to disclose that a pet was in the home to all my guests that have existing reservations and update my policy to say that a pet has stayed in the home?

Outside of this the guest has already asked for booked dates, sent a booking instead of an inquiry, requesting early check-in and really all over the place.

To my understanding, if someone at home is at risk of allergy or incident, the reservation may be canceled, though I’m curious about relatives that knowingly use the home with allergies and what you would post after the guest has stayed in the home…

Any input from anyone on here? Do I need to contact all my booked reservations and inform them of the service dog now that someone is planning to stay? I fear that someone with allergies will check in and have a reaction, where it then causes an issue with disclosure.

Anyone here with a strict no pet policy that has had a service animal stay and how they have moved forward with their listing and information/disclosure?

Thank you for all your input and insight, you all rock.

I would cancel the booking, uncomfortable with guest. Do not mention the pet.



I believe you can ask what tasks the service dog is trained to do.


The wanted other dates and grabbed the only dates that were available, a month later, asking about the original dates. Really, really odd. Then the request for early check-in, it’s feeling all to strange.

I understand the assistance animal more and more as I read into this and believe it is more compounded because of the manner in which they have come about not only what you mentioned but the whole ‘oh, I forgot to mention’ bit. I won’t be canceling b/c of the pet, but bc I feel she’s not a good fit for the home based on her initial communication.

Damn, I didn’t want to take the hit on the ‘decline’ and probably won’t on the cancelation. Really worried about my niece that will come and visit, though.

Thanks for the input.

Im not a lawyer, but would be surprised if the ADA applies to most airbnb’s. Maybe against Airbnb regulations however.

Won’t that break Superhost status?

I think you can decline instant books without affecting rankings.


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So she booked dates that she does not want?

First I would make very sure what date she will arrive and what she booked. You may have a guest turning up on blocked dates. That is a bigger issue than the dog.

Maybe if she understands that she cannot come on the dates she wants, she will cancel herself. And your service dog issue will be gone.

Had the same thing happen regarding booked dates. Had a query on dates A to B, but really wanted dates B to C that were already booked. This woman demanded to know why she couldn’t have the dates she wanted…because they are BOOKED by someone else…but I want them, these are the only dates that suit me and yours is the property I want. My property is popular and dates fill quickly, and there was no way I was going to cancel the early bookers. This woman was a new member to Airbnb and could not get it that I would not do this to make her happy!


Declining a service dog and their owner because of allergies only applies if you or someone that lives with you in a shared space has allergies. Not if a niece who occasionally stays at a whole listing has an allergy. Or anyone could claim a family member or friend has an allergy who stays at their place.

Respond to the guest. Confirm early check in, isn’t available.Confirm the dates.

Ask her what tasks her service dog helps with and confirm to her that not animals are allowed not to stay in the listing without a guest and will need to be with her at all times. Also agree rules such as not being on furniture/sleeping on beds etc.

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Isn’t this against the law? To my understanding, you cannot place requirements on these animals as you would with other pets. I imagine making the 'request’is as far as we can go.

Just as anyone can claim my family has allergies, anyone can claim a pet is a service animal. (Not arguing, just pointing it out) We cannot ask for papers, nor should it be required of our family to provide medical record of allergies. Simply pointing out the slippery slope here.

Thank you for your feedback.

This guest has been a member for 5 years… not a single review.

Per the Hotel News, you can ask: Is this animal needed because of a disability? What work or tasks has the animal been trained to do?

I once stayed at a very expensive villa, and the people next door had 2 little yappy dogs that were “service animals” as “emotional support.” I use the quotes because the dogs stayed in the villa yapping all day making for an incredibly unpleasant experience. After telephoning the front desk we were moved (and upgraded) to a house on the other side of the property. As a result of the experience my husband, who practices medicine, has declined every patient who tries to get their pet classified as an “emotional support” companion.

It would be a reasonable assumption that if the animal is a true support animal then it would be with the guest at all times - meaning it is not left unattended. Unless you don’t clean the home, I find it hard to believe that you can claim allergies for a niece who will possibly stay there in a few months…


Depends on the country you live in.
In my country a service dog is registered in your “disability ID”, if it is not in there it is not your service dog.

So yes, I am allowed to ask if they have a license for it.

And it is sad that we, in the US, cannot do this same thing. Granted, we can’t even get voter IDs for people, so I don’t ever seeing something reasonable like this getting put in place. There should never be an issue with asking for papers in this instance, but here we are. Oh well, is what it is.

If this is an ABB booking then their policies apply, ADA is a US thing and ABB operates world wide.

ABB policy is much more generous.

I have had maybe a 100 dogs here none were service animals all were assistance animals according to ABB definition.

I have an Assistance Animal myself, so per ABB definition he is not a pet so I do not need to declare him, but I do.

I do not know the nature of your listing the ABB get out is:

However, if your listing includes a shared space and an assistance animal would create a health or safety hazard to you or others (e.g. allergies and pets who are unable to share space with other animals due to a safety concern), we will not require you to host the guests with the assistance animal.

If you are sharing the space just include this in your listing.

There are questions that you can ask about Service Dogs, mine is not so none of that is relevant.

In my listing under Rules: “13. Cats and dogs have lived in the space and the cat occasionally get in if the door is left open so if you are allergic to them please consider this. Other guests may have welcomed them in. If you have an aversion to cats and dogs then this may not be the right place for you.” It is in “the rules” guests are supposed to acknowledge they have read them. Also under “You must also acknowledge: Pet(s) live on property - Friendly cat will come inside if door left open.” The place is listed as “pet friendly”. I also have a photo of my cat in the listing to trigger anyone’s feelings on unease.

I had a guest recently who left after one night because she and her mother had cat allergies. I pointed out to her that the above rule was there as a warning to potential guests not to stay here if they are allergic to cats. I’ll still get the occasional guest who texts me: “cat come inside. bf allergic cats. Pls remove”. idiots. I think somehow they assume if it is a choice between them and the cat I would choose them.


Lol, I would NEVER book a place with cats EWE!
I would choose another place, as should have your non reading or not even looking at the listing pictures guest…


TBH the cats haven’t lived there for 3 years and it has been cleaned many times since then but I would rather people stayed away than complain, I mean be uncomfortable. I’ve had people stay who say they have allergies but have taken some medicine and so I tell them to just keep the door shut to keep the cat from coming in. The woman who left early recently said there was a strong cat smell in the apartment which could be anathema to people even without allergies. It wasn’t the cat it was the woman who stayed just before for three nights snug inside in winter with her three dogs at least one of which had some sort of odour issue. Since I didn’t want “strong smell of cats” on a review I refunded her the extra night and asked her not to leave a review, which she hasn’t. Fortunately I was due for my bi-annual rug and upholstery shampoo so it is all clear now!

No, this is not true. Local laws always supersede AirBnB policy.

From the AirBnB Help page:

I only have to accept registered service animals. I can refuse any other animal, or ask a fee.
I do not have to accept peacocks, sheep, hamsters or any other animals because they are emotional support.

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