Welp it’s happened- guest shows up with dog

Hey all-
We have a listing that explicitly details no animals or pets. Guests just checked in and brought a dog (it’s self check-in and we have an exterior security camera). We sent a message, they said “oh yes! That’s Milly, our service animal. She doesn’t shed” :rage: We sent them our blurb about service animals including how it has to accompany them at all times and cannot be left in the home etc. they agree to all.

So… if we do see the dog is left alone- how does this work with cancelling their stay with AirBnB or how best to proceed? If we had known a service dog was coming we would have prepared the house differently (like rolling up rugs, providing a dog bowl, a throw on the couch to make shedding easier to cleanup, etc).

I am sorry. I just had the same thing happen. It’s super frustrating. I know you are angry they were not open with you (reflect that in the communication rating you give them). I was furious. My guests brought 2 extra people and a dog and AirBnB has yet to compensate me some 2 weeks later. However, the animal is there now so you may as well get your payment for the stay & be super nice about it all (get your 5 stars). I will admit it wasn’t obvious a dog had been in my home BUT I did find evidence of some chewing on a baseboard (but so minor I could not be sure it wasn’t already there) and one pile of poo they clearly left on the way out when the checked out late, on top of everything else. Sigh. I did not charge for any of it…too much hassle…just awaiting my money for the extra people they lied about.

If there is any damage or extra cleaning (like pet waste or accidents) request compensation (you cannot charge for the pet itself but you can charge for its “damage”). My guest used one of my nice throws as a dog bed. Really?!? So rude! But, the good news is this doesn’t happen often (thank goodness). If you are worried about the rugs ask the guest to roll them up and put them away and remind them you will inspect them thoroughly.

Again, I know how upsetting this is. Integrity is important to us and people need to be honest. They know you cannot say no to a service or emo support animal so why lie, to begin with? It’s immature and silly. It’s a cost of doing business, though. Take some deep breaths and it will really be okay. I stewed for many days about our incident and I now regret the wasted “peace”. It all worked out and I am better educated as a result.

Did I mention the camera also showed they parked on the lawn? They drove through the driveway, around the back of the house and along the side to be right in front of the door instead of parking and carrying their belongings along the short lit path. Young and look 100% capable of the short paved distance with luggage. Not getting a good feeling about their level of respect obviously, that’s why I’m asking about cancellation in case they do leave their pup alone in our AirBnB.

@HudsonNY, yeah…people can be so inconsiderate. My “pet” guests also smoked marijuana on the property (seen on camera) and one of the rooms smelled of it (not like they’d smoked in there but had the “essence”) and I had to run my ozone machine to clear it up. They took my nice towels to the lake. It goes on and on. They were also outside in the morning half dressed (bra and jammie pants) cussing (F bombs) at each other. My place is in a quiet, family community. A neighbor even said something to me about it. I was so embarrassed. How long is your guest staying? Mine was 3 loooooong nights. But I kept reminding myself “Self…you have a $500 damage deposit at your disposal and it’s a good payout.” I also made myself stop looking at the camera. I decided to just look at the end of the stay. Otherwise I’d be agitated the entire time. I know you are venting and I’m glad you have this forum to do it in because we all understand what you’re feeling. But, really, try to let it go for now, collect your money and handle what you need to handle when the stay is done. That’s what I’ve learned over time…otherwise I’m just miserable the entire stay. Oh, and this may be a good time to add a “damage fee” to your House Rules for parking or driving on the lawn or using anything other than the driveway and lit walking path.


just curious…have you ever tried to claim the “damage deposit”?


One thing I have learnt through this whole airbnb business is that people are liars, cheats and can’t be trusted.

Consequently the following are musts imo

  1. External camera
  2. Hiding your wifi router, so this can’t be ‘accidentally’ switched off
  3. Nest Protect - instant notification when smoke is detected.

Also always turn situations like this into a positive. Use this as an opportunity to tighten up your house rules

e.g. you could state that no pets of any kind are allowed in your property. This including service, emotional or therapy dogs. And no unregistered/ additional guests are allowed either. Failure to adhere to these rules will result in a charge of 200 bucks and termination of ones stay without refund.

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I have just seen on Airbnb that hosts are obliged to accept Service dogs even if you have a no pets policy… What? When did this happen?

Also guests do not need to disclose this prior to booking, they can simply show up and you have to accept. loool

The only way around this is to deny the booking under under ‘health and safety concerns’

What reasons under health and safety is acceptable to airbnb?

One thing I’ve learned, and I’m sure I’m not alone here, is that the vast majority of guests are perfectly fine, and it is a very, very small percentage who cause issues. Hosts who consistently have issues with guests really need to look at themselves, their style of hosting and their listing; problems are not the norm.

When did this happen? Around 2008 I suspect.

Not only Airbnb hosts, but any STR, hotel, motel, lodging house, whatever, are obliged to accept service dogs and in many countries can be fined/prosecuted. In the UK it’s covered by the Equalities Act 2010 and in the US the Americans with Disabilities Act 1990.

No you can’t, this is poor uninformed advice and potentially could have you removed from the Airbnb platform.



This is a whole house listing so my understanding is that I would not be able to cite any reason to deny an animal if guest claims it is for assistance. All the bookings at this new AirBnB have been lovely guests (one who was a bit high maintenance, but nothing big). Hopefully this will all turn out fine but not off to a wonderful start.

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If they leave the dog alone and you do cancel the stay do you have enough 5 star reviews to counter the 1 star they will leave? You are new, this will hurt you more than a host with lots of reviews. Food for thought, pick your battles.
I am one who says don’t worry about the reviews, but it is different when new it can hurt for a long time.



As John already mentioned, this policy has been around a long time. It’s your obligation to read the Airbnb Terms of Service and follow them. Just as you blame guests for not reading your listing, Airbnb will blame you for not following their policies.

I expect most hosts don’t read them all and don’t know them either. But Airbnb can just boot you right off the platform and cancel your bookings and and not even tell you why.

Ahhhh so true, so aggravated at how guests can leave retaliatory reviews after getting the boot for disregarding host/AirBnB rules.

Correct. We used to have a host here who tried to claim that because her daughter sometimes helped her clean her whole house Airbnb. Airbnb didn’t accept that excuse. She had a number of problem rentals before a tree fell on the manufactured home and closed her down. Then the pandemic hit. Bad, bad luck.

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We have a ring door bell at our house and we are learning a lot about people and our management company ! It’s interesting what people think they can get away with .


@Debthecat, yes, when it was absolutely necessary. I only do it when it is obvious or egregious. I’ve had a hole punched in a wall, a broken glass table, irreversibly stained sheets (from colored hair wax…they even took my spares from the closet and stained them!) - although I only charged for what I could not salvage & not the hours spent trying to salvage, I’ve even had a person run their car through the garage and into the house. In this last instance, I found the host guarantee to be useless and of course, the deposit doesn’t cover $40k in damage. The folks were really nice, though, and we used their insurance. The area you have an issue with is House Rule-breaking that have fees tied to them. Airbnb won’t let you take that from the damage deposit so you have to go via the Resolution Center, take a bunch of time making your case, and hope they rule in your favor.

@RiverRock Can a guest leave a review on a cancelled booking? I thought they had to complete the stay to be eligible to leave a review. I’ve never kicked anyone out so I don’t know for certain.

Yes. You both can. They can always leave a review if they’ve checked in and can also leave one if they cancel on the day of booking even though they never step foot in the house. This can be a sticky one because if they ask for a refund and your cancellation policy doesn’t allow for one…well, what could go wrong there??


What nonsense. I am wondering why you have guests who are liars and cheats when I don’t?


Sigh. I’ve had an occasional trouble guest but rare. I’ve had over 200 guests. Most are “as expected”-they are not my friends but ok renters.

That one in 50 who is a schemer isn’t such bad odds.

Expect the worst and that’s who you will get


That’s too bad. None of my guests have been liars or cheats. Quite the opposite.