How to Search for Pet-Friendly Airbnb

Airbnb facilitates homestays between hosts and guests and is undoubtedly the most trusted website for booking short and long-term vacation rentals.

Whether you’re going for a vacation or a trip to experience new places, you’re likely to use Airbnb to find a place to stay. However, as with renting any other property, bringing a pet to stay with you isn’t something every host accepts.

It’s such a bummer to find the perfect Airbnb listing to vacate for a few weeks, only to scroll down to see the host doesn’t accept pets. Situations like this are expected, even though many Airbnb hosts are happy to host you with your pet.

Our article will guide you through searching for a pet-friendly Airbnb to avoid such disappointments. We’ll also provide an overview of how Airbnb works with service and emotional support animals. Read to the end to get a comprehensive guide to booking an Airbnb with your furry friend.

Airbnb Pet Policy

Airbnb doesn’t have specific rules for guests staying with pets (except for service animals). Instead, the company allows hosts to decide if they allow pets, and guests can browse specifically for pet-friendly stays.

If the Airbnb host allows pets, you’ll see ‘Pets allowed’ in the listing details under ‘What this place offers.’ These stays will appear when you make a pet-friendly Airbnb search. However, booking an Airbnb with a pet isn’t as straightforward as setting aside the places that don’t allow animals.

If the host doesn’t accept pets, the listing won’t be visible when searching for a pet-friendly stay. These listings won’t allow you to add pets when entering guest details. You can also use this to tell if an Airbnb listing is pet-friendly.

Also, Airbnb hosts may put a weight or type restriction on the animals entering their property. This could be accepting only small dogs and cats or caged pets like hamsters and Guinea pigs. You can see if there’s such a rule in the listing details of the Airbnb you want to book.

Pet Fees and Deposits

Hosts can charge guests a pet fee, similar to the cleaning fee, to cover up additional expenses that may arise from you staying with a pet in their Airbnb, such as vacuuming pet hair, cleaning paw prints, or running an air purifier to remove pet allergies.

The host may also charge a pet deposit, which the guest pays during booking. While some hosts don’t charge a pet fee but ask for a pet deposit, they may ask you to pay both.

The pet deposit is a one-time, refundable payment. It protects the host against damage caused by pets. If there are no damages when you check out and your host approves it, you’ll get the deposit back. Pet fees, on the other hand, are non-refundable.

You can see in the listing details if the host charges pet fees or deposits. Before rushing to book an Airbnb with a pet, check for these details, as they can be a significant addition to what you’ll pay for your stay.

How to Find Pet-Friendly Airbnbs

dog raising paw

Searching for a pet-friendly Airbnb is straightforward. You can simply filter listings that allow pets, though you may also be able to book an Airbnb that doesn’t allow pets.

We’ll also cover how you can do this in addition to searching for pet-friendly listings on Airbnb – here’s everything you need to know.

Include Your Pet in the Search

To search for pet-friendly Airbnbs, enter the number of pets you’ll bring to the property in the guest details. You’ll need to follow different instructions for this, though. Below, you’ll find how to include pets in your search on Airbnb on desktop, mobile, and smartphones.

  • Desktop and Mobile Browser: Enter your destination and click the + sign to add the number of pets you’ll bring.
  • iOS and Android App: After entering your destination and dates, change the guest details under ‘Who’s coming?’ and add the number of pets you’ll bring.

Following the above, you’ll see a list of Airbnbs that allow pets. You can further refine your search by using other filters like price, property type, amenities, and booking options. Searching for pet-friendly Airbnb properties is as simple as that.

Why Some Airbnb Hosts Don’t Allow Pets

There may be several reasons for an Airbnb host not to allow pets on their property. It could be due to fears of allergy complaints from future guests, insurance requirements, or something as simple as personal preferences.

Regardless of why they don’t allow pets, many Airbnb hosts actually start out as allowing pets but later change their minds due to negative experiences. Since running an Airbnb can get costly and unexpected expenses can lead to a loss, it isn’t uncommon for hosts not to allow pets.

Also, they might even be a fellow pet owner willing to host well-behaved pets, but because of their bad experiences, they might not want to take chances by publicly displaying they allow pets.

Try Your Chance by Contacting the Host

If you want to book a particular Airbnb but the host doesn’t allow pets, a message introducing yourself and your pet to see if the host can make an exception might go a longer way than you think. There’s always a chance that the host will welcome you and your pet if you can make a compelling argument despite the no-pet policy.

Try your chances by sending a friendly message to the host introducing your pet. Highlight their well-behaved side to convince the host. This might include commanding your dog to perform tricks to showcase training or showing your own furniture to prove your cat will only use their scratch post.

Anything that may reduce their fears of negative experiences will increase your chances of getting a yes for an exception from the host. Although this might not work, it will help broaden your search at the very least.

All in all, a friendly message with a cute picture of your pet might go a long way – and it’s definitely worth the try.

Can You Book an Airbnb With a Service Animal?

While pets may not be allowed at an Airbnb, service animals are exempt from these restrictions. Airbnb clearly states that individuals with a disability can stay in their Airbnb rental, even if the host has a no-pet policy. Guests are also not required to inform the host about their service animals before booking.

Furthermore, Airbnb is strict when it comes to the demeanor of hosts towards guests staying with their service animals. Hosts cannot refuse reservations, cancel the stay, charge pet fees or deposits, or hold these guests to different rules. These apply both for stays and Airbnb Experiences.

Hosts can ask questions about the service animal to ensure they are actually there to help their handler, but these are also limited. They can only ask if the guest requires the service animal because of a disability and the tasks the service animal has been trained to perform to help the handler. Besides these two questions, hosts can’t ask for registration or training papers.

However, the service animal must be in control of the handler and can’t be left alone in the property without prior approval from the host. If the guest fails to comply with these or the service animal is not in control of the handler or is not housebroken, the host may deny the service animal from the listing.

Assuming these aren’t apparent issues for the overwhelming majority of service animal handlers, staying at an Airbnb won’t pose any difficulties.

What About Booking With an Emotional Support Animal?

woman hugging cat

Although emotional support animals aren’t considered pets under federal law, the same exceptions don’t apply to ESAs. Hosts aren’t required to permit emotional support animals as they must for service animals. Therefore, Airbnb hosts can refuse an ESA from the listing.

It’s ultimately up to the host to decide if they make a pass for emotional support animals in a no-pet listing. Still, a message to the host and explaining to them that you need your ESA for your psychiatric condition and benefit from their presence may make them change their mind. If they allow, note that hosts can charge pet fees or deposits for an ESA, unlike service animals.

While this applies to most listings, Airbnb hosts in New York and California must permit emotional support animals and treat them the same as service animals. If you plan on booking an Airbnb in these two states, you can follow the same rules for service animals outlined above.

As with service animals, hosts cannot request documents that prove the status of an emotional support animal to allow them in the listing, such as an ESA letter.

What to Do if the Host Doesn’t Accept Your Pet

If an Airbnb host doesn’t accept pets during the booking process, there’s not much you can do. It’s their listing, and you must comply with their rules as a guest. However, it’s a whole different thing if the host doesn’t let you check in despite the listing allowing pets and you entered your pet in the guest details.

In these cases, contact Airbnb Customer Service immediately and inform them about the situation. You can also call Airbnb at (844)-234-2500. Following this, you can cancel the stay and get a full refund.

Tips for Bringing Your Pet to an Airbnb

Searching and finding a pet-friendly Airbnb doesn’t guarantee that the listing is designed in a pet-friendly way. It simply means you’ll be able to stay with your furry friend during your stay.

To ensure your stay goes smoothly without unwanted outcomes, here are a few tips to ensure a safe and comfortable stay with your pet in an Airbnb.

Pack Supplies

As with going on any other trip with your pet, pack the necessary supplies that will be enough for the duration of your stay. Bring enough food, pack any medication your pet needs, and get them a collar that has an ID tag with your contact information.

Keep Your Pet Safe

From the moment you walk into the Airbnb, inspect for anything that may cause your pet harm. Check for hazardous cleaning supplies, fasteners sticking out from wood floors, broken glasses, and room smells, particularly essential oils that may be harmful, such as cinnamon and peppermint.

Make Your Pet Feel at Home

While you may feel cozy at your Airbnb immediately, it’s likely to be stressful and over-stimulating for your pet with everything new around them. Before the trip, consider packing a few toys and a blanket they sleep with to make them feel at home. This can help them adjust to their temporary living space soon.

Finding a Pet-Friendly Airbnb Is Easy

cat and dog near laptop

Searching for a pet-friendly Airbnb is straightforward. You can simply add the number of pets you’d like to bring to the stay in the guest details. By doing this, you’ll come across numerous listings from hosts that happily accept furry friends.

Those with service animals aren’t required to go through these, as they are exempt from pet policies set by hosts. The same, however, cannot be said for emotional support animals, as they are subject to these rules.

If you plan on booking Airbnbs with your pet often, consider asking the hosts to mention your pet in their review. As you message hosts that don’t allow animals to make an exception for you, seeing positive reviews from different hosts will give them a good reason to say yes.

While these will help you find an Airbnb for your pet, the actual pet-friendliness of the listing may vary. Make sure to look for things that may be harmful to your pet as soon as you check in to ensure a safe stay.