How to Find Pet-friendly Accommodation on Airbnb, how to –

Introduction: Be A Pet Friendly Airbnb Listing

Pet friendly Airbnb listings are so rare that it could net you some serious dough if you opened up your listing to allow pets, including dogs. Airbnb has even added a filter specifically for pet friendly listings.

According to TripAdvisor, 53% of travelers with pets, travel with their pets. That’s a missed opportunity for most Airbnb hosts.

According to US News, the second most desired amenity is pet friendliness at 18 percent.

And, again, pet-friendliness is the 4th most wanted vacation rental amenity, only behind free parking, a fully-stocked kitchen, and a pool.

In my experience, only about 5% of listings have truly valid reasons for not being an Airbnb pet friendly listing. On the other hand, many hosts cite owner control (or, lack thereof) as the reason they would not allow pets rather than the pet itself. This is interesting, but my recommendation is to make your home pet-friendly, and here’s why…

According to TripAdvisor, 53% of travelers with pets, travel with their pets.. Click To Tweet

Say Hello To Higher Airbnb Occupancy

This makes sense, right? If there’s less competition, you can charge higher rates and expect higher occupancy. You open yourself up to so many more FPGs when you accept pets.

About 40% of Americans own pets. Let’s assume this is accurate for the global average (maybe slightly high) and let’s assume that 25% of them travel with their pets semi-regularly. That’s 10% of travelers (25% of 40% = 10%) that you’re missing out on by not being pet-friendly. Additionally, this 10% of travelers are trying to fit themselves into 5% of Airbnb listings.

This is especially important when it comes to the dreaded Airbnb slow season in your area. If you’re able to get an extra five nights per month during these slow times, that’s a huge bump to your revenue!

Looking for higher occupancy during slow season? Turn your Airbnb into a pet friendly listing. Click To Tweet


2. Message the host before booking

Even if a listing is pet-friendly, message the host before booking to get the green light. 

Not all pet-friendly listings are actually all that pet-friendly, and not all non pet-friendly listings are not. 

I once messaged a pet-friendly listing, only to discover that pets were not allowed on the furniture or bed, and they couldn’t be left alone in the home. This wouldn’t work for us, since we had planned to visit a few museums and have some solo dinners out.

Plus, our dogs are older, and although they’re active, they very much enjoy nap time. We like to take advantage of their down time to visit places that are not pet-friendly. The listing wasn’t the place for us. 

Besides ensuring the place is a good fit, messagin

Besides ensuring the place is a good fit, messaging your host beforehand also gives you the opportunity to tell them about your dog. This is especially necessary if the listing isn’t pet-friendly (you might convince them otherwise!). 

Here are examples of what you should inform hosts of when asking to book:

  • Supplies you’re traveling with (ex. a dog bed or a crate).
  • Dog size and age. 
  • Your dog’s travel experience.

I like to tell hosts that my dogs are both seniors, that we bring along their dog bed for them to sleep in when we’re out of the house, and that they are both potty trained. I also invite them to look at my past reviews, and let them know that my dogs are well traveled (they’re used to staying in new spaces). 

1. Double Check it is a Pet-Friendly Airbnb

The number one thing you should do when planning to stay in an Airbnb with your pet is to double check that the Airbnb is pet-friendly. Firstly, it’s easy to filter for pet-friendly Airbnbs, follow my steps listed above on how to do this. But I additionally also double-check the description and rules to ensure there is no mention that pets aren’t allowed.

Not every owner listing their property on Airbnb is that familiar with the interface, so sometimes mistakes do happen. Or the property may have previously allowed pets, and the box wasn’t unticked to remove this, just a note added. You don’t want to set your heart on a property that plainly states that it doesn’t allow pets.

Enjoying the view from our dog-friendly Airbnb on
Enjoying the view from our dog-friendly Airbnb on the Cinque Terre

Additionally, check for any restrictions at this point. Some Airbnb hosts are only comfortable with small pets staying in their apartment, or perhaps only dogs, but not cats.

Some hosts may also charge an additional fee, which ideally is clearly stated in the listing. (Although I have come across some listings where you’re not message details until you book.) It’s in your best interest to know all this at the time you decide which Airbnb you’ll try to and book.

8. Clean up

You’ll always want to clean up after yourself at a vacation rental whether you have a pet with you or not, but be especially cognizant when your dog has stayed with you. Leave the house as close to how it was when you arrived and be sure to properly dispose of any of your dog’s waste left in the yard or surrounding area. It also doesn’t hurt to bring a lint roller along to brush off any fur left on furniture.

How to be a good guest when travelling with your dog

Lastly, if we’re all good guests when travelling with our dogs, we can hopefully count on more dog-friendly accommodation all across Australia.

It’s so common for Europeans and Americans to travel with their dogs, let’s work towards a future where this will be more common in Australia too!

Here are some ideas about how you can be a good guest when travelling with your dog:

Communicate with the accommodation provider

Message or call them before your trip, and confirm that there won’t be any issues if you bring your dog.

Keep the place tidy

For example, if you stay for a longer period of time and your dog sheds a lot, consider vacuuming every other day.

Also, hopefully it goes without saying, but please always pick up after your dog did their business.

Bring a crate or dog bed

So your dog feels more comfortable staying in an unfamiliar place. You could even think about getting a dog backpack, so your pup has all its belongings in one place!

Know your dog

Speak to your vet or a qualified dog trainer before your trip if you’re worried there may be any issues with your dog (such as barking or other destructive behaviour).

Pet-Friendly Airbnb’s Make you More Competitive

Pet-Friendly Airbnb Units also give you a competitive advantage over your other counterparts. Airbnb’s filter which enables users to tailor their search results for pet-friendly listings will give you the edge online. By switching this filter on, you’ll be competing against fewer rentals and opening doors to more bookings.

Take advantage of the fact that although pet-friendliness is among the top desired amenities among guests, less than 3% of Airbnb rentals are pet-friendly in any given market.

5. Ask about other animals

If your pet doesn’t get along with other animals, be sure to ask your host if there are any living on neighboring properties. Sometimes the owner lives in an adjacent home on the same land with pets, and if it’s a farm stay, there may be a whole range of other animals nearby.

Always triple-check the house rules

When like a dog-friendly Airbnb, make sure you check the house rules before you book.

And don’t forget to click on the “Show more” link, as you often find additional rules there.

The “Show more” link is on the bottom
The “Show more” link is on the bottom left of the “Things to know” section on Airbnb listings

Some listings that show up as “pet-friendly” may have house rules that will make the accommodation unsuitable for you.

We typically find that there are 3 common types of listings:

  • 1. The place is fully dog friendly. No rules attached. The operator trusts that you’ll do the right thing.
  • 2. The place that suggests they’re dog friendly, but your dog is not allowed inside the accommodation. We’ve even seen a listing once that proudly mentioned that they had a chain for dogs in the outside area… Uhm, hello middle ages?
  • 3. The place suggests that they’re dog friendly, but you’re not allowed to leave your dog alone. At all times, if you leave the accommodation, you need to take your dog with you.
Example from an Airbnb listing
Example from an Airbnb listing

As you can see, finding a dog-friendly Airbnb in Australia isn’t as straight-forward as we may wish it was.

It’s absolutely doable, and there are some great places around, but make sure to always triple-check the house rules to make sure you don’t end up at a place unsuitable for you.

Imagine you have an indoor dog who grew up always sleeping in your bedroom, and suddenly you find yourself on a holiday where the accommodation provider insists that your dog needs to be on a chain outside. No thanks. (And no offence to outside dog owners who have dogs who are truly happy outdoors. It’s just meant to be an example 🙂

Pet-Friendly Airbnb’s Increase your Nightly Rate

Guests with pets are willing to pay more to be able to accommodate their pets; hence, rentals that allow pets are in a position to charge a higher nightly rate than regular rentals.

Pet-friendly owners charged a rent premium between 20% and 30% of the average rent. In other words, pet-friendly owners charged $222 more on average on a $1,070 apartment than their competitors allowing them to generate extra streams of income for their rental property.

By increasing your nightly rate, you can drastically improve your vacatiuon rental revenue growth.

If you are not comfortable increasing your rent, you could instead opt for a “pet fee” you could charge as a maintenance fee or a cleaning up fee after your property has been vacated by the guest.

5. Know your dog

Before deciding on a place, know what kind of accommodation your dog will be comfortable in.

Is your dog afraid of loud noises? Don’t book an apartment on a busy street. Does your dog bark and get bothered if they hear or smell other dogs? Look for a place that’s more isolated, and away from foot traffic. 

You know your dog best, and it’s up to you to decide where your dog will feel more comfortable. Choosing the right setting will ultimately make your trip, and your dog’s trip, a better one! 

Service animals

We recognize that service animals are not pets, and that they serve a critical function for their owners. A Host is required to accept service animals (even if they don’t allow pets), except in limited health and safety circumstances.

How to find an Airbnb that allows pets using a computer

1. Open Airbnb in your browser on your Mac or PC.

2. Enter your stay specifications in the box on the left, including location, dates, and number of guests. Click the red “Search” button.

Search for a vacation rental.
Marissa Perino/Business Insider

3. Click “Stays” in the top-left to show vacation rentals, as opposed to experiences.

Click “Stays.”
Isabella Paoletto/Business Insider

4. You should now see search results for your stay. Click “More filters” at the top to further narrow down your results by filters, such as type of home and price.

Your search results without a filter.
Marissa Perino/Business Insider

5. Scroll down until you find the section that says “House rules.” Check the box next to “Pets allowed.” Click the black button in the bottom-right corner of the window.

Filter your results by homes that allow pets.
Marissa Perino/Business Insider

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