Bearing in mind that some of your guests may want to bring the family pet along with them on vacation—how can you make your Airbnb pet friendly?
We’ve always talked a lot about how to invest in your Airbnb rental property, what strategy to choose, whether to rely on cash or loans, etc.
Now, it’s time to focus on an issue that is closely related to your guests.
We’re talking about their pets—and the possibility of bringing them along to make their stay more fun. Unfortunately, Airbnb rules differ across the states—and it often happens that the desired Airbnb rentals do not allow pets.
We, however, believe that a pet-friendly Airbnb is a huge advantage for investors because it ultimately comes down to being able to meet your guests’ needs and wants.
That’s why, in this blog post, we will do our best to explain how making your Airbnb a pet-friendly zone can increase your monthly rental income—and what you can do to make it happen.
So, if you’re an animal lover yourself, and you want to provide your guests—and their pets—with the most comfortable accommodation, continue scrolling.
Pets & Airbnb: Are They Welcome?
Generally speaking, pets are welcome to stay on Airbnb property; no official rules forbid that.
There are pet friendly Airbnb residentials all across the US real estate market, but at times, it may seem as if they are harder to locate than your “regular” ones.
That is not so far from the truth, unfortunately.
But how come tenants have such a hard time finding a rental property that allows pets?
Well, the answer is that investors fail to consider the fact that some of their potential guests (more often than not, families with kids) would like to bring their dog, cat, or parrot to stay with them.
While searching for a vacation rental, if they fail to find the option that clearly states “Airbnb pet friendly,” they’ll continue to scroll for other alternatives on the market.
And that means that if your property is off the list of pet-friendly options, you’ve probably lost a booking right then and there.
To your luck, you can solve this issue pretty easily.
Being the dedicated investor that you are, you should consider every possible scenario and adapt your Airbnb game to suit both those who come solo—and those accompanied by their beloved pets.
Does Airbnb Have a Strict Pet Policy?
As we mentioned earlier, there are no explicit rules that prohibit pets from visiting or staying in an Airbnb property.
You, as a guest, can still wonder something along the lines of, “are pets allowed in Airbnb?”
Fair enough—but you should turn to the property owner because they are the only ones who can allow or forbid your pets from being on their property.
Or, to be more precise here, the information about whether pets are allowed on the owner’s investment property or not can be found by making “pet-friendly” part of your search criteria and going over the House Rules.
What are House Rules in Airbnb?
As is the case with your own home—and any other rental out there—there are often specific rules you should follow so that your stay doesn’t compromise or damage the Airbnb property.
And yes, that includes the “Airbnb pets allowed” rule.
Other examples you’ll find among these so-called House Rules include things like “suitable for events” or “no smoking,” to name a few.
Adding the Pet-Friendly Feature
Since you’ve made your way down to this part of the article, you are probably interested in making your Airbnb pet friendly.
So, here’s a quick overview of how to customize your vacation rental terms and allow pets:
- Go over to “Your Listings” on your Airbnb platform.
- You want to manage it, so find and click on the “Manage Listing” option.
- Next, go to “Booking Settings.”
- Go over to the “House Rules” option and click on “Edit.”
- Go through the rules, and add personalized ones (if needed).
- Save your changes.
That’s all—you’ve successfully made your Airbnb business pet friendly. How easy was that?
Can Someone Ban Pets From Airbnb?
Yes, they can.
Many would think that banning pets from Airbnb automatically means that you will do better with bookings. However, this is not the case.
Contrary to that, a considerable percentage of those who want to book Airbnb and spend a weekend, a week—or even a month—somewhere would like to bring their pet along. There is nothing unusual about that.
So, making your Airbnb pet friendly could end up pushing your business instead of causing it damage, as many investors tend to assume it would.
What is understandable from the investor’s viewpoint is that pets that come to their property might not be adequately trained. And that’s an entirely justified concern—but there are ways to deal with it while still allowing pets on the property.
How to Make Your Airbnb Pet Friendly?
Finally, we’ve come to the central part—how to prepare your Airbnb for guests with pets. And quite frankly, there’s not much to it.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Secure the Property and Set Boundaries
Your first job here is to take a good look at your rental—and determine whether this investment property is suitable for guests with pets.
Once you’ve decided that it is, it’s time to set some ground rules regarding your guests’ furry friends. In addition to the general rules regarding property, investors have the right to impose additional ones that specifically concern pets.
As hosts and investors, you can set rules such as:
- Breed rules
- Proof of vaccination
- Weight limits
- Flee fees
- Age restrictions (e.g. be at least a year old)
- Potty trained
2. Set Up The Space And Fees
The next step to making your Airbnb pet friendly is setting up the space and determining the price.
It’s not complicated at all. Pet owners will surely bring some stuff with them, but still, it’s up to you to do your best and secure the essentials.
And by essentials, we mean:
- Food and water bowls (extra ones if you allow more than one pet)
- Furniture covers
- Litter box
- Extra cleaning supplies
As for the fees, we can’t give you a specific number because that depends on how much you charge for your property at the moment. It’s something you’ll have to decide based on all the expenses that you might be left with when the guests leave your Airbnb.
3. Update Your Listing
If your Airbnb wasn’t initially intended for guests with pets, you need to let your future guests know about the change of plans.
Once you’ve invested in pet supplies, set up the space to make it more comfortable for pets, and calculated your expenses, it’s time to update your listings—and make things official. You can even make an effort to inform your guests about the fun stuff they can do with their pets while they stay in your Airbnb.
Some of your guests might be new to the area—and not quite sure where they can take their pets. So, a few quick pointers from you, their host, will be more than welcome.
The Pros and Cons of Pet Allowed Airbnb
Sticking to the pets Airbnb policy as an owner can increase Airbnb demand, as competition in this field is not that tough currently. But that’s merely the tip of an iceberg.
Just as there are good sides to this policy you’re working on, we also cannot ignore the less-than-pretty things you may have to deal with after you officially allow pets on your property.
Therefore, in order not to rule out anything and prepare you for this part of hosting, we’ll take this chance to go through both the pros and cons of making your Airbnb pet friendly.
Stand Out From the Competition
Let’s start with what we’ve already mentioned at the beginning of this article—and that is the opportunity to stand out from the competition.
When it comes to booking a regular Airbnb property, the competition is already tight enough. Investors are always trying to find new ways to step up their game—and make their Airbnb investing ideas worthwhile.
In addition to regular upgrades to your property, what you can do is allow pets.
This simple step can push you a few steps ahead of regular Airbnb bookings that don’t allow bringing pets on the property.
And we are sure that many animal lovers would appreciate seeing that it’s a “Yes” from you.
Related: How to Evaluate an Airbnb Investment
Increase Nightly Rates
The Airbnb Pets Allowed option generally comes with a price increase in nightly rates—and you shouldn’t feel guilty for doing so. You’re not the only one who’s raising their stakes here.
Most pet owners are already aware of the challenges that come with traveling with their pets, and they are usually willing to pay more so long as they can bring their furry friends.
So, why shouldn’t you be allowed to raise your rates a bit? It’s all business.
By allowing guests to bring their pets with them, you’re adding one more obligation that includes cleaning afterward and dealing with the potential damage.
But let’s stick to the positives for now. Here are some short-and-simple ideas to help you increase your Airbnb income:
- Charging a pet fee
- Setting a higher rate in general
- Counting pets and guests separately (so those who are booking without a pet can get a discount)
Imagine the following situation:
A guest who’s also a dog owner has successfully booked your Airbnb after a long search for a vacation rental property where pets are allowed—and they got a fair price for their stay, as well.
For one, this pretty much guarantees that you’ll get positive feedback, which also means that you are ahead of the competition. How?
It’s simple—you are doing well when it comes to meeting the needs of your guests.
And the next time someone who’s searching for Airbnb that allows pets sees your listing with a bunch of positive reviews attached to it, they’ll undoubtedly be more likely to consider it.
Handling Complaints and Damages
Sure, your guests can give you a promise that their pets will abide by the House Rules—but unfortunately, there is no guarantee for something like that.
Things don’t always go according to plan—and pets could cause damage to your property. It can be something minor, like digging a hole in the garden—or they could break something or scratch your furniture.
The possibilities for things going wrong are endless—but try not to get caught up in them and change your mind. We still believe that making your Airbnb pet friendly is a good idea.
If you’re worried that pets will cause property damage, spend more time choosing insurance that will cover the potential damages. And, while we’re at it, be careful when picking out the most suitable finishings for your walls and upholstery.
The other thing that might mess with your plans would be the neighbors.
Know that you can resolve this issue long before changing your Airbnb to “pet friendly.” You see, while you’re still in the research process, you should look for a vacation rental property in an environment where animals are generally welcome.
Try to avoid apartments and semi-detached houses where most residents are of working age or the elderly.
Mashvisor can help you with this part of investing:
Our Property Finder helps investors locate the best on- and off-market properties for sale, all according to their personalized requirements.
Yes, upping your nightly rates essentially means a higher Airbnb income—but it also raises your expenses.
Remember that making your Airbnb pet friendly means that you will have to spend some of that income on additional expenses, such as:
- Pet-friendly amenities
Once you go through everything we’ve mentioned, it’s up to you to decide whether you can keep up with the costs or not.
This guide might be worth checking out if you need some assistance estimating your rental property expenses.
The more we talked about this, the more reasons there were for investors to make their Airbnb pet friendly. It makes perfect sense: If you want higher earnings and the opportunity to be ahead of your competition in the real estate business, allowing pets to stay with their owners is a massive plus for you as a host.
And the best part is that it’s not that challenging to adjust your current rental property to your new four-legged guests.
The benefits are incredible. However, you should be aware of some less favorable aspects of it—such as higher expenses. Then again, you can easily deal with that by adjusting your rates and going for the right insurance.
If you’ve been seriously considering the pet allowed Airbnb policy lately, we encourage you to realize your plans. Let Mashvisor help you choose the right short-term rental property for you.
To choose the plan that best fits your needs as an investor, click here.