Should you allow pets in your short-term rental? What you need to know to decide.

Should You Allow Pets in Your Short-Term Rental? What You Need To Know To Decide

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Are you a short-term rental host who is wondering whether you should allow pets? You may feel pressure to welcome pets to increase bookings, or you may have restrictions from doing so. Either way, there are many things to consider before offering a pet-friendly listing.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of pet-friendly short-term rentals. We’ll also provide you with some tips on how to make your pet-friendly rental a success, and guidelines you must be aware of. Then you can decide whether or not allowing pets is right for you and your property.

What Is a Pet-Friendly Short-Term Rental?

Simply put, a pet-friendly short-term rental is a property that allows guests to bring their pets with them when they stay. This type of rental has increased in popularity, as more people travel with their furry friends and consider them to be an important part of their lives.


  • Attract a wider pool of guests
  • You can charge higher rates
  • Pet owners can feel happier and more at home in your rental
  • Guests can save on pet boarding fees


  • Risk of damage to your property
  • Cleaning can be more difficult and costly
  • Dealing with noise complaints
  • Some people have allergies to pets

How to Decide Whether to Allow Pets

Consider Your Property

  • Size– If your property is small, you may not want to allow pets, as they can take up a lot of space.
  • Flooring– If your property has delicate flooring, pet’s nails can scratch and pet waste may damage it too.
  • Furniture– Consider using inexpensive furniture, since stains, scratches, and chews may occur.
  • Neighborhood– Is your property located in an area with a lot of other pets or pet events? This may make it more attractive to guests with pets.

Consider Your Market

  • Your ideal guest– If your target market is families with children or people who work from home, allowing pets may be just what they’re looking for in a rental.
  • Location– If your property is located near activities pets can do with guests or pet related events, your property can be more attractive to a wider range of guests.
  • Your competitors– If nearby rentals allow pets, welcoming pets can help you stay competitive.

Consider Your Personal Preferences

  • If you don’t like pets or are allergic to them, allowing them may cause unnecessary stress for you.
  • Allowing pets on your property can mean more work for you, such as cleaning up, managing damage, and dealing with noise and other complaints.

What You Must Know About Pets and Your Short-Term Rental

  • Local Laws Regarding Animals– Are there local ordinances in your city or county regarding dog noise or containment requirements? Check with your local code offices to stay in compliance and communicate effectively with guests about what rules they have to follow during their stay.
  • Federal Laws Regarding Animals– The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits hosts from preventing guests with service animals from using their accommodations whether the host allows pets or not. Visit the ADA online to learn what rules you must follow regarding guests with service or emotional support animals so you don’t run afoul of the law.

    Check out our article on Service Dog Requests to learn more.
  • Liability– Does your homeowner’s and rental insurance cover you if you allow pets? A quick call to your policy agent will help you determine if you’re covered. If you are not, you may want to consider a different carrier such as Proper Insurance, which is specifically designed for short-term rental property needs. Many hosts are surprised to find their homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover short-term rentals, so make sure to confirm these details ASAP.
  • Your neighbors– It’s important to talk to your neighbors and get their input on whether or not they would be comfortable with pets on your property. Ask them to contact you first regarding any disturbance due to pets on your property, so you can resolve the issue immediately and keep peace in your neighborhood.

Six Tips For Making Your Pet-Friendly Short-Term Rental A Success

If you’re considering welcoming pets in your short-term rental, there are a few things you can do to minimize the risks and make your pet-friendly rental pawsitively successful.

  1. Have a pet policy in place that outlines your expectations for guests with pets. Include information about the types of pets that are allowed, the fees you charge, and the rules for restraining and cleaning up after pets.
  2. Screen guests carefully before they book your rental. This includes asking about the size and temperament of their pets and reading their reviews for any mentions of past experience with their pets in rentals.
  3. Provide pet amenities. This could include a pet bed, food and water bowls, toys, leash, and don’t forget the poo bags to keep your property clean!
  4. Designate a pet relief area. Do you have a patch of grass in your backyard or a designated spot you can direct guests to?
  5. Be flexible. If a guest’s pet causes any damage to your property, work quickly to resolve the issue with your guest and Airbnb or other platforms.
  6. Charge a pet fee and/or additional cleaning fee. Having the funds to clean well and manage damage will be important to keeping future guests safe and happy with your listing. Be aware that certain fees cannot be charged to people with service animals.

You Decide

As you can see, there is a lot to learn and consider when deciding whether or not to allow pets in your short-term rental. But even if you decide to allow them, you can stop if it becomes difficult or costly to manage. It may be worth it to give it a try! 

Do you allow pets in your short-term rental? What tips can you share that can help hosts decide if pet-friendly stays are right for them? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author Beth McGee

Beth McGee is an Airbnb Superhost and a home cleaning and organization expert. Beth enjoys helping hosts succeed in the short-term rental industry through virtual services such as listing setup, guest relations, and creating an excellent guest experience. She is the author of Get Your House Clean Now: The Home Cleaning Method Anyone Can Master, a best-selling book that has helped thousands of readers improve their well-being and STR experience by transforming their homes into spaces of comfort and cleanliness.