Can I Host on Airbnb If I Have Pets?

DaphneI am slapping myself on the forehead as I admit this: It seems when you write a book about something, you’re suddenly treated as a resident expert.

Duh! I’m honored, but I was a bit unprepared.

Dinner parties, summer BBQs, and cocktail banter in hidden corners at bars will not be the same for the foreseeable future. “Oh, you wrote a book about Airbnb? I’ve been thinking about doing that at my house…” is the inevitable response when I tell people what I “do.”

Then the questions come at me in rapid-fire succession.

They’re received in stride, and then I turn the tables and ask them a few things about their living situation. I’m always happy to share Airbnb advice gleaned from writing my book and sixteen months of hosting. I’m humbled people trust me enough to ask, and I love helping hosts be the best than can be, ensuring we all win in a marketplace built around the idea of community and sharing.

These chats I have with strangers and friends will be used to your advantage here! I’ll share some recent conversations with y’all, and if you have questions of your own, please share them in the comments on Facebook. By answering them in my blog posts, everyone can benefit.

Today’s question: “I have a dog. Can I still host?”

Answer:

Certainly! However, be aware your pup might be a huge turn-off for potential guests, because where is a dog most territorial? At home!

Before listing my house on Capitol Hill in Seattle, I studied my competition in the surrounding neighborhood to analyze other hosts’ offerings and pricing strategies. Numerous hosts had pets, and I noted that their guest reviews consistently mentioned their experience with the animals—both positive and negative. Dogs that barked or were aggressive upon arrival, and cats that weren’t mentioned beforehand in the listing, but inflamed a guests’ allergies.

Of course, many people love animals and welcome the chance to interact with a host’s pet. It’s all about communicating what guests can expect to find at your home. If little Buffy is territorial and likes to bark at your friends, imagine how Buffy will act toward strangers arriving to stay in your home? Take photos of your animal and be honest about its nature.

If you aren’t home to welcome your guests when they arrive, you might consider keeping your pet in a crate or separate living area until you’re home to ensure animals and humans are introduced and both are comfortable.

Bottom line, if you have pets, you’re sure to attract other animal-lovers, but be upfront in your listing! People are generally easy to please, as long as they’re prepared for what to expect as a guest in your home.

Happy hosting!