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A Guide to Becoming a Pet-Friendly Rental: Maximizing Your Airbnb Profits

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Quick Answer

By preparing your space, setting clear policies, and effectively marketing your property, you can create a welcoming environment for pets and their owners while maximizing your Airbnb earnings.


The growing trend of pet-friendly travel has created a significant opportunity for property owners to boost their profits by catering to this expanding market. With over 53% of travelers taking holidays with their furry companions, the demand for pet-friendly accommodations is rising. Estimates suggest that roughly 2 million domestic animals board commercial flights each year, highlighting the importance of this segment in the travel industry.

As pet ownership continues to grow, particularly among millennials and Gen Z, who make up the largest percentage of pet owners, property managers who embrace pet-friendly policies stand to gain a competitive advantage. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of how to transform your rental property into a pet-friendly haven, maximizing your Airbnb profits while creating a welcoming environment for guests and their beloved pets.

Understanding the Pet-Friendly Market

The pet-friendly travel market has experienced significant growth in recent years, with more and more travelers opting to bring their furry friends along on their adventures. According to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, 37% of pet owners travel with their pets every year, which is expected to continue rising.

Benefits of Catering to Pet Owners

Embracing a pet-friendly approach can lead to numerous benefits for Airbnb hosts, including:

  • Increased bookings and occupancy rates: By allowing pets, you open your rental to a wider pool of potential guests, which can lead to more bookings and higher occupancy rates throughout the year.
  • Higher nightly rates and revenue: Pet owners are often willing to pay a premium for accommodations that welcome their furry companions. Studies show that pet-friendly rentals can command nightly rates that are 20-30% higher than non-pet-friendly properties.
  • Longer stays and reduced vacancy periods: Pet owners tend to book longer stays compared to non-pet owners, as they prefer to settle in and make their pets comfortable. This can help reduce vacancy periods and ensure a more consistent income stream.
  • Competitive advantage over non-pet-friendly listings: In many markets, pet-friendly rentals are still relatively rare. By offering this option, you can differentiate your listing from competitors and attract a loyal customer base.

Potential Drawbacks and Considerations

While the benefits of going pet-friendly are clear, it's essential to consider the potential drawbacks and challenges:

  1. Increased wear and tear on the property: Pets can cause additional wear and tear on your rental, from scratched floors to chewed furniture. When setting your rates and policies, it's important to factor in these potential costs.
  2. Potential for noise complaints or allergies: Some pets may bark excessively or trigger allergies in other guests, which could lead to complaints or negative reviews. Clear communication and guidelines can help mitigate these issues.
  3. Additional cleaning and maintenance requirements: Pet-friendly rentals often require more thorough cleaning and maintenance between guests to remove pet hair, dander, and odors. This may necessitate hiring professional cleaning services or investing in specialized equipment.

Preparing Your Rental for Pets

To ensure a successful and stress-free experience for both you and your pet-owning guests, it's crucial to properly prepare your rental space. This involves pet-proofing your property, providing essential amenities, and considering outdoor accommodations.

Pet-Proofing Your Space

Begin by thoroughly inspecting your rental for any potential hazards, such as loose wires, toxic plants, or small objects that could be swallowed. Remove or secure these items to prevent accidents and ensure the safety of your furry guests.

Opt for flooring materials that are resistant to scratches, stains, and moisture, such as tile, hardwood, or luxury vinyl plank. When selecting furniture, choose pieces with durable, washable fabrics or invest in removable covers for easy cleaning.

Establish specific areas within your rental for pet feeding, sleeping, and playing. This can help minimize pet-related messes and provide a sense of structure for your guests and their pets.

Providing Pet Amenities

  1. Beds, blankets, and toys: Offer comfortable pet beds, blankets, and a selection of toys to make your furry guests feel at home. Consider providing a variety of options to cater to different sizes and preferences.
  2. Food and water bowls: Supply clean, durable food and water bowls for your pet-owning guests. Stainless steel or ceramic bowls are ideal, as they are easy to clean and less likely to harbor bacteria.
  3. Waste bags and disposal solutions: Make cleaning up after their pets easy for guests by providing a supply of waste bags and designated disposal bins. Consider installing a waste bag dispenser in your outdoor area for added convenience.
  4. Pet gates or barriers: Offer pet gates or barriers to help guests keep their pets confined to specific areas of the rental, such as away from bedrooms or off furniture.

Outdoor Considerations

  1. Secure fencing and gates: Ensure that your outdoor space is properly fenced and gated to prevent pets from escaping or encountering potential hazards. Regularly inspect and maintain your fencing to address any gaps or damage.
  2. Designated potty areas: Create a designated outdoor area for pets to relieve themselves, such as a small patch of artificial grass or a gravel-lined space. Provide clear instructions for guests on how to properly dispose of pet waste.
  3. Outdoor play and exercise equipment: Consider offering outdoor play and exercise equipment for pets, such as agility obstacles, tether toys, or a small swimming pool. These amenities can help keep pets entertained and provide a unique selling point for your rental.

Setting Pet Policies and Fees

Establishing clear pet policies and fees is essential for managing expectations, minimizing potential issues, and protecting your rental property. By setting transparent guidelines and communicating them effectively, you can ensure a smooth and profitable pet-friendly rental experience.

Establishing Clear Pet Policies

  1. Permitted pet types, breeds, and sizes: Clearly specify which types of pets you allow (e.g., dogs, cats, birds), as well as any breed or size restrictions. This helps potential guests determine if your rental is suitable for their pets and can prevent misunderstandings or conflicts.
  2. Number of pets allowed per booking: Decide the maximum number of pets you're willing to accommodate. This can depend on factors such as the size of your rental, local regulations, and your personal preferences.
  3. Rules for pet behavior and supervision: Establish clear rules for pet behavior, such as requiring pets to be leashed in common areas, prohibiting excessive barking, and specifying areas where pets are not allowed (e.g., bedrooms or furniture). Also, emphasize the importance of proper pet supervision to prevent damage or disturbances.
  4. Expectations for cleaning up after pets: Clearly outline your expectations for guests to clean up after their pets indoors and outdoors. This can include using provided waste bags, properly disposing of waste, and promptly reporting any accidents or damage.

Determining Pet Fees and Deposits

Refundable vs. non-refundable pet deposits: Decide whether to charge a refundable or non-refundable pet deposit. Refundable deposits can be returned to guests if no pet-related damage occurs, while non-refundable deposits can help cover the cost of additional cleaning or wear and tear.

  1. Additional cleaning fees: Consider charging an additional cleaning fee to cover the extra time and resources needed to thoroughly clean and sanitize your rental after pet stays. This fee can be a flat rate or a percentage of the booking total.
  2. Pet rent or nightly pet fees: Some hosts opt to charge a nightly pet fee or pet rent in addition to the regular booking rate. This can help offset the increased costs associated with pet-friendly rentals and provide a financial cushion for potential damages.

Communicating Policies and Fees to Guests

Ensure that your pet policies and fees are clearly stated in your Airbnb listing description and house rules. Use bullet points or numbered lists to make the information easy to read and understand.

Consider creating a separate pet agreement that guests must sign before their stay. This agreement should outline all pet-related policies, fees, and expectations, and serve as a binding contract between you and the guest.

Be prepared to answer pet-related questions and concerns from potential guests. Respond promptly and professionally, providing clear and concise information about your policies and fees. This can help build trust and ensure a positive booking experience.

Marketing Your Pet-Friendly Rental

To attract pet-owning guests and maximize your Airbnb profits, it's essential to effectively market your pet-friendly rental. By optimizing your listing, leveraging pet-friendly platforms, and encouraging positive reviews, you can showcase your property's unique features and build a loyal customer base.

Optimizing Your Listing for Pet Owners

  1. Using pet-friendly keywords and phrases: Incorporate pet-friendly keywords and phrases throughout your listing title, description, and amenities section. Examples include "pet-friendly," "dog-friendly," "cat-friendly," "pet-welcoming," and "pet accommodations." This helps your listing appear in relevant search results and attracts pet-owning guests.
  2. Highlighting pet amenities and features in your description: Emphasize the pet-friendly amenities and features you offer, such as designated pet areas, provided pet supplies, secure fencing, and nearby pet-friendly attractions. Use bullet points or a separate section to make this information easy to find and read.
  3. Including photos of your pet-friendly setup: Showcase your pet-friendly accommodations through high-quality photos. Include images of pet beds, feeding stations, outdoor play areas, and any other features that demonstrate your commitment to creating a welcoming environment for pets.

Leveraging Pet-Friendly Platforms and Directories

In addition to Airbnb, consider listing your property on pet-specific vacation rental platforms, such as BringFido, Pets Welcome, or Vacation Pet Friendly. These sites cater specifically to pet owners and can help you reach a targeted audience.

Build relationships with local pet businesses and organizations, such as pet stores, groomers, and animal rescue groups. These partnerships can lead to cross-promotion opportunities, referrals, and increased visibility for your pet-friendly rental.

Join and actively participate in pet-friendly social media communities, such as Facebook groups or Instagram hashtags related to pet travel. Share photos and stories of pets enjoying your rental, offer helpful tips, and engage with potential guests to build brand awareness and trust.

Encouraging Pet-Friendly Reviews and Referrals

Focus on delivering outstanding pet-friendly experiences that exceed guest expectations. This can include personalized pet welcome packages, recommendations for local pet-friendly activities, and prompt attention to any pet-related needs or concerns.

Encourage satisfied guests to leave reviews that specifically mention the pet-friendly aspects of their stay. These reviews serve as powerful social proof and can help attract more pet-owning guests to your rental.

Consider implementing a referral program that rewards guests for referring other pet owners to your rental. Incentives can include discounts on future stays, pet-related gifts, or charitable donations to animal welfare organizations.

Managing Pet-Friendly Bookings

Effectively managing pet-friendly bookings is crucial for ensuring a smooth and successful rental experience for both you and your guests. By implementing a thorough pre-arrival communication process, providing attentive support during the stay, and conducting comprehensive post-stay cleaning and maintenance, you can create a seamless and memorable experience for pet owners and their furry companions.

Pre-Arrival Communication

Before each pet-friendly booking, collect essential information about the guests' pets, such as their breed, size, age, and any special needs or requirements. This information can help you better prepare for their stay and anticipate any potential challenges.

Clearly communicate your pet policies, rules, and expectations to guests prior to their arrival. This can include information about permitted pet types, size restrictions, behavior guidelines, and cleaning responsibilities. Ensure that guests acknowledge and agree to these policies to avoid any misunderstandings.

Share information about local pet services and attractions with your guests, such as veterinarians, pet stores, groomers, dog parks, and pet-friendly restaurants. This extra level of service can help guests feel more comfortable and supported during their stay.

During the Stay

Create a special welcome package for your pet-owning guests, including items such as treats, toys, waste bags, and a list of local pet resources. This thoughtful gesture can help pets feel more at home and demonstrate your commitment to their comfort and well-being.

Throughout the stay, periodically check in with your guests to ensure they and their pets enjoy their experience. Ask if they have any questions, concerns, or additional needs related to their pet's comfort or accommodations.

If any pet-related issues or concerns arise during the stay, address them promptly and professionally. This can include responding to noise complaints, assisting with pet-related accidents, or providing guidance on local pet regulations. Being proactive and responsive can minimize potential conflicts and maintain a positive guest experience.

Post-Stay Cleaning and Maintenance

After each pet-friendly booking, conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection of your rental property. This should include vacuuming and washing all bedding, furniture covers, and soft surfaces and mopping and sanitizing hard floors and surfaces. Pay special attention to areas where pets may have spent more time, such as feeding stations and sleeping areas.

Carefully inspect your rental for any pet-related damage, such as scratches on floors or furniture, chewed items, or stains. Document any damage and promptly address necessary repairs or replacements. If the damage exceeds the pet deposit or fees, follow your established policies for billing guests accordingly.

After each pet-friendly stay, restock any used pet amenities and supplies, such as waste bags, treats, or toys. Ensure that all pet-related items are clean, fresh, and ready for the next guests and their furry companions.


Transforming your Airbnb rental into a pet-friendly haven can be a highly rewarding and profitable endeavor. By catering to the growing market of pet owners who travel with their furry companions, you can tap into a loyal and appreciative customer base, increase your bookings and revenue, and differentiate your property from competitors.

As the demand for pet-friendly accommodations continues to grow, now is the perfect time to embrace this trend and unlock the full potential of your Airbnb rental. With the right approach and a dedication to excellence, you can create a profitable and fulfilling pet-friendly hosting experience that benefits both your business and the wider community of pet-loving travelers.


How Can I Make My Airbnb Pet-Friendly?

To make your Airbnb pet-friendly, start by setting clear pet policies, including any restrictions on the number, size, or type of pets allowed. Provide pet amenities such as beds, bowls, and waste bags to create a welcoming environment. Update your listing description and photos to highlight your pet-friendly features, and consider adding a pet fee to cover any additional cleaning or maintenance costs.

What Should I Include in My Airbnb Pet Policy?

Your Airbnb pet policy should specify the types and sizes of pets allowed, the maximum number of pets per stay, and any breed restrictions. Clearly outline your expectations for pet behavior, such as keeping them off furniture or using designated pet areas. Include information about pet fees, deposits, and any additional cleaning requirements. Also, provide guidance on pet waste disposal and any nearby pet-friendly amenities or services.

How Can I Protect My Airbnb Property From Pet Damage?

To protect your Airbnb property from pet damage, consider requiring a pet deposit or fee to cover potential repairs or extra cleaning. Provide durable, easy-to-clean flooring and furniture, and designate specific pet areas to minimize wear and tear. Regularly inspect your property for any pet-related damage and address issues promptly. Additionally, consider investing in pet-proofing measures, such as securing loose wires or removing fragile items.

What Are Some Pet-Friendly Amenities I Can Offer in My Airbnb?

Pet-friendly amenities can include comfortable pet beds, food and water bowls, toys, and treats. Provide waste bags and designated disposal areas to encourage responsible pet ownership. Consider offering a small outdoor space or nearby pet-friendly recommendations, such as dog parks or walking trails. Other thoughtful touches might include pet towels, grooming supplies, or a small selection of pet food and supplies for guests who may have forgotten to pack them.

Reveal your property’s rental profitability

Buy this property and list it on Airbnb.