Fact checked

Airbnb Pet Fees Explained (And How to Avoid Them)

If you plan on renting an Airbnb and are trying to avoid pet fees your options are limited. The only guaranteed way to forgo pet fees is to have a service animal. Otherwise you can attempt to reach out to the Airbnb host, explain your situation, and ask for an exception.

Matt Fleming
January 12, 2024
August 16, 2023
6 minute read
Updated By
Grant Fiddes
September 18, 2023
Expert Reviewed By:
August 16, 2023
August 29, 2023
6 minute read
September 18, 2023
While Airbnbs typically have pricey pet fees, there are a few ways to navigate them. Including having a psychiatric service dog. Find out more.

If you love traveling with your pet, whether it is a canine, cat, or another animal, finding pet-friendly lodging can be tricky. One of the most popular options for vacation rentals is Airbnb — a service for short- and long-term homestays, often hosted by everyday homeowners. However, there is no blanket pet policy for these properties, so each one has its own rules, and if they accept animal companions, they typically charge Airbnb pet fees. But with some information and a little savvy, you can avoid these fees. Let’s learn how.

Airbnb Pet Fees

Airbnb pet fees vary depending on the host and property. These fees can range from a flat rate to a nightly charge. It's crucial to check the property's listing for specific pricing details and any additional requirements, like pet deposits or size restrictions, before booking to ensure a smooth and enjoyable stay with your furry friend.

Does Airbnb Allow Pets?

The Airbnb network of properties is diverse, with each owned independently unlike a hotel chain. That means each one has its own pet policy, along with rules for keeping the space clean and its own pet fees. Consider the types of properties available — apartments, guest rooms, and entire houses are among those you can choose from, and each has its nuances as far as outdoor access for pets or interior compatibility for different animals. 

What are Airbnb’s Pet Fees?

Airbnb pet fees are meant to offset the costs associated with allowing pets, such as additional cleaning. These fees can vary in range, but they are set by the property owners as a flat fee and are charged in the overall total price, not as a separate fee. However, Airbnb explicitly forbids property managers to charge fees for official physical or psychiatric service dogs (PSDs) or miniature horses. Guests are allowed to bring their service animals with them in their Airbnb rental or experience and are not required to disclose the presence of a service animal before booking.

Also, Airbnb hosts are not allowed to charge pet fees or refuse a reservation for service dogs. Hosts are only allowed to ask these two questions of an owner of a PSD or physical service animal:

  • Does the guest require their service animal because of a disability?
  • What work or tasks has the animal been trained to perform?

However, there are some exceptions to this policy; a guest’s service animal must be well-behaved and not pose a threat to the property host or the property itself and they may not be left unaccompanied without prior approval. Also, these rules don’t apply to emotional support animals (ESAs), which are not considered working animals, and fees may be charged (unless local regulations require them to be treated as service animals).

How to Find a Pet-Friendly Airbnb

For travelers whose pets are not certified as service animals, it’s important to find a pet-friendly Airbnb listing. On the Airbnb website and app, you can find this information in the property’s “house rules,” or you can apply search filters to make it easy to find such listings. However, even if pets are listed as allowed, it’s important to contact the host to tell them about the animal and learn of any applicable restrictions. 

Etiquette for Staying at a Pet-Friendly Airbnb

Even if your assistance animal or pet is allowed to stay with you in your Airbnb, there may be some rules to follow that include common etiquette. For example, some hosts don’t want your pet on certain furniture such as beds and couches, so it’s a smart idea to bring along your own sheets to cover them up. Also, you should always clean up any dog waste from the yard, as this is not typically included in cleaning fees, and failure could cause you to incur penalty fees. 

Tips for Avoiding Airbnb Pet Fees

If you want to avoid paying pet fees the next time you stay at an Airbnb property, you should consider training your dog to be a service animal. PSDs and physical service dogs are allowed to accompany you without additional fees, so getting your dog certified as a service animal can make a significant difference. 

See if You Qualify for an Assistance Animal

At Pettable, we’re committed to helping people with disabilities acquire service dogs or train their pets to do helpful tasks. To get started, fill out our service animal questionnaire and our professionals will determine your eligibility for a PSD.

Contact your Airbnb Host and Explain Your Situation

If you have an ESA that isn’t typically allowed in Airbnb properties, contact your host to see if you can work out an exception. Let them know how important your pet is to your mental and emotional health and ensure them that you’ll adhere to house rules and do everything you can to ensure your animal will behave. 

Get in Touch with Airbnb Customer Support

If your host doesn’t want to comply with Airbnb’s rules regarding certified service animals, contact the company’s customer support department. Airbnb is committed to reasonable accessibility, so the support professionals might be able to work out an exception to paying pet fees — especially if you have an official ESA letter or service animal certification.

Assistance Animals in Airbnbs

There are some significant differences between service animals and emotional support animals:

Service Animals

A service animal, such as a PSD, must be certified and trained to perform specific tasks related to their owner’s disability. This type of assistance animal is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)

An emotional support animal (ESA) is a pet that provides emotional comfort for its owner but isn’t trained to perform specific tasks, so it’s not protected like a service animal.

Traveling with a Psychiatric Service Dog

To make traveling with a PSD easier, make sure to plan ahead by choosing the right Airbnb listing, checking about airline rules for service animals, and understanding how you and your dog should make the trip easier for yourselves and your hosts.

How to Get a Psychiatric Service Dog

To get your psychiatric service dog, contact Pettable. Our professionals can help you train your current dog or find one that fits your needs perfectly. Get started today and plan your next adventure tomorrow!

Meet the author:
Matt Fleming

Matt is a Midwestern-based writer and devoted dog dad, living with a sweet mixed-breed pup named Robin. A life-long dog lover, he had the pleasure of growing up with several German Shepherds, a Cocker Spaniel, and a Black Labrador. He is a full-time editor, as well as a musician and poet, who loves basketball, birdwatching and listening to The Cure and Nick Cave.

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