I never thought I would have to be staying in vacation rentals for a few months with my dogs. But life has a way of surprising you and surprising your checkbook! Are checkbooks still a thing? I guess that’s off topic.
Going off topic is what I do. We don’t conform to normal expectations. We live spontaneously. We traveled full-time in an RV for animal rescues for over seven years.
So when one of our sponsorships ended and it was time to turn in the RV, we found ourselves without a place to stay until we begin our move to Italy at the end of August. We also found ourselves without a car, but again, that’s off topic.
We decided that since we have to drive to New York from Florida to get on the Queen Mary 2 with our dogs, that the best situation for them in order to be comfortable was to stay in vacation rentals along the way. Airbnbs are easy to book and there are a good number of them to choose from. But the pet fees? I had no idea how expensive this would be!
Even is a listing is marked as “pets allowed”, most have rules and limitations. Some rental owners can choose to ban specific breeds or have weight limits.
Some listings can only have one dog. Some listings say that pets are allowed, but when you read the fine print, and make sure you do that, they say the owner makes a case by case determination. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need that kind of stress in my life. Either my dogs are allowed, or they are not. I won’t go that extra mile to ask for your permission and judgement about my dogs.
So if my dogs are allowed, and the listing looks like it is accessible for my senior puppy, I then take a look at the pet fees. In our experience over the last few months, the fees can range from $25 a pet or up to $150 per pet. This is usually spread out over the booking days, and you won’t see the final price with all taxes and pet fees until you hit reserve. Yet, another one of the problems I have with Airbnbs that front a lower price than actual price. Off topic again!
Now, let me say, I think that if you do charge a pet fee, there should be basic amenities for the pups including water bowls, food bowls and dog bags. I also think that the ones like us that are staying at these homes cover the furniture ourselves, vacuum the pet hair each day and be respectful of others.
That’s just the beginning. But the pet fees? If you charge them, and the renters accept them, provide something basic for the pups.
I do agree that pets bring an additional element for cleaning a rental. But charging both a cleaning fee and a pet fee? Is that not a bit excessive? And on the other side, can we as pet owners take a bigger responsibility to keep the home clean and follow the house rules?
Airbnb’s website states:
Whether you’re looking for pet-friendly or pet-free, you can find a listing’s pet policy in its House rules section. Even if a listing says pets are allowed, always contact the Host to confirm, tell them about the pet(s) you plan to bring, and find out if restrictions apply. For instance, pets may not be allowed on beds or sofas.
And also remember that if an owner of the home lives onsite, they may have their own pets as well. They are required to state that on the listing.
I am very tired of paying pet fees on Airbnb rentals. It is hard to find rental availability to begin with, and even if you do find one, you may only get one for less than a week, and that adds up to more and more pet fees.
I hope that Airbnb can reconsider their pet fee policies, and take the additional cleaning fee into account as well. Until then, you may see us on your street sometime soon.
2 Traveling Dogs