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What Airbnb Hosts Need to Know About Being Pet Friendly

 

I’ve stayed in dozens of Airbnbs with my mini schnauzer, Woof Woof. Most have been wonderful experiences. We even had one host sort through guest requests hoping one would have a dog. He didn’t have the time to have a pet, so he loved the idea of having one that stays a few days and has someone else to take care of them. He would walk Woof Woof, with my permission, when I wasn’t home.

If you are an Airbnb Host – or thinking about becoming one, here’s what you need to know about accepting pets.

  1. Be specific in house rules. You can have a wonderful experience hosting pets and still choose the kind of pets you’re willing to accept. For instance, you may list that you only accept dogs of a certain size, such as under 25 pounds. You can also decide whether or not you accept cats, birds or rodents. Pet-friendly refers to all pets, so you want to be specific. Samples of what you can say are only small dogs, accepts dogs and cats, or message me first if bringing a pet other than a small dog. You can also set behavioral guidelines. You may decide to have quiet hours after 11p including barking, meowing, or a bird chirping. Thus, after 11p, dogs and cats should be with their human traveler at this time. A bird may be soothed by their human being home, too. You can also decide whether or not you expect a pet to be crated or caged when alone.
  2. Don’t use Instabook if you aren’t willing to accept all pets. Instabook is a feature on Airbnb that you’ll automatically accept all guest requests. It’s helpful for saving time if you don’t want to take the time to screen guests, but it may mean you could host a cat when you’re allergic. You could also have a Great Dane show up at your door when you have a small apartment. Someone could have pet rats that occasionally get loose and run around your home. Clear house rules will help you use this feature well, because potential guests will know about your pet preferences first.
  3. Talk about your own pets in the house rules. Is your dog playful? Does he or she get territorial? Will she be confined to one area? Is there minimal barking? Guests look at the description of the other pet, so they know or not their pet would be a good fit for your household. When guests arrive, you may need a ritual ready for introducing new pets based on how your pet bonds with other dogs. Some dogs bond over a walk or a play date at the park. For others, it’s just a quick sniff on leash. It may also be getting treats at the same time with their new friend. But you also have an older pet may be intimidated if the other dog jumps that may just want to chill in its room. Always remember, you’re inviting someone to share your home. You can and should ask questions beforehand about pets or be very specific in house rules. The result is a better experience for everyone.

To sign up to be an Airbnb host click here: airbnb.evyy.net/QKQvz.

 

 

Woof Woof’s Lessons from Staying in Airbnbs for a Year

They say a dog knows every scent in their home well. Woof Woof knows the scent of my luggage. When in a new Airbnb, he knows wherever our luggage is happens to be our room.

For the year we stayed primarily in Airbnbs, he was comforted by that familiarity. He got to play in dog parks in 17 states, 7 countries, and 2 Canadian Provinces.

He met over a dozen different Airbnb hosts from college students to Michelin star chefs. He’s heard Woof Woof spoken in at least 5 languages. In case you’re curious Voof Voof is how you spell Woof Woof in Norwegian.

But it wasn’t all fun and sniffs. We both had to learn the best ways to live with other dogs and people we didn’t know. I learned how to introduce the idea of him coming by text, how much time to give someone to make sure they read the message that essentially says a well-behaved canine guest will be staying with them, and when I should and shouldn’t dog sit another guest’s or the  host dog. Hint: never before you’ve seen them play together nicely with two adults present.

I’m so excited to share our travel tips with you here and biweekly on Woof Woof’s Instagram account.

 

 

 

 

Woof Woof’s Halloween in Brooklyn

I’m never going to go all out for a Halloween costume for Woof Woof. He’s going to have one off the rack, or I’ll make one that’s relatively simple. This year, he went as Mets pitcher Jacob DeGrom. The reason I chose him is Woof Woof already had his shirt from when he covered Bark in the Park with a press pass in May. I bought him a kids t-shirt for the event that fits him perfectly.

But a jersey by itself isn’t enough. So I went to Party City to look for a wavy-haired wig small enough to fit a mini schnauzer. It was a much tougher task than trying to find a toddler-sized t-shirt. All the wigs were sized for adults. Thus, the shortest wig we could find was one that was supposed to look like a comb over. To keep the wig on, I tied his dog Yamuka on top that he happened to have from his Bark Mitzvah.

Woof Woof shook off the wig when he got to the pup parade. His costume then changed to just Mets fan. Before the costume contest started, he looked for other dogs to play with. After all, the best of a pup parade for Woof Woof is bringing his friends together for a giant playdate.