K9sOverCoffee | 5 Tips for Hosting An Air B&B with Dogs

5 Tips For Hosting An Air B&B With Dogs

It’s totally doable to host an Air B&B with dogs, and today I’m sharing my top 5 tips on how to successfully pull it off!

So I recently converted the in-law suite on my upstairs level into an Air B&B space. It’s a good way of making a little extra cash, get to know different people from a variety of walks of life, and it’s a great socialization opportunity for my 2 Boxer mixes. 

That said, I had to think about the logistics of having the dogs at my Air B&B space before I listed it…and learned one additional lesson during my hosting experience, ha!

5 Tips For Hosting An Air B&B With Dogs

K9sOverCoffee.com | 5 Tips for hosting an Air B&B with dogs

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1. Mention Your Dog(s) In Your Listing

First things first – if you have dogs who live in your home and will be present while Air B&B guests stay over, do mention it in your listing.

Some people are afraid of dogs or simply don’t care for them. What?! I know, right..

Anyways, this is what my listing says:

Queen size bed with private bathroom in single family home. 15 mins from Fort Bragg (closest gate is the Butner gate). Shopping center with grocery store, gym, Mc Donald’s, Subway, dry cleaner, nail salon, hair dresser and gas station across the street.

Kitchen is fully equipped. You’re welcome to use the washer/dryer in the laundry room and park your car in the garage. Home is alarmed.

2 Boxer mixes live in my home, so this listing isn’t for you if you’re afraid of dogs! They are very sweet though!

2. Be Home To Greet Your Guests In Person

Some Air B&B hosts have a lockbox on their front door that holds the key to their house.

It’s a great way of letting guests into your space when you can’t be present during check-in. 

When I thought about the logistics of listing my space I immediately knew that I wouldn’t be able to use this option.

I simply can’t have strangers enter my home while I’m gone and expect Missy & Buzz to politely greet them. 

I also wouldn’t want to take the chance of the pups running off. Plus, I personally wouldn’t be comfortable coming home to a stranger in the house, even though I virtually “met” them beforehand.

So that’s why I do insist on meeting every guest in person. So far, this approach has worked out quite nicely.

3. Keep Your Space Clean – “I Noticed Your Place Doesn’t Smell Like Dogs At All!”

Two of my guests have made the comment that my place doesn’t smell like dogs at all.

Sorta surprising when you have two medium to large size dogs, right?

Well, that’s one of the many benefits of feeding your dogs a species appropriate, raw dog food diet.

Here’s the thing – dogs who eat raw meat don’t have that typical dog smell about them that kibble-fed dogs have, so obviously their home doesn’t either.

Bone appétit - My Dogs Are Digging Into Their Raw Dog Food
Missy & Buzz with their raw dog food

So this specific nutritional approach that I take with my dogs works out great for my Air B&B adventure!

Besides that, I also make sure to thoroughly vacuum and clean the guest space as well as all shared spaces before new guests check in. 

I will say that I’m sort of a neat freak by nature and keep my house clean either way! But I do step it up a notch when I get the booking alert on my Air B&B app.

If your dogs aren’t raw fed, you may want to give them a bath and/or a good brushing before a guest arrives. 

After all, you want to make the best first impression possible to get outstanding reviews that will attract new guests, and possibly even repeat guests

So far, I’ve had one repeat guest who’s stayed on 4 separate occasions, and one couple who spent 9 consecutive nights while house hunting, followed by an additional 18 nights while they were waiting to move into their new home.

It was perfect because the pups already knew them and I didn’t have to do any re-introductions.

K9sOverCoffee | Feedback from a happy Air B&B Guest
K9sOverCoffee | Emily left me a positive Air B&B review

4. Don’t Let Your Dogs Invade The Space Of Your Guests

Since Missy & Buzz are crate trained, I put them up in their dog crates right before a guest arrives to check in.

That way, they’re not invading the guest’s personal space and I get a chance to show the guest around sans dogs.

Once they’ve settled into their guest space, I introduce them to the pups.

Usually Missy is first because all she wants to do is be loved on. Buzz only wants to enlist the new visitor to play ball with him, so I’m saving that for last 😉 

If your dogs aren’t crate trained, another option would be to confine them to a bedroom.

K9sOverCoffee | How to keep your dog from pooping inside the house:Puppies Missy and Buzz in their crate
Back in the day when I started crate training the puppies

Speaking of bedrooms – the pups sleep in my bedroom at night and I usually don’t close my bedroom door. After all, I would want them to be able to react and protect the house and myself if someone broke in.

I do, however, close my bedroom door at night when Air B&B guests are staying with us. That way, the pups are out of anyone’s way if they’re going into the kitchen or need to leave super early in the morning before I’m up. 

I’ve also told all guests that they may want to close the privacy door leading to their space upstairs. Missy & Buzz are nosy and would wander up there to sniff around if it stayed open 😉

They were particularly interested in doing that when the house hunting couple stayed here because they brought their 2 guinea pigs along. The pups were very intrigued in getting to know them, which, of course, didn’t happen.

Guinea pigs Ruby and Lady eat fresh food every day
Lady and Ruby, the guinea pigs of one of my Air B&B guests

5. Give Your Guests Clear Dog Instructions

I learned that one the hard way when I failed to mention that Buzz can AND WILL open packages left out within his reach!

One of the guests brought a package inside while I wasn’t home and placed it on the floor right by the front door.

Since it was the pups’ monthly delivery of single-ingredient, air-dried treats from Real Pet Food, Buzz opened the package and (hopefully) shared the beef liver, smelt, and turkey breast with his sister. Sigh.

Missy Anticipating Her Air-Dried Smelt From Feed Real Pet Food
Single-ingredient, air dried dog treats from Real Pet

So do yourself a favor and think about what kind of trouble your pup could manage to get into while they’re home alone with the guest(s)!

One option would certainly be to just put them up in a room or crate them.

5 Tips For Hosting An Air B&B With Dogs: Bottom Line

While I’m only two months into hosting an Air B&B space, it’s been a great experience so far. The pups seem to think so too as they’ve been getting their fair share of lovings from our guests! 

It has literally paid off to think about the logistics involved with dogs on the premises. So to recap, if you’re thinking about listing your space with dogs on Air B&B, I would: 

  • Specifically mention your dogs in the listing 
  • Be home when new guests arrive 
  • Introduce your dogs after the guests have had a moment to settle it 
  • Don’t allow your dogs to invade your guests’ space 
  • Be sure to point out any dog specific rules to your guests

Have you thought about listing (part of) your home on Air B&B? Do you have any further tips on how to make the experience a smooth one for everyone involved? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!

Related Reading:

How to combine house-and crate training your puppy

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.


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