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Elena with Toby St Paul de Vence

How to Book a Bnb with Pet Dog

Whether through Airbnb, VRBO, or booking.com, reserving a Bnb with a pet dog in any country can be challenging. First off, the quality of the accommodations is generally going to be rudimentary at best. As soon as you check that box that states you’re bringing a pet, your choices become limited to as much as ten percent or even none.

Bnb Booking Methodologies

Therefore, you have four choices:

  • Disclose that you have a pet and book a utilitarian place.
  • Lie, and hopefully don’t meet anyone physically or get caught.
  • Train your dog to be a Psychiatric Service Dog. 
  • Contact the owner/listing agent for the Bnb.

Choice one is the easiest and simplest route, provided you are visiting an area with a high population of Bnb’s. It may not provide the best results but is the path of least resistance. Hopefully, you like a place with bare tile floors, Ikea furniture, and a couch from the dump.

The second choice is the most difficult and can land you in all kinds of trouble, as well as without a place to stay. Not a good idea in post-pandemic travel frenzied times.

The third choice takes a bit of work and expense. Most owners in Europe have no clue what an ESA is, but AirBnb states that Service Animals do not need disclosure. See our guest blog about Flying with a Service Dog.

Reviews on Air Bnb
Check all the reviews and take with grain of salt. Ask Jonas.

The Secret Sauce behind Door #4

Now let’s talk about choice 4: contact the owner/listing agent for the Bnb. If a listing agent, unless you have mafia connections, you can pretty much fuggedaboutit. But if you have plenty of lead time and there are many places still vacant (without checking the I have a pet that’s going to destroy your place entirely box), you can simple email them and ask. There is no penalty for doing so.

  1. Accompany your nice email with a photo of the dog, you and yours with the dog, and perhaps references from your Ny stay at Eva Gabor’s (Eddie Albert’s won’t do).
  2. Tell them in the letter that you cover the bed with something or better yet, show the dog’s bed you will bring with you and that it will sleep on the floor.
  3. Better yet, offer an additional deposit on the side. That’s a last resort so your pet doesn’t wind up at the pet resort.
Message to AirBnB host asking to allow dogs.
Google map of AirBnb

Google Map It

As with all Bnb’s make sure that you get a precisely mapped address from the owner, which you can look at with Google Maps in satellite view. While most booking agencies won’t provide it until after you book, you can ask for it in the email. If they say no, question that, but you generally have 24 hours to cancel should you not heed the warning sign that they are the bad dog, not you nor yours. Canceled booking refunds can take weeks and vein-popping long phone calls to customer service.

Hotel vs Bnb

We’ve had to bail on about one in four Bnbs, which is why in stays of a week or less, we’ll often opt for a hotel typically through booking.com. But hotels are not only expensive, but can also offer the worst rooms for pets. Email (in form) hotels as well to see what rooms are available for pets, what fees they charge, and so on. It’s easier to bail on a hotel than a Bnb, by far. Booking is pretty fair about it as they don’t want you to leave a scathing review. Moi? Never!

Bnb’s Gone Wrong

Our worst nightmares had nothing to do with our dog; more with human’s remodeling or road noise. As a digital nomad, one of us works creating audio VO recordings for videos. We state this in our correspondence, asking them to ensure that there will be no issues. Most HOA’s require tenants to give a month’s notice that construction will occur, so they will know about it.

When we arrived at our million dollar above Cannes dream view pad, booked for a month through better not say, our first disappointment were the furnishings. Quite awful, but we knew we were paying for the view and location. Yes, the view was incredible. More incredible was the road construction project taking place right below it. There was a sign stating precisely when it would begin… on Monday.

This place was a dog. Not at all what the pictures showed, and right next to a busy road. Bed trop petite... not for good for month-long stay. Bail!
The trouble with travaux! Right in front of our Bnb.

Trop Bruit!

The owners assured us the French were slow, it would never happen. Monday rolled around and so did the bulldozers, earth hammers, metal saws… you get the point. We spent three days of aggravation getting out of there, of which we were charged 1k for cleaning and booking fees. This also left us with no place to stay in a completely booked French Riviera.

There are many other renovation horror stories where we’ve had to just get out during the day (on the upside, a splendid excuse to take a few days off). We’ll spare you as this is not a therapy session as much as an informational posst, hah! But there was that one time where the place did not match the photos in Avignon, was right next to a busy road, and the owner spoke not a lick of English. Okay, session over!

So that’s pretty much it. The further you book in advance, the better your chances of finding a decent place for you and your Fido. Bon voyage!

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