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Are Service Animals Allowed in Airbnb?

Airbnb accessibility policy

Since service dogs are allowed in most public places , including hotels, you may be wondering about Airbnbs. According to Airbnb’s accessibility policy, people with disabilities are included, and not discriminated against, because of their service animal or service dog.

Our community is built on the principles of inclusion, belonging, and respect, which include welcoming and supporting people with disabilities. In general, guests who require reasonable accommodations and services should not be discriminated against or denied service while using Airbnb.

In some jurisdictions, legal requirements may expand or limit the reasonable accommodations a Host must provide. Hosts and guests must comply with these legal requirements.

Airbnb Accessibility Policy
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Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals for Airbnb

Service animal definition for Airbnb

There are multiple definitions for the term “service animal” in the U.S. For the purpose of Airbnb, a service animal is a dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.

What Airbnb Allows

  • Guests are allowed to be accompanied by service animals during their stay or “Experience”
  • Folks are not required to disclose the presence of a service animal before booking. A Host may qualify for an exemption in certain circumstances, like if the particular service animal directly threatens their health or safety
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What’s an Airbnb “Experience”?

Airbnb Experiences are basically in-person (or sometimes online) activities that are hosted by local experts. They typically go beyond typical tours or classes, and this is done by immersing guests in a Host’s unique world.

Hosts are only allowed to ask the following about a guest’s need for a service animal:

  1. Do you require your service animal because of a disability ?
  2. What work or task the service animal has been trained to perform?

These are the standard two questions that businesses and other “covered entities” are permitted to ask folks with service animals under the ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act.

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What Airbnb Does Not Allow

  • Refusing a reservation because of a service animal
  • Charging a pet fee or another additional fee. Service animals are not pets
  • Applying any kind of differential treatment
  • Using discriminatory language of any kind
  • Holding guests with service animals to different rules compared to people without service animals

An Airbnb guest’s service animal must not be:

  • Out of control
  • Not housebroken
  • Left alone at the listing without prior approval
  • Allowed into areas that are considered unauthorized to the guest
  • Allowed in a public space without being harnessed, leashed, or tethered and not under the guest’s control

Airbnb’s in Brazil with Service Dogs

If you’ll be in Brazil with your service animal, Airbnb hosts are permitted to ask the following questions about a guest’s need for the service dog or service animal.

  • Information to appropriately identify and distinguish a service animal from any other emotional support dog or pet
    • Identification card and identification plate issued by the training centre or self-employed instructor containing the following information:
      • ID card
        • Tutor’s and Animal’s name
        • Name of the training centre or instructor
        • Training Centre’s CNPJ or instructor’s CPF
        • Tutor’s and animal’s photo
      • Plate
        • Tutor’s and Animal’s name
        • Name of the training centre or instructor
        • Training Centre’s CNPJ or instructor’s CPF
    • Request the animal’s updated vaccination card, with proof of rabies vaccination, signed by a veterinarian registered with the regulatory body of the profession.
    • The tutor also needs to have animal equipment, consisting of a collar, leash, and harness with a handle.
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Emotional Support Animals & Airbnb’s

What’s an emotional support animal?

An Emotional Support Animal is an animal that:

  • Provides companionship
  • Relieves loneliness
  • Helps with depression or anxiety
  • Helps with certain phobias
  • Is not required to have special training to perform tasks that assist someone with a disability

Can Airbnb Deny Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)

What Airbnb allows

Unless the reservation is a stay in New York or California (USA) or another location where applicable law prohibits it:

  • Hosts can charge pet fees for someone who is travelling with an emotional support animal
  • Hosts are allowed to decline the presence of emotional support animals from a stay or Airbnb Experience

What is not allowed

  • What Airbnb does not allow:
    • For jurisdictions where Hosts are required to accept emotional support animals (unless the Host has an exemption) a Host cannot:
      • Charge pet fees, decline a guest, or apply different rules, treatment, or behaviour to a guest travelling with an emotional support animal
      • Ask for information or documentation about a guest’s emotional support animal beyond the questions outlined above for service animals
  • For jurisdictions where Hosts are required to accept emotional support animals, a guest’s emotional support animal must not be:
    • Out of control
    • Unhousebroken
    • Left alone at the listing without prior approval
    • Allowed into areas that are considered unauthorized to the guest
    • Allowed in a public space without being harnessed, leashed, or tethered and not under the guest’s control

Airbnb with a Service Dog – Reasonable Accommodations

Airbnb encourages Hosts and guests to communicate with each other before a booking about reasonable accommodations. Hosts will need to try to accommodate a guest’s reasonable requests around various accessibility needs and requirements.

What Airbnb allows

Guests are allowed to request reasonable accommodations at a stay or Experience that would help them access a stay/Experience, communicate during a reservation, or participate in an Experience.

  • Hosts are allowed to make a reasonable counter-offer to a guest’s original reasonable accommodation request
  • Hosts are allowed to refuse certain unreasonable or unattainable requests that increase the safety risk to the host or others
  • Or if it will fundamentally change the nature of an Experience or impact it for other guests
  • Or, if it require a structural modification to a building or listing
  • Or, if it would require the host to take on added responsibilities that are time-intensive or that put a significant physical or financial burden on them
  • Ask a Host to violate local laws or HOA/building requirements

What Airbnb doesn’t allow:

Hosts are not allowed to refuse a guest’s reasonable request for accommodations when the request is:

  • Specific
  • Clearly expressed
  • Made with sufficient notice
  • Is not unreasonable or unattainable

Hosts are not allowed to commit to providing a reasonable accommodation and fail to fulfill it at the time of the reservation.

Additional considerations

  • A host will not be penalized if the host’s failure to make a reasonable accommodation is deemed out of their control
  • Or if the host has objectively shown why the request is unreasonable or unattainable for them

What happens when a Host or guest does not comply with Airbnb policies?

  • Airbnb asks its community to work together to make Airbnb as accessible as reasonably possible
  • Airbnb may suspend or removing the host or guest from the Airbnb platform if they are unwilling to comply with the policies

Airbnb Accessibility Filters

Airbnb’s reviews every accessibility feature submitted by hosts for accuracy. You can chat directly with hosts for more information about their particular accessibility features.

If you’re searching for an accessible stay, you can filter various options in the Airbnb app/website, including:

  • Step-free guest entrance
  • Step-free path to the guest entrance
  • Guest entrance wider than 32 inches
  • Accessible parking spot
  • Step-free bedroom access
  • Step-free bathroom access
  • Bathroom entrance wider than 32 inches
  • Shower grab bar
  • Toilet grab bar
  • Step-free shower
  • Shower or bath chair
  • Ceiling or mobile hoist

Accessibility Filters for Airbnb Experiences

  • No stairs or steps
  • Accessible bathroom
  • Accessible parking spot
  • Mainly flat or levelled ground
  • Audio or verbal information
  • Sign language
  • Deaf-aware techniques
  • Designated sighted guide
  • No extreme sensory stimuli
  • Quiet retreat space
  • Free admission for people assisting guests with disabilities

How to Select Pet Friendly on Airbnb?

  1. On, enter your destination, dates and the number of guests
  2. Hit “Search”
  3. On the search results page, click “More filters”
  4. In the pop-up, scroll down to “House rules”
  5. Select “Pets allowed”

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Sam is an experienced writer, advocate for people with disabilities and mental health, dog lover, artist, philosopher, and generally complicated human being.

Service Dogs and Airbnb – Are Service Animals Allowed?

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