Assistance animals are not the same as pets and they serve a crucial function for their owner. At Airbnb, an assistance animal encompasses any of the following:
Service Animal: A dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or mental disability. These animals are sometimes referred to as “seeing eye” dogs, helper animals, service animals, or support animals. Tasks they may perform include, but are not limited to:
- Assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks
- Alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds
- Providing non-violent protection or rescue work
- Pulling a wheelchair
- Assisting an individual during a seizure
- Alerting individuals to the presence of allergens
- Retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone
- Providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities
- Helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors
Emotional Support Animal: Airbnb defines assistance animals to include Emotional Support Animals. These are animals that are used as part of medical treatment and/or therapy to assist with an individual’s daily functional tasks, but are not limited to a specific type of animal and are not required to be trained to assist an individual in a particular task. These animals are sometimes referred to as comfort animals or therapy animals.
You don’t have to disclose the presence of an assistance animal before booking, although we always encourage transparent communication to ensure a smooth experience for all.
If you are denied a booking due to your assistance animal—for a reason other than a health and safety concern—be assured that Airbnb takes reports of discrimination in our community very seriously.
If you believe you have experienced discrimination on our platform, please report it, and include the identity of the person, plus details about the situation. You can also flag messages or other content that you believe violates our policy.
We’ll investigate the situation and may follow up for additional documentation. We’ll also offer personalized booking support to find you a place to stay.
You’ve received a booking request and now you are wondering if you are required to accept assistance animals. Generally, yes, unless there’s a threat to health or safety. As stated in our Nondiscrimination Policy, Hosts are expected to reasonably accommodate reservations where an assistance animal may be present, even if their listing/house rules state “no pets.”
Please be aware that under Airbnb’s Nondiscrimination Policy, Hosts can’t charge extra fees to guests with an assistance animal.
Issues with service animals
Assistance animals are generally well-trained. However If necessary, you can request additional compensation if the animal damages a listing beyond normal wear and tear. The Host damage protection and security deposit are still at the Host’s disposal in the event of an accident.
A Host may ask a guest to remove a service animal if:
- The animal is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it
- The animal is not housebroken
In either scenario, the Host must still give the guest the opportunity to stay at their place without the animal. And given their role in providing service or emotional support, assistance animals shouldn’t be left alone at a listing.
Health or safety concerns
If your listing includes a shared space and an assistance animal would create a health or safety hazard to you or others (EX: allergies or potential issues with other animals), you don’t have to host the guests with the assistance animal. Please share this information on your listing to avoid any potential disappointment and be clear and polite when communicating with guests about this.
We don’t require documentation when traveling with an assistance animal. In the United States, guests don’t need to provide documentation for a service animal and there is no legally recognized certification process for service animals. If a guest says that they have a service animal, a Host may ask:
- Whether the assistance animal is required because of a disability
- What work or task the animal has been trained to perform
If you’re traveling outside of the United States, please be aware that requirements may differ. We know that some jurisdictions have prohibitions on all animals, including assistance animals, and we don’t want Hosts to break local laws or take actions that may subject them to legal liability.