Since we travel with our dog in Europe, we always want to confirm property allows a dog, and cost. Many properties have a “message” button to ask a question before booking, but not all. If there is a refundable rate/room, I will sometimes book, and ask the question confirming dog policy. If the pet fee is too high, or they don’t allow, I can cancel. There was one property that sent an auto-reply after booking (I think this one may have had a portion non refundable) that there was no internet until November (10 months away); so sent message asking if this was true, didn’t receive response after two inquiries, so cancelled, no deposit was charged. The message feature of booking is valuable, as it documents all communication and questions. If there is not a way to communicate in Booking, I’ve found other methods- hotel website, Expedia. And if non refundable, no messaging, or other way to communicate, I don’t book.
By the way in the past 18 months we’ve had over 30 stays and another 25+ reserved, and maybe 12+ cancellations. Never had am issue,
We were to stay in a hotel in Milan on Sunday that we reserved through booking, and the cancellation window passed before the spike in virus cases over the weekend. We had tickets to the soccer game, but yesterday the club announced the match would be closed (no spectators). So I messaged the hotel, and they offered to apply the cancellation fee to another stay before June 25. Of course if rate is higher we’d have to pay difference.