Pet-friendly hotel stays


When my dog comes along on trips, locating pet-friendly accommodations has taken extra effort. Internet searches provide basic details, but I like to double check by calling the establishment before booking. This ensures the information I have is current, including the type and sizes of pets that are accepted, so I can be sure that my dog will be welcome.

There can be additional room charges or deposits applied when bringing a pet to a hotel.  Accepting animals creates more potential for property damage as well as increased cleaning costs, which hotels need to offset.

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I like to take my pet to the desk with me when checking in. This helps show the staff that she is well behaved, plus someone else on site then knows who she belongs with, should she “escape.” It prompts staff to brief me on areas where dogs are not allowed, leash regulations, etc. 

Each hotel that my dog has visited has had a pet welcome package containing dog treats and waste bags. A recent stay also included a great map of the property with animal allowed/not allowed areas and pet waste receptacles clearly marked.    

Most pet-friendly accommodation providers have a restricted number of rooms where pets are allowed. I have made the mistake of booking online at a “pet-friendly” hotel, only to arrive and learn the room I chose wasn’t one that permitted dogs. To complicate matters, that hotel was full for the night, as were most others in the town. I had to scramble to find a room. 

I take my dog’s daybed with her to hotels. My dog may sleep on my bed at home, but most hotels appreciate it if dogs stay off room furniture. I also carry water, food, treats and bowls (essential for in the hotel and if there is a ferry wait), toys and her brush. Bringing a small amount of dog shampoo plus an old towel can help in a messy situation. If available, most dogs can find mud or something stinky to roll in. Without pet-safe cleanser, other options for cleaning up may damage the animal’s skin or eyes. With my own towel, I don’t have to use the hotel’s pristine white ones for drying my pooch after a bath, swim or run in wet grass. 

I keep a digital copy of my dog’s health records on my cellphone. If my pet needs emergency medical attention, this can be invaluable.

It is not good to leave a dog unattended in a hotel room. Even if crated or kennelled, it may become stressed and noisy if left alone. I take my dog with me to look for dining spots where we are both welcome (some restaurant patios and picnicking in parks are good options) or settle for room service/meal delivery to the room.

Keeping as close as possible to my pet’s daily routine and respecting the rules have made our out-of-town hotel stays enjoyable for me and my dog.

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