If you're like many pet owners, your furry companion goes where you go. On walks. To the cafe'. For coffee meetups. To friends' BBQs. And - thanks to an onslaught of pet-friendly hotels - now your furry family can join you on the road, too.
That's right, you and your pooch traveling cross-country, channeling your inner cowboy and cow dog, or hitting the coast for a fancy beach vacation! Or...just seeing your folks one town over. You've likely heard of pet-friendly hotels, even if you haven't stayed at one. But what the heck does that mean, exactly? And what are some of the things you should consider before checking in with a four-legged friend?
1. Make Sure Your Dog is Welcome
Let's start here, because not every hotel will consider your cozy boa constrictor or fuzzy little wabbit to be a pet. A much safer definition to stick to is simply: DOG. (And, sometimes cats can get by, too). Don't leave it to chance or hope that you can charm your way in. Not only will this not be appreciated by hotel management, but there's a chance that you'll wind up paying a fine - or worse, end up without a room.
2. Get It In Writing
And, just to further seal the deal, once you confirm that your dog or cat can stay with you, get it in writing. You know, just in case there's any confusion at check-in. Ask the hotel to email you a copy of their latest pet policy so everyone's clear. The policy should cover the type of pet, the number of pets allowed with you and other rules, such as where pets can roam and where they can relieve themselves.
3. Have a Credit Card Handy
Is your pooch ready for hotel living? Are they barkers, or are they not up to date on their latest vaccinations? Be prepared to back up your pet's health and behavior with your credit card. Most hotels will want reassurance that if your dog chews the armchair, wets the bed, or spreads fleas that you'll foot the bill. If you're not feeling comfortable with this, you may want to wait to travel with your pet at another time. (Thankfully, there's a ton of amazing dog sitting services that can help you out in a pinch!)
4. Perks For Your Pooch
You'll find that some hotels cater to your animals more than others. As in, you hit the spa and your dog spends a day at the groomers. On one end of the spectrum, you may find that some hotels roll out the red carpet for your pet, offering treats, special dog parks, dog walkers and more. And then there'll be the hotels on the other end, the ones that state they'll take your pet for the night, but that's about it.
5. Bring Supplies With You
At home, your dog may be King of the Couch and have bed privileges. But be prepared: hotels may wish for your dog to sleep on the floor like a commoner. While you do want to be cozy with your pet and enjoy your travels together, remember to respect the rules of your hotel, too.
Here are some supplies you should consider bringing with you:
- Their own bed
- Leash for walks
- Harness for walks
- Treats to reward good behavior
- Their own food
- Toys to keep them busy
- Towel to clean them up (or any messes they might make)
6. Find Dog Friendly Hotels
We are big fans of websites with lists of pet-friendly hotels. Some of our favorites include: