If you are traveling to another city or country with your pet dog, then you need to do a lot of preparation. First of all; you need to know different types of hotels available for pets. It is also a good idea for your pet to be socialized and have some basic obedience training. At the very least, he should come when you call him and not jump on people. You certainly do not want to travel with a dog with behavioral issues as that could lead to many unwanted potential problems. Here are some easy ways to find pet friendly hotels for your dog:
1. Consider your dog’s personality
As stated before, it is very important to have a well-behaved dog before setting out on a camping trip or a trip that requires a hotel stay with your pet. Is Rover well trained and well behaved? Does he jump on people? Is he friendly or aggressive? If he doesn’t like strangers or other dogs, then he could have issues with other pets at the hotel or camping site. If he barks a lot, then it could lead to problems with other residents.
2. Know the difference between ‘dog friendly’ and ‘dog tolerant’
It is very important to know that there are two categories of hotels for pets. These are ‘dog friendly’ and ‘dog tolerant’. The dog friendly category of hotels do not charge any fee (or charge a minimal fee) and provide amenities and services to all kinds of pets. Dog tolerant hotels, on the other hand, could charge exorbitant fees on a nightly basis and might provide very few (or no) amenities. Often, the dog tolerant hotels also have restrictions on the size of pets they allow; most allow small or toy breeds only. Some ‘tolerant hotels’ only let dogs and their owners stay in their least desirable rooms.
3. Read up terms and conditions of hotels you consider
It is very important that you know exactly what you are signing up for when it comes to booking the best dog friendly hotels for your trips. Here are some hidden costs you could incur in case you miss reading these terms and conditions:
- Some hotels charge a nightly fee or they could only charge a cleaning deposit. In some cases, there is a combination of both these fees.
- Many dog friendly hotel chains do not return this deposit amount.
- Some hotels restrict or limit the number of dogs allowed and also the size of the pet.
- Some so-called dog and cat friendly hotels do not allow you a choice of the best rooms with good views. They may force you to take up the ground/first floor rooms. This is for the ease of taking Fifi or Fido out easily and not having to share the elevator with other guests.
- Some hotels ask for proof of vaccinations, flea and tick treatment proof, and deworming, and so on.
4. Never try to sneak in your pet
Many guests have done this and it ever ends well for them. You may be under the impression that your dog is very quiet and you can sneak him in your hotel room. Hotels have the right to throw you out if you are discovered. In many states, it is even considered illegal to bring in a pet in hotel rooms when it is clearly stated not to.
5. Not all hotels advertise their pet-friendliness
Many top hotel chains are pet-friendly but nowhere do they state that; not on their website or anywhere else. Several Luxury hotels like Four Seasons and Peninsula will actually shower your pet with plenty of amenities and attention but do not advertise it. You can always call ahead and ask if a hotel is pet-friendly. Remember: the hotel website information of pet policy will not be as accurate as of the information a live person provides you.
6. Be aware of weight limits
When it comes to pet policies from top dog friendly hotel chains, you should scrutinize each condition stated in the policy. The most important one is regarding the pet’s weight. Some hotels, for example, allow a quiet big dog instead of a small noisy one. So they may not reinforce their weight restrictions. When booking a hotel for your medium-sized dog, this information can be rather confusing. So if a website says a weight limit of 25 lbs but the receptionist says that a Labradoodle of 50 lbs is okay, make sure you get that in writing.
7. Check the waiver before and after checking in
A waiver comes with the receipt of the hotel booking. You will get its online copy so you can read up all about the terms and conditions of the dog friendly hotel chains. For example, the waiver might state that you cannot leave your dog alone and unattended in the room. It might even say that if a pet is to be left unattended, it should be in a crate. Some might ask you not to take Fido by the poolside, in the restaurant, near the spa or anywhere where food is served. Certain areas may also be off-limits to unleashed dogs. It is a good idea to know these rules before checking in.
8. Tour the place
Once you arrive at the hotel, talk to the receptionist about where you can walk your dog or ask for dog parks nearby. Next, tour the place to see if it is secure. See if there are areas where your pet might roam.
Many dog-friendly hotels offer doggie welcome baskets. These may include stuff like dog poop bags, information about local dog walkers or groomers, vets, etc. Some places also offer in-room doggie meals like filet mignon, chicken pot pie, and doggie snacks or organic treats. Pampered pooches might even get pawdicure and reiki massages!
10. Best dog friendly chains
Here are some popular dog friendly chains of hotels across North America.
- La Quinta
- Four Seasons
- Best Western
- Fairmont Hotels
- In Canada – Ritz Carlton offers bed, food, water bowl, dog treats, and even dog walking upon request. Westin and Hazelton hotel chains are also dog-friendly.
Please visit TripAdvisor, Airbnb, VRBO, MrandMrsSmith Boutique hotels, Jet Set pets, Dogfriendly.com, Bringfido.com, and Petswelcome.com to find dog-friendly hotels at your destination.