Travelling with your dog may seem like a hassle, but it can actually be really simple if you do your research. So whether your dog sitter backed out or you just decided that you couldn’t bear to leave “Ruff” behind, finding dog-friendly accommodations is doable! It used to be that only a few places would accept dogs, but these days more people are travelling with their pets and many hotels, motels and even bed and breakfasts are trying to accommodate furry friends.
The best advice is to plan your dog-friendly trip in advance. No stopping by the side of the road at the first motel you find when your pooch is along for the ride. Chances are, that motel won’t take dogs and you’ll be stuck spending time tracking down lodging that does. You need to book your reservations in advance and make sure your lodging choices will accept your four-legged family member.
Check out corporate hotel websites
Many of the big hotel chains indicate on their websites whether or not pets are welcome. Often, they limit the size of the dogs, no dogs over 40 pounds is common and they usually charge an extra fee for a pet in the room. More places are waiving those fees, so check on that when you make your reservations. Some hotels may require your dog to be crated in the room or that you can’t leave your dog alone in the room. Ask for all of a hotel’s pet policies before you confirm a reservation.
Don’t make your reservations through a central reservations call centre or online. Call the hotel directly and speak to someone at the front desk or a manager. Call centre employees typically don’t know a hotel’s specific lodging policies. For example, some hotels do accept pets, but the call centre people may not know it, so deal directly with the people who know the policies first-hand.
Do a dog-friendly search
Once you know your travel itinerary, do a search using the city name you’re visiting plus the term “dog-friendly hotels”. For example, “Seattle dog-friendly hotels”. Most cities and towns now have lists of the lodging in their area that accepts pets. However, don’t assume that just because specific lodgings are on the list, they still have that policy. Always contact a hotel or other lodging directly before you book your reservation.
Look for pet travel websites
Several travel websites have sprung up that cater directly to pet travel. Often, you can search these sites for specific locations to find the pet-friendly lodging in that area. Some of the pet travel websites note they’ve verified specific pet policies, so you don’t have to.
Check out a few of our favourite pet-friendly travel sites:
Be a responsible pet owner
Once you’ve found the perfect hotel for your family, make sure you’re a responsible pet owner! Clean up after your dog, keep him quiet if he’s a barker and don’t leave your room in a shambles when you leave town. Responsible owners make it easier for others to travel with their pets, so don’t be the reason hotel management ends their dog-friendly program!
Pack for your pet
Before you head out on your travels, be sure to prepare and pack for your pet’s comfort. Take plenty of food and water, prescribed medications, leash, dog bed or his favourite blanket and toys to keep him from getting bored. Be sure to have a tag on his collar that indicates his name and your contact information in the case he gets separated from you.