If you enjoy the privilege of sharing your life with a dog, you undoubtedly consider your furry companion to be an important part of your family. This means that you don’t relish the idea of leaving him at home while you go on family vacations, even if you have the most wonderful pet sitter you could ever hope for. But can you bring your dog with you if you will be staying in a hotel?
Dogs in Hotels
Not all hotels permit animals to accompany their owners on vacation, but there are quite a few that do consider this to be a very valuable and important service to provide for guests. However, simply because a hotel permits pets to stay with their owners does not mean that everything will automatically go perfectly smoothly. Your stay will go much better if you fully understand and are prepared for what it means to vacation with your dog. Following are five tips to consider:
1. Plan ahead. You should have your veterinarian perform a wellness check to ensure that your dog is in good health and ready for a vacation. They can also make recommendations for coping with stress or anxiety, which can be incredibly helpful in the case that your dog does encounter unexpected fears while on vacation. You should definitely ensure your dog’s identification tags are securely fastened to their collar and your contact information on their microchip is up-to-date prior to taking them on vacation.
2. Make a reservation for your dog. Even if a hotel advertises that they are pet-friendly, it’s best not to wait until check-in to alert them to your dog’s presence. Pet policies can vary quite widely from hotel to hotel–some may limit the size or number of animals permitted in a guestroom, others may have a list of unwelcome breeds, with some unanticipated “surprises”. Some hotels consider pets to be included in the normal room rate, others charge separately for them. It’s best to get all this information sorted out before you leave home, so that the check-in will be smooth and easy.
3. Choose a ground floor room. There are several reasons for why a ground floor room is the most comfortable option when you are vacationing with Fido–not the least of which is a ground floor room’s easy access to the outdoors for bathroom trips. Also, dogs that are not used to elevators can be stressed by the up and down motion, and dogs that like to play or run around a bit will not bother downstairs neighbors. If your dog barks at noises, it may be wise to also ask for a room that is away from the elevator.
4. Create a comfortable space. When you arrive at your hotel room, check out the entire room to ensure that there is nothing lying around or situated in such a way that it can hurt your dog. Hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door to help prevent unexpected knocks or visitors from exciting your dog, and consider crating your dog and turning on the television when you leave him alone in the room to increase their comfort in your absence. You should also provide your dog with several favorite toys, including some chew toys that cannot break apart. Make sure other tempting items, such as sample toiletries and trash cans, are kept high enough so as not to be a problem.
5. Be courteous of others. If your dog is a barker, you may already have decided that a stay in a hotel isn’t the best idea. However, even if your dog is generally calm and quiet, there is the chance that time spent alone in an unfamiliar hotel room can make them feel stressed, anxious or upset. You should leave your cell phone number with the front desk so that if your dog does become upset in your absence, they can contact you immediately. Make sure your dog knows how to appropriately greet strangers, specifically by remaining calm and on the ground. Obviously, when your dog goes to the bathroom on hotel grounds, you will want to immediately clean up after them.
It may take more work to bring your dog along with you on vacation than to leave them at home, but with the right preparation, you and your dog can both enjoy this adventure.