7 Tips For Staying In Hotels With Your Dog

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington

Hotels are catering to pet parents, which allows you to bring your pet with you on vacation. Be a considerate guest – follow these tips when sharing hotel accommodations with your dog.

Hotels that accept pets are becoming more and more common, making it easier than ever to take your pet with you when you travel. Whether you are settling in for a single night or staying for a whole week, sharing a hotel room with your dog can sometimes be a challenge. If your dog is a nervous traveler, he may be uncomfortable in an unfamiliar environment. There are, however, a few simple things you can do to make your stay more pleasant for you and your pooch, not to mention the other hotel guests.

1. Request a Ground-Floor Room

Having a ground-floor room will be very convenient if you need to make a late-night run to let your dog out. Some dogs also get nervous around stairs or elevators, so having a ground-floor room will be more comfortable for both of you. You also have to think about all the extras you need to carry with you for your dog – it will be easier to simply walk into a ground-floor room than to drag everything up a few flights of stairs.

In some hotels, a ground-floor room may even open right up onto the grounds surrounding the hotel allowing you to come and go without having to navigate public spaces like the front lobby.

Additionally, try to get a room that is distanced from any of the busier public spaces. Rooms that are near the lobby, restaurants, café, or pool spaces are often much louder with the hustle and bustle of people nearby. Dogs that are set off by new sounds and experiences could find all this noise unsettling or overwhelming. A room that is tucked away in the back corner of the hotel is a lot quieter, allowing your dog to relax.

Related: The Road Warrior’s Guide to Pet-Friendly Hotels

2. Check-in and Check Things Out

When you check in to the hotel, take a minute to check things out. Look around for the nearest grassy area where you can walk your dog. More urban hotels may not have much to offer in the way of green space so taking the time to look before you need it will be helpful.

This is also a great time to take note of any opportunities for your dog that are nearby the hotel but not necessarily on hotel property. Is there a large park space across the street? Are you next to a café that allows dogs to hang out with you on the patio? After all, if you’re on vacation, this is your dog’s vacation too!

Finally, make sure to locate the nearest emergency veterinarian or clinic. While we would all like to think that nothing will happen to our pups, accidents happen. There are situations that we can’t avoid regardless of how much effort we put into preventing trouble. We generally don’t think straight with the added stress of an emergency. By scoping out a clinic ahead of time, you’ll be able to respond quickly and get your dog the care that they need.

3. Understand that Your Dog Might be Anxious

Some dogs are laidback enough that they can just roll with the punches, but other dogs may be nervous in unfamiliar territory. Traveling can be stressful so do not be surprised if your dog acts a little differently at a hotel than he normally would at home. Try not to get angry with your dog if he has trouble adjusting – understand that he might be frightened and do what you can to comfort him.

Related: Dog Travel Essentials: What to Pack for Your Dog

4. Create a Comfortable Space

To help your dog settle into a hotel room you may want to bring some familiar things from home. A blanket from your bed or one of your dog’s favorite toys could go a long way to making your dog feel more at home. You may even want to bring your dog’s crate or carrier with you if you are worried about him having an accident in the room while you are away. In some cases, your dog may be more comfortable in the carrier anyway.

If you need to travel with a dog that is anxious or uncomfortable in new spaces, you may need to consider calming treats or medications. Talk to your vet about your concerns and they will be able to suggest the best options to make the trip as comfortable as possible for your pup.

5. Pay Attention to Rules Safety Precautions

Before you pick a hotel, make sure you read the pet policy thoroughly. Some hotels only allow dogs up to a certain size and many charge non-refundable pet fees. Make sure you follow all the rules and restrictions for your dog’s safety and to avoid racking up a hefty fee.

Pay careful attention to which areas of the hotel are pet friendly as well as which areas your dog is prohibited from entering. Most hotels that allow pets have pet-friendly lobby spaces but there may be further restrictions in other public spaces including dining rooms, pool areas, business spaces, and more. By being aware of where your dog is allowed to hang out, you can plan your day accordingly and avoid getting in trouble, paying fees for breaking the rules, or even being asked to leave the hotel in more extreme cases.

6. Leave Your Number with the Front Desk

If you have to leave your pet alone in the room it is always a good idea to leave your cell phone number with the front desk. That way, if your dog gets nervous and starts barking or whining, the hotel can call you before it becomes a problem for other guests.

7. Mind Your Mess

The number one rule for bringing your pet to a hotel is to clean up after your pet. If you use the green space outside to let your dog relieve himself, make sure you carry a poop bag with you. If your dog has an accident indoors and it can be cleaned up, address it appropriately. However, don’t try to hide accidents on carpets or furniture.

If your dog damages something in the room, inform the front desk immediately to resolve the issue and pay the repair or replacement fee.

The hotel staff are more likely to work with you and be understanding of the situation if you are honest and take responsibility for what happened. Keep in mind that most hotels take a deposit or credit card number upon checking in. If you don’t tell them, they are going to charge you for the damage when they discover it anyway. Save everyone the hassle and reach a more peaceful resolution.

Not only does this make it so that you can come back to the hotel again in the future without problems, but it’s also a reflection on dog owners in general. If we all start to ignore damage and try to get away with it, we will see a decline in the number of hotels willing to accept our furry family members.

Traveling with your pet can sometimes be a challenge but, if you make the proper preparations, it can be a comfortable and enjoyable experience for the both of you.

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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