What to Look for in a Pet-Friendly Hotel

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio

From boutique hotels to major hotel chains, there are a host of options if you’re hoping to book a stay with your furry friend, whether you’re traveling with your sweet dog or adorable cat. But, when it comes to pet policies, they aren’t all created equal.

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Want to book a room at a hotel that will go above and beyond to make your stay perfect when you’re on vacation with your pet? Here’s some information on how to know if a hotel is pet friendly, along with some tips to help ensure your companion will enjoy the trip. 

Evaluate a Hotel’s Pet Policy and Amenities Carefully

What do pet-friendly hotels offer? Well, different hotels will have different policies when it comes to pets. Some may not allow pets at all, while others might provide a host of services especially for pet parents. Also, bear in mind that, even when it comes to hotel chains, individual locations might have differing policies regarding pets. And some hotels only allow dogs but not cats. So, the first step is to carefully evaluate the pet policy of any hotel that you’re thinking about staying in. 

A hotel with a fantastic pet policy will make sure you and your companion will have everything you need to be comfortable and safe. For example, it might have pet-friendly restaurants and eating areas so you can bring your furry friend when grabbing a bite to eat, or might have areas designated for people and their pets. Some hotels might even provide treats and/or supplies, pet grooming services, dog walkers, pet sitters, etc. 

Ask About Restrictions and Requirements

If anything in a pet policy is unclear, ask the hotel staff for clarification prior to booking. For instance, you can ask about restrictions and requirements for guests staying with pets, such as:

  • How many pets are allowed?

  • Are both dogs and cats allowed?

  • Are there any breed or size/weight restrictions?

  • Are pets restricted from being in certain areas of the hotel’s property? Where are they allowed to go when they aren’t in their room?

  • Can you stay in any room, or are certain rooms set aside specifically for those with pets? If so, where are they located? 

  • Can you leave your pet alone in the room? If so, do they need to be in a crate?

  • Do you have to show proof of veterinary care, such as vaccinations, before booking?

Understand the Fees

A hotel might tack on extra fees if you want to book a stay with your pet, and these vary from one hotel to the next. 

Ask about any fees that will be added to your bill so you’ll know what to expect. For example, there might be a fee for each pet or there might be an extra cleaning fee. Additional fees might be applied per night or just once for the entire stay. 

Check Into the Hotel and Settle In With Your Pet

Once you’ve booked a hotel, it’s time to think about everything you’ll need to buy and pack so your pet will have a pleasant experience that’s as stress-free as possible. 

Identification: Make sure your pet has ID tags, whether or not they’re microchipped. You can even look into  GPS trackers designed for dogs and cats. This way, if your pet gets lost, you can increase the odds that you’ll be able to find them.

Carrier: To transport your pet safely, use a carrier that’s sturdy, secure, and large enough for your companion. If you’re going to be flying, be sure the carrier is airline-approved.  

Daily Essentials: Pack your pet’s daily essentials (e.g., food, water, bowls, toys, poop bags, leash, harness, litter box), and buy new items for travel if you have to. For example, there are pet travel bowls that are nice and compact, such as the  Ruff Products BarkBowl, which collapses down and easily pops open whenever you need to use it. It’s made of silicone and is heat and cold resistant. Plus, you can hook it to your bag so you’ll have a bowl even while you’re out exploring with your pet. 

Crate: Set up your pet’s crate with a cozy bed or blanket that smells like home. Consider something like the  EliteField 2-Door Soft Playpen, which is lightweight and designed for dogs and cats. It comes in various sizes, can be used indoors and outside, and folds down so you can carry and pack it easily.   

Extras: Some pets get stressed when traveling, so talk to your veterinarian about calming supplements and products like  pheromones, flower essences, and  anxiety vests, as a few examples. And a  first aid kit for your pet can give you peace of mind while away from home.  

Records: Pack your pet’s veterinary records, including vaccination records, just in case you’ll need them, even if they aren’t required by the hotel.  

Remember, being in a hotel is a big change in environment for your pet, so let them explore the room when they’re ready to do so. Follow the hotel’s rules, make sure you know where your pet is at all times, and do your best to stick to a routine that your companion is used to, such as daily afternoon walks and their usual feeding schedule. 

Find a Pet-Friendly Hotel for Your Next Getaway

Now that you know how to find a pet friendly hotel and determine if it’s right for you, consider booking a fun trip with your furry friend. Whether you’re going to be  traveling with your cat or dog, plan ahead and give yourself extra time for packing so you won’t forget anything. Then, head off on your adventure together!

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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