We all hate it when we have to leave our pups home alone while we’re on vacation, so why not bring them!? Many cities offer a variety of dog friendly hotel options if you just can’t leave your best friend behind. Keep in mind, though, that bringing your dog along will include a lot of prep. Make sure you’re ready for the unexpected by reading our tips.
Side note – before you get to the hotel, make sure you’re ready to travel by reading our car, train, and airplane travel guides for dogs. And if NYC is where you’re headed, we’ve got some recommendations.
First thing’s first
Ask yourself some questions before you decide to include your dog in your travel plans.
- Are they well enough to travel? If they have been sick or injured, it might be best to let them sit this one out.
- Would a new place cause them too much anxiety? If the trip would be more stress than fun for your little guy, home is probably the best place for them.
- Do I have the important things? We’re talking vaccinations, ID, and micro-chip. Just in case!
- Are they fully potty-trained? The housekeeping will thank us for reminding you that a dog who still has accidents probably shouldn’t be staying anywhere but home.
Time to Start Planning
Feeling good about the above? Great! Now you can start planning your trip. Even if a hotel is dog friendly, they still need a heads up that a pup is joining you. A quick call letting them know is helpful for everyone involved.
Here are some things to keep in mind before you get to the hotel:
- Usually only 1-2 pets are allowed per room so be sure to ask about their policy if you’re bringing more than one pup.
- You’ll need to sign a pet policy agreement. The expectations differ by hotel, so make sure you read and understand it prior to your stay.
- There will likely be some areas of the hotel that are off-limits to pets even though the hotel is dog friendly. Make sure you’re aware of where you can and cannot go.
- Housekeeping won’t clean while the dog is in the room. If you’d like them to come in and clean, make sure both you and the pooch are out.
- Dogs will always have to be on a leash outside of the room.
- There is usually a fee for having a pet in the room so be sure you’re aware of the charges before arriving.
Some Helpful Tips
Once you’ve settled everything with the hotel, it’s time to start packing! Bringing your dog to a hotel for the first time can be intimidating and unpredictable, but there’s a few things you can try to help your dog enjoy their stay.
- Try to get a ground floor room if you can. Bathroom breaks are much easier when you get out the door a little quicker!
- Bring chew toys to try to keep them distracted from all the new things to chew in the room.
- If your dog has a favorite blanket/toy/bed, bring it! Any thing you think would give them comfort in an unfamiliar place is helpful.
- Hang the “do not disturb” sign to urge people not to knock and get your dog wound up.
- Try not to leave them alone, especially if it’s their first time staying in a hotel. You can train them to be okay without you by testing small amounts of time alone and gradually increasing it depending on their reaction.
No one knows your dog like you do. While we hope these tips help, it’s really just about knowing what’s best for your dog! If you think your pup would make a good travel companion, plan to bring them on your next trip. The memories are that much more special when your dog is with you.