Pet friendly hotel chains offer a variety of brands, from economy to mid-scale to luxury. Many hotel chains are not just pet friendly nowadays — many of them are virtually rolling out the red carpet for our furry companions. About 75 percent of hotels now allow pets, according to a survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Below are some tips to ensure that your pet will be welcomed wherever you travel.
Not all hotels allow four-legged guests, therefore, its essential that you make sure the hotel is pet friendly. Be clear on what “pet-friendly” means at your hotel. Some places only allow small dogs. If you are traveling with a dog that weighs over 15 pounds, inquire about what size dogs they accept. Some hotels have breed restrictions, so make sure your breed is welcome. A lot of hotels say “pet-friendly” when they actually mean “dog-friendly.” Be sure to call the local hotel phone number and confirm “pet” includes your cat or other pet. Pet policies can change, and some hotels that used to be pet friendly no longer allow pets, so always book your pet friendly hotel well in advance of your trip.
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Before you leave home, check that your dog’s identification tags are securely fastened to his collar and that the information on them is correct, just in case you and your pet get separated. Consider microchipping your dog as an additional precaution.
Don’t wait until check-in to let the hotel know that you have a pet — confirm the hotel’s pet policy before you reserve your room. Pet policies vary greatly from hotel to hotel, and even hotels that allow dogs may have size limits or restrict the number of dogs you can have in your room; they may also have a list of unwelcome breeds. Some hotels include pets in the regular room rate, while others charge separately for them. This could be a daily fee or a flat fee that covers your entire stay.
Just because a hotel allows doesn’t mean that pets are allowed in all rooms. Pets may only be permitted in designated pet-friendly rooms. Choose a ground level hotel room so you don’t have to walk up and down the stairs and so your pet won’t disturb guests below you. A ground level room makes it easier to take pets out for their bathroom breaks. It’s also a good idea to ask for a room away from the elevator, particularly if your dog barks at noises. And if you feed your pet anything that can spoil, request a room with a fridge so you can keep your dog’s food close and fresh.
Always declare them at check-in, even if they get to stay for free. Many properties have pet-friendly rooms to protect all guests, particularly those who might have pet allergies. Some hotels charge a hefty fee for undeclared pets.
Be sure to use designated bathroom areas and clean up after your dog. Some hotels don’t allow pets to be left alone in a hotel room without human supervision, or require that pets must be crated if left unattended. If your pet has long hair and tends to shed, bring along blankets or sheets from home and cover furniture to reduce a furry mess on furniture. If your dog tends to have accidents while away from home, use doggy bathroom pads in the room. Wipe off wet, dirty fur and paws with a towel so he doesn’t track dirt and mud on the floor. As a courtesy, advise the hotel immediately of any stains or damage caused by pets.
Some hotel chains are 100% pet friendly, with the same pet policy, while other hotels within a chain either don’t allow pets or set their own pet policy. Within chains, there are various brands that are more pet-friendly than others. In most cases pet fees vary from property to property. There are a few chains and brands that never (or very rarely) charge a pet fee: Kimpton (IHG), Motel 6, and Red Roof Inn. Check the chain hotels below to find information on pet policies.