Despite the fact that 60% of US hotels accept pets, finding the right dog friendly hotel can be challenging. Fortunately, there are lots of resources available to help you find accommodations that not only welcome your dog, but also provide an enjoyable experience for the human occupants.
Of course, there are rules to follow and restrictions to respect. We’ve compiled a list of considerations that will help you choose a hotel that will treat you and your hound as honored guests.
Are Dogs Allowed in Hotels?
First and foremost, find out if the hotel allows dogs at all. The American Kennel Club has created this guide to hotel chains that allow dogs, ranging from budget-friendly (Motel 6) to boutique (Kimpton) to eclectic (StayPineapple) to luxury options (Ritz-Carlton).
Some hotels, such as La Quinta, allow pets at some properties, but not at others. Many hotels offer a combination of pet-friendly and pet-free rooms to provide comfortable accommodations for customers with pet allergies.
Most independently-owned hotels will have a website that describes their pet policies. If the website does not mention a hotel pet policy, you should either assume dogs are not allowed, or call them directly to ask.
Are MY Dogs Allowed?
Got a large dog? Be prepared to run into restrictions around which hotels you can stay in. Though generally dog friendly, some hotels have weight and size limits for pets, while others allow large dogs.
For instance, Four Seasons only allows small pets under 15 pounds, while Best Western allows dogs up to 80 pounds. Extended Stay America limits pets to no longer or taller than 36 inches. Some hotels prohibit certain dog breeds, while others accept nearly any size or type of pet, including cats and bunny rabbits.
Many will allow for exceptions to their rules under certain circumstances, so be sure to inquire by phone or email if you’re not sure.
Is There a Pet Fee or Additional Deposit Required?
Most hotels will charge an additional, non-refundable fee for pets, either by the day or for the entire stay. Others will charge a deposit in lieu of, or in addition to the fees.
Amounts can vary widely. Shilo Inn charges a $25 fee per stay. La Quinta’s pet-friendly locations typically ask for $20 per night, for a maximum of $40 per stay and per room. Ritz Carlton is a bit spendier, with between $125 and $250. On the other hand, there are hotels that allow pets for free, including Aloft, Kimpton, and Virgin Hotels.
Can I Leave My Dog Alone in the Room? (And Other Rules)
Rules for dogs vary greatly. Some hotels, including Red Roof Inn, don’t allow you to leave your dog alone in the room at all. Others, such as Quality Inn, require that dogs be caged or crated when their humans aren’t in the room.
Pro Tip: When we travel with our dog, we bring along this Elite 3-door folding soft dog crate. This gives him a safe den, just in case housekeeping should need to enter the room when we are gone. We also tire him out with a walk before we leave and cover his crate with a towel, which lets him know it’s nap time. When we return, we take him for another walk as a reward.
Some hotels require a veterinarian certificate ensuring that your dog is flea- and parasite-free. Dogs are typically restricted to certain areas of the hotel, which generally means you can’t bring them to the on-site bar or restaurant. PetTravel.com provides this comprehensive round-up of hotel pet policies at well-known hotel chains.
Are Special Amenities Offered for My Dog?
And then there are those hotels who love dogs so much, they roll out the red carpet for them.
Kimpton Hotels not only welcome all pets of all sizes and breeds at no additional fee, they also offer treats at check-in, “yappy hour” receptions in the evening, and complimentary pet beds and bowls. Aloft Hotels provide beds, bowls, treats and toys through their ARF (animals are fun) program. Virgin Hotels throws in a stylish bandana.
Other hotels will provide special amenities for an additional fee. Several Ritz Carlton hotels offer pet packages that include hikes, beds, treats, and toys. The “Loews Loves Pets” program at Loews Hotels and Resorts includes name tags, a “pet is in” door hanger, and a room service menu for your pet. At their Coronado Bay Resort property in San Diego, dogs can even take a private surfing lesson.
What To Do About Your Dog Barking in the Hotel Room
No matter which dog-friendly hotel you choose, both you and your pet are expected to be well-behaved. Hotels expect your dog to remain quiet and calm to avoid annoying other guests. Dogs who bark when home alone will certainly do the same in a hotel room. Even those who remain quiet in their own home will often bark when left alone in an unfamiliar place. Fortunately, there are ways to stop your dog from barking in a hotel room.
We encourage you to travel with your four-legged friends, but please don’t bring your dog to a hotel without confirming first that the hotel is dog-friendly. Also make sure you are up-to-date on the rules, and prepared to follow them. When dogs damage property or annoy other guests, you will be charged for the damage and won’t be welcomed back. Furthermore, irresponsible dog parents tarnish the reputation of all dog owners, making hotels less pet-friendly for everyone.
So do your research, follow the rules, and have fun traveling with Fido!
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