Setting off on vacation can be tough on pet owners if it means they have to leave their dogs behind. Luckily, many hotel chains are not just pup-friendly nowadays — many of them are virtually rolling out the red carpet for our furry companions. About 75 percent of luxury, mid-scale, and economy hotels now allow pets, according to a survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Below you’ll find some tips to ensure that your dog will be welcomed wherever you travel.
Pet Travel Checklist
Dr. Sara Ochoa, an East Texas-based veterinarian who has traveled the world with her pup in tow, suggests packing the following items in your dog’s bags:
- A comforting blanket to sleep with that carries some of the normal smells of home. “This will help your dog feel comfortable and relaxed, as many like familiar smells.”
- Collapsible travel bowls as well as food and water to keep bowels on track. “A new type of food, different tasting water, or bowls that are not theirs may cause them to not eat or drink,” she says.
- A leash, even if your dog is used to being carried everywhere. “Training your dog to walk on a leash will help when you’re on the road, especially when you’re trying to carry your luggage!”
- A favorite toy or chew item to ease travel stress and pass the time on long car or plane rides.
- Potty bags to help clean up when nature calls.
- An airline-approved pet carrier that — this is key — your dog has already slept in. “Make going into their carrier fun and enjoyable,” she says. “Let them spend time sleeping in their carrier, as this will make the trip much easier for you and your pet.”
Pet-Friendly Hotel Chains
Below you’ll find a list of hotel chains (in alphabetical order) where dogs are welcome. But make sure to call ahead and check for the availability of a pet-friendly room before you arrive.
- Motel 6: Motel 6 is the official lodging provider of the AKC. In fact, AKC members receive a special discount by going to the link above. All Motel 6 locations are pet-friendly. There is no pet fee and Motel 6 does not have weight limits on Pets. Motel 6 allows 2 pets per room.
- Best Western: More than 1,600 Best Western properties across the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean accommodate dogs. Pet-friendly locations allow up to two dogs, with a maximum size of 80 pounds per dog, in each room. Some properties charge $30 per day (maximum $150 per week) for each room with a pet. Additionally, there may be a refundable damage deposit of up to $150 per stay.
- Choice Hotels: More than 2,500 Choice Hotels (Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, Quality Inn, Clarion, MainStay Suites, Suburban, EconoLodge, and Rodeway Inn) are pet-friendly. Choice boasts a number of dog-friendly hotels in some of the most “dog-friendly cities” across the country.
- DoubleTree by Hilton: More than 120 DoubleTree properties allow dogs, with a maximum non-refundable fee of $75 per room. The chain recommends calling ahead to make sure a pet-friendly room is available.
- Extended Stay America: Dogs are welcome at Extended Stay America properties. However, pets can be no longer than 36 inches and no taller than 36 inches (larger dogs require the property manager’s approval). Two pets are allowed per suite with a $25 (+ tax) per day, per pet non-refundable cleaning fee for the first month (not to exceed $150 + tax per pet), payable the first night of your stay and charged at check-in. Each month thereafter is a $10 non-refundable fee (+ tax) per day for the first five days of each month (not to exceed $50 + tax per month, per pet). Bringing more than two pets also requires the property manager’s approval.
- Four Seasons: Many Four Seasons properties offer accommodations for dogs at no extra charge. For example, Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills provides in-room amenities including pet treats, bowls filled with Evian water, and a luxurious pet bed. The Four Seasons Chicago also provides these amenities free of charge, but only for pets under 30 pounds. Many properties have a special dining menu for dogs, along with grooming and walking services available for an additional fee through the concierge. Check with each individual hotel to find out if they accept pets and what services are offered.
- Hampton Inn: Most Hampton Inn properties do allow dogs. Number of pets, size of pets allowed, and fees may vary and are at the discretion of each hotel. However, even when pets are not allowed at a particular hotel, service animals are always permitted. Although some properties have many pet-friendly rooms, pets cannot be left unattended in them, and hotels are allowed to charge for any damage caused by an animal being kept on the property (this is for damage only — it is not a “pet fee”).
- Home2Suites by Hilton: Hilton’s Home2Suites is overall pet-friendly and limits pets to two per suite with a maximum weight limit that varies by hotel. Check your particular hotel’s website for pet fee and size limits. Dogs must be kept on a leash or in a carrier when in public areas of the hotel.
- Kimpton Hotels: Kimpton boutique hotels offer pets of all sorts and sizes to stay in their rooms. Not only is their check-in no-fuss, but they have pet goodies including plush pet-bed loaners in your guest room, food, water bowls, and mats. Plus, there may even be a Director of Pet Relations there to greet you and help you with all your pet’s needs.
- Marriott: Marriott offers more than 1,500 dog-friendly locations across the United States through a number of hotel brands (Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels, Delta Hotels and Resorts, Gaylord Hotels, Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, TownePlace Suites and more). Check directly with the individual properties to find out the pet fee, weight and breed restrictions. Each pet-friendly hotel offers a range of amenities designed to accommodate pet owners.
- The Peninsula Hotels: A number of Peninsula properties allow travelers to bring their dogs. Some properties allow a maximum of two pets for a fee of $35–75 per pet. In addition, some hotels will provide food and water bowls and a luxurious dog bed. Each property has its own policies — check with the individual hotel first when you book.
- The Ritz-Carlton: Many Ritz-Carlton properties are dog-friendly, but size requirements, fees, and amenities vary. For example, the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel offers a dog-friendly menu to its canine guests and charges only a $50 per night boarding fee. Pets must be leashed or held in arms in all common areas of the resort, and are not allowed in the hotel’s restaurants, bars, fitness center and spa, pool areas, or the Club Level Lounge. The Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C. provides plush dog beds, dog bowls, and healthy, all-natural dog treats and charges a $125 non-refundable dog cleaning fee per stay, in addition to a $50 nightly dog boarding fee. Dogs must weigh 40 pounds or less or be leashed or held in arms at all times.
- Staypineapple: All Staypineapple properties are dog-friendly and feature perks such as a treat tin, water bowl, walk-friendly waste bags, and a dog bed for use during the guests’ stay. There are no height or weight restrictions on pets, but the hotels charge a $25 nightly fee. Dogs may be kept in the room while owners are out exploring, provided they do not disturb other guests with barking or howling, in which case additional charges may be incurred.
- Westin: There are 165 dog-friendly properties within the Westin brand, although terms may vary from one hotel to another, including weight restrictions and whether a nightly fee is charged. Guests receive a welcome kit including food and water bowls, an in-room sign, and the canine version of the Heavenly Bed. Owners must sign a waiver at check-in and will be held responsible for excessive damage or cleaning.
Please check with each hotel when planning your trip, as policies change and pet-friendly rooms may not always be available.
Courtesy of American Kennel Club
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