Dog friendly hotels are a lot easier to find today than they were 30 or even 20 years ago. Almost gone are the days when you had to sneak your dog inside. Why? Because as more people consider pets part of the family, more people are traveling with their dogs and not leaving them at a boarding kennel, as was done decades ago. And, because hotel owners want customers, they’re meeting the needs of those of us who travel with our dogs. They want our business.
The list of pet-friendly hotels starts with the famous Plaza Hotel in New York City (at $1,295 per night!) and runs to the nearly as famous Bellagio and Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Most Airbnb rentals are also dog friendly.
The good news on the more affordable level is that at least 16 hotel/motel chains—including Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hyatt Regency, La Quinta, Red Roof Inns, Fairfield Inns, Motel 6, and all Westin Inns—are pet-friendly. They may charge a fee, ranging from $30 to $100 per stay or per night, to keep your dog in the room with you, but some do not. The fee depends on the individual hotel, even within a chain, however, so expect variance.
Finding dog friendly hotel chains is not difficult, but a few individual hotels—even in a chain—may not be dog friendly. It’s best to check online (bringfido.com or gopetfriendly.com are two sites to try), or you can call the hotel’s front desk (or the Airbnb manager) before you make a reservation to be 100% sure your dog is welcome. If you have more than one dog, always ask what the limit is on dogs per room. Write down who you spoke with and when.
Remember, too, that even if the hotel is dog friendly, not all customers are. So, the rules of common courtesy toward other guests apply during your stay:
- Make sure your dog is completely house-trained.
- Don’t allow him to bark excessively.
- Avoid leaving him alone in the hotel room, as this can result in annoying barking.
- Always carry a poop bag and clean up after your dog. It matters. Don’t let your dog urinate on the hotel walls, trash cans, outdoor furniture, or anywhere near entrances.
- Keep your dog on leash and away from other guests. If other guests enter the elevator, politely wait for the next ride. Try to use side or back doors for entering and exiting, avoiding the main doors and lobby when possible.
Treat your hotel room like you would your home:
- Clean up if your dog has an accident in your room or anywhere in the hotel.
- If your dog destroys something, let the front desk know (you may have to pay for it, but it’s important to ensure the hotel remains dog friendly).
- Bring a bed sheet from home to put over the bed your dog sleeps on to minimize dog hair.
- If your dog sometimes urinates in excitement or anxiety, keep a disposable dog diaper on him.
- Bring a dog crate with you and crate him at night if there’s any chance he may not behave while you sleep
- Bring food and water bowls. Don’t use the ice bucket for a water bowl, and remember that toilets may have chemical cleaners your dog shouldn’t consume.
Those who frequently travel with dogs highly value nice dog friendly hotels. The only way to keep them available is to be courteous.