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Dog Tip: Travel Tips - Hotels, Motels and Lodging with Pets

By Robin Tierney

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* To find places that allow pets, search the various websites that list pet-friendly hotels, motels and other lodging. There are more than 20,000 pet-friendly motels and hotels nationwide according to the American Hotel and Motel Association. Here are some helpful websites listing specific pet-friendly lodging, campgrounds, tourist attractions and more:


Lodging worldwide and free Bone Voyage newsletter

Europe lodging that allows pets

DogGone bimonthly newsletter

Print publications:
Vacationing With Your Pet by Eileen Barish
AAAís Traveling With Your Pet
Mobilís On the Road With Your Pet

* Call the lodging places you are considering. Confirm their current pet policies. Make sure you know their rules and restrictions related to type of pet, weight, size and number. Find out about any extra fees that apply. For example, some properties charge a nightly pet fee, per-stay pet fee and/or other fees. Some charge refundable or nonrefundable deposits. Some do not allow pets during peak travel seasons. Get the facts and write them down.

* Ask beforehand if you can leave your pet in the room unattended. Some facilities require that pets cannot be left unattended in the room.

* Bring a crate for each pet, even if the facility does not require pets to be crated. Folding crates are most convenient, although some folks prefer airline crates for certain situations. Even if your dog behaves beautifully at home, he may be nervous in a new place and cause damage. Another advantage of a crate is that the dog typically will feel more secure in it. If you have not used a crate before, gradually accustom your dog to the crate at home, well before your trip. See the Tips on the PAW website about using crates. For cats, use carriers.

* Practice crating your dog before leaving on your trip. Crate at family memberís house, then at a friendís house, then other places, so your dog learns to be calm when youíre visiting other places.

* If your dog barks frequently or continuously when you are not in the room, it might best to find a local boarding kennels or dog day care facility to use so that you can sight-see with less worry.

* Whether or not you are in the room, hang the "Do Not Disturb" sign outside the door and lock the deadbolt. That reduces the chances of the housekeeping staff surprising your dog and of your dog barking due to the intrusion.

* Bring your own sheets, bedspreads or other throws to cover the furniture in case your pet gets on it, or is shedding.

* Ask for a room on the ground level, since that will make it easier to take your pet to and from the car and on potty breaks.

* When you check into the lodging facility, ask where you can walk your dog. Do not walk near areas that have been chemically treated or areas that are restricted, and do not let the dog relieve himself near the entry doors, gardens or other people-filled areas. There are usually suitable areas near the parking lots. Always carry bags so that you can pick up your pet droppings.

* Warning: Public and hotel fountains often contain antifreeze, which is poisonous to pets.

* Always keep your dog on leash when outside.

* Wipe off your dogís paws when you enter the room. For longer stays, bring a small broom or ask hotel staff to borrow a room so that you can clean up the fur. Being a courteous pet owner will increase the chances of the facility welcoming you and other pet owners back.

* In the room, cover furniture with the sheets or spreads that you brought, unless you are absolutely sure the animal will not climb on or get hair on the furniture.

* If pet food or water gets on the floor, clean it up so that it does not cause damage.

* If your pet or anyone in your family damages something in the room, either fix it or report it to the hotel manager and offer to pay.

* Do not leave pets unattended on balconies. Their barking will bother other people. And it is a safety hazard; there have been instances of dogs jumping off or through balconies, getting their heads stuck between railings, getting strangled by their leash, and other avoidable tragedies.

* If you leave the pet unattended in the room:

** Put your pet in a crate or carrier. This way, he cannot damage anything in the room or paw at the curtains, and he will be safe in case a hotel staffer enters the room. Do not store the leash in or on the crate, as a dog could chew it up or get tangled in it. And make sure that tags donít hang down so far under the collar that they could get caught in the wire crate. If you remove the collar, remember to put it back on as soon as you return to the room.

** Turn on a radio or TV to give your pet company. Find soothing music or a news show, and avoid anything that might make the animal more anxious. Also turn on the fan for the heating/air conditioning, which will create some white noise as well as keep the temperature at a comfortable level.

** Hang the "Do Not Disturb" sign outside the door to deter housekeeping staff from upsetting your dog by knocking on the door or entering the room.

** It can help to inform the hotel desk staff when you will return, and to provide them with your cell phone number in case a problem arises when you are out.

* By being courteous guests, you and your pet will encourage innkeepers to continue allowing pets at their properties.

For other important tips for Traveling with Pets, see:

Travel with Pets -- Packing, Preparation and Other Trip Tips:

Car Trips and Car Safety:

Hiking, Camping and Swimming with your Dog:

First Aid Kit and Guidance:
Keep a pet First Aid Kit in your home and car. Take the one you keep in your car with you on trips with your pet. This webpage lists items to include:

CPR and Mouth-to-Snout Resuscitation:
Print these life-saving brochures to have on hand!

When traveling, you can find a nearby veterinarian using AAHA's Animal Hospital Locator:

For emergencies, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 24-hour hotline at 1-888-4-ANI-HELP

For more of Robin's Dog Tips, see the index at:  www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/dog_tips.php

Partnership for Animal Welfare
P.O. Box 1074, Greenbelt, MD 20768

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Last Updated: April 26, 2018 (LET) PawSupport