Traveling is a regular part of our lives, whether it be for business or for pleasure. Bringing along your dog is probably something you’ve considered, but often people forgo this option because it can be hard to find pet-friendly lodging. Well, with the age of the internet, that problem is no longer as challenging as it once was!
Planning for Your Trip
One of the most important things for traveling with your pup is planning. This not only includes planning what to bring with you but where you’re going and what your intended stops will roughly be. This allows for research to be done ahead of time and enables you to find all the dog-friendly lodging in the area!
Make a Travel Checklist
First things first, before you travel, make a travel checklist. This checklist should consist of the essentials that your pet will need on a daily basis. Here’s a sample checklist to get you started:
- Food and water bowls (collapsible travel options are available)
- Dog food
- A comforting blanket that smells like home
- Walking essentials, like a collar or harness, a leash, and some waste bags
- One of their favorite chew toys
- A pet-carrier, airline-approved if possible, even if you don’t plan on flying
These items will cover all the basic needs of your pooch while traveling with you, and you should be sure to have them with you! It will ensure their comfort and yours.
Finding Pet-Friendly Lodging
As time has passed, pet-friendly hotels and other forms of lodging have become more available. Business owners realized that people love to travel with their pets when given the option and began lifting restrictions to allow for this! Here’s how to find pet-friendly lodging ahead of time.
Hotels and Motels
Finding hotels and motels that allow your pet to stay with you has become easier than ever! With the internet, a number of sites have become available that allow you to search the cities you plan on visiting for lodging options that will let your pup come along for the ride. Additionally, most hotels list on their websites what amenities are available, including pet lodging.
If you’re more inclined to check the websites that will compile all the information for you rather than checking the individual chain websites, here are a couple that we liked!
- PetsWelcome - PetsWelcome has been around since 1997, helping pet owners just like you find appropriate lodging for you and your pup. In addition to compiling all of the information for you, they have a wonderful trip planning application to really help get things in order before you hit the road!
- BringFido - BringFido is another great website for planning your trips around pet-friendly lodging. In addition to lodging, they also provide fun activities in the area that both you and your pooch can take part in!
How To Find Pet-Friendly Hotels on Your Own
In addition to the websites listed above, finding out if a hotel is pet-friendly is easier than you may think, with a plethora of resources available to you at any given time. Check out these tips on how to find out if the hotel you have in mind is okay with your companion coming with you!
- Check the hotel’s amenities online; most hotels list their pet accommodations here, as well as their policies. Most times, these should be listed with detail online.
- Ask a booking agent at the hotel what their pet policy is and if pet-friendly rooms are available. These may be set aside in advance and have the ability to fill up.
- Distinguish the difference between pet-tolerant and pet-friendly. Hotels that are tolerant may only allow the pet to stay in your room. Pet-friendly hotels tend to go above and beyond and have things in mind for your furry friend.
If you’re having trouble finding a hotel that allows your pup to stay with you that you like, or you’re just not a fan of hotels at all, it’s also worth mentioning that Airbnb has an option that allows you to search for only pet-friendly lodging options. This a great alternative should you have trouble finding a hotel or a motel that works for you and your furry companion!
Major Chains That Are Pet-Friendly
As you travel, you’re bound to see chain hotels left and right. Did you know that quite a few of these major chains are more than okay with you bringing your pup along? Check out which chains allow pets and what their pet policies consist of!
Best Western hotels across the country are dog-friendly! They allow up to two dogs, with a maximum weight of 80 pounds per dog. Pricing varies from location to location, but they can charge up to $30 per day for pet stays, as well as a refundable deposit of up to $150 for each stay.
Choice Hotels is one of the largest hotel chains in the nation, with nearly 3,500 locations under an assortment of names. Some of these are Quality Inn, Comfort Hotel, Mainstay Suites, and Sleep Inn. Each one of these pet-friendly hotels has a unique pet policy, and guests are required to call ahead to provide information about the pets staying with them. Generally, the fee is anywhere from $10 to $75 a night, and a refundable deposit may be required.
Many Four Seasons hotel locations are dog-friendly, but each hotel has its own set of policies regarding your pet. Some have weight restrictions, and some locations go so far as to provide services to your pet in-house. These can include dog-specific menus, grooming services, as well as walking done by an employee. Call Four Seasons to check ahead and discuss the options at the location you’re looking to stay at!
Another multi-brand hotel chain with numerous locations, Marriott hotels are pet-friendly, but like Choice Hotels, require a phone call to discuss specifics. Some of the hotels that fall under the Marriott name are Courtyard, Gaylord Hotels, and Residence Inn. They’ll each have limitations on breed and weight and will have unique pet-related fees.
Motel 6 is the lodging choice of the American Kennel Club, as they pride themselves on being the most pet-friendly choice in the nation. All of their locations accommodate pets and allow up to two pets per room with no restrictions on breed or weight. Best of all, it’s all done at no cost to you! It’s no wonder the AKC loves them.
Some Dog-Friendly Destinations
When planning your next trip, consider these US cities that are considered the most friendly in the country!
- Portland, OR - Portland considers itself to be the most pet-friendly city in the US. The city itself sports dozens of dog parks and dog-friendly trails in the natural surroundings.
- Boston, MA - Boston offers tons of pet-friendly historical tours, as well as an assortment of pet-friendly breweries!
- Tampa, FL - Tampa offers plenty of dog-friendly parks, like the Riverwalk, and is close to several dog beaches that your pup can play at!
- San Francisco, CA - A pet-friendly city that allows your four-legged friends to popular tourist destinations! The Golden Gate Bridge allows four-legged friends on it from 5 pm to dusk daily, and there are dog parks in the area to play at while you wait!
Things to Keep in Mind
Pet-friendly hotels do a lot to keep their guests happy, but that relationship has to be fostered both ways. As guests of these hotels, we have to make sure that the behavior of our pups is up to high standards and that we make sure to keep things friendly and clean.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that these hotels are not just a place to keep your dog while you enjoy your travel destination for the day. Traveling with your dog means including them in the activities you’re doing and making sure they’re cared for properly. Some of these hotels will offer boarding services, but no pooch likes to be left alone all day, especially in a place that’s unfamiliar to them.
The Dog Days of Summer
Finding pet-friendly lodging is easier than ever with all the websites dedicated to helping you plan trips with your pooch. Many hotels offer some sort of pet-friendly options and encourage you to travel with your pet. When you do, it’s important to make sure that you’re packed adequately and that you have all your ducks in a row with the hotel you’ve chosen.
Refer to our checklist, as well as our list of dog-friendly hotels, and start planning your next adventure with your pup today! You won’t regret it!
Dog-Friendly Hotels: A Guide to Dog-Friendly Hotel Chains in the US | American Kennel Club
How to Find Pet-Friendly Hotels | USA Today
7 Pet-Friendly Escapes: The Dog Diaries | The Four Seasons