When you have a pet who you love to keep by your side, it’s always a comfort to find a dog-friendly hotel when you travel. But there are pros and cons to these types of establishments. It’s important to ask the right questions ahead of time to ensure that you don’t show up on the premises only to discover that your dog will not be taken care of or tended to in the way that you understood he would be.
The Logistics of Your Dog’s Hotel Stay
Chances are, if you’re taking your dog on a trip or vacation with you, he will be able to participate in the majority of the travel activities. But, if not, find out what the hotel’s rules are about leaving your pet unattended in the hotel room. They may not allow it, in which case your travel plans will have to change to accommodate this decree. Or they may allow it if your dog is kept in a crate, so ask yourself if your pet can handle this scenario and find out if the hotel provides the crate.
You know your pet best. Perhaps you have an older dog who can entertain himself for a few hours. Or do you have a younger pup who needs plenty of attention or spends solo time getting into mischief instead of waiting patiently for you to return? However your pet behaves at home when you’re away, he’ll do the same in a foreign environment – or, he may act up simply because he’s in a place he isn’t familiar with.
If the hotel does not allow pets to be left alone in the hotel rooms but they do offer an on-site doggie day care option, this can be convenient for travel purposes. However, is it healthy and safe for your pet? Maybe, but unless you ask about regulations and vaccinations, and confirm that all dogs in the day care are up to date on their veterinary care, you could be putting your pet at risk in unfamiliar territory.
Amenities for Dogs
Dog owners know that it’s important to pack for their pet. But do you need an entire suitcase full of toys or snacks for your beloved companion? Do you have to bring enough dog food for the entire trip as well as bowls for food and water? Find out if the dog-friendly hotel you’re staying at offers the kind of amenities that will make it easier for you to pack light and for your dog to still enjoy the food, treats, toys, and grooming that he’s used to.
Time for Sleep
You want a king bed for yourself, or two full beds for you and your partner and one for the kids to share. Where will your dog sleep? If he’s the type to snuggle up on the bed with you at night, that certainly isn’t going to change in a hotel. In fact, he may be more inclined to get close with you if you’re in a strange place. Find out what the hotel’s rules are about where your dog can sleep.
Of course, your dog will need to have bathroom breaks while you’re traveling so consider how often he typically needs to relieve himself if you’re going to be away from the hotel for a while. Ask the dog-friendly hotel if they offer dog-walking services so that, if your pet is allowed to stay alone in your room while you’re out, there will be someone to walk him at regular intervals.
If this amenity is an option, it’s then important to consider whether your pet will be comfortable going outside with a stranger. It’s also necessary to consider whether your dog has accidents when he is out of his element. Do you want to have to apologize for these at checkout – or, worse, pay for them?
The Safest Hotel Alternative
Ultimately, if a hotel calls itself a dog-friendly establishment, you should have nothing to worry about when you travel with your pet. But not every lodging place is the same, and if you’ll be staying at a hotel that’s new for you and your dog, do your research first.
In some cases, it’s safer, healthier, and a less stressful experience – for your dog and you too – to board your pet at a certified and trusted pet-boarding facility. Make a boarding reservation for your dog at the Northpointe Veterinary Hospital, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your dog will be in good hands.