Guide to Pet-Friendly Stays
Get away, and take your pet with you. A growing number of hotels will welcome your pet (even your cat, hamster or lizard), and they’re easier than ever to find. However, before you sign on for the night, you’ll want to ask some questions – and take a few responsible measures – to ensure that both you and your pet have a hassle-free trip.
Finding pet friendly accommodations
Many sites have search engines that allow you to find pet-friendly lodgings around the United States and internationally. Pet friendly hotels usually set aside a block of rooms specifically for pet owners, and they’re your best bet for exotic pets, too. But don’t just show up unannounced with your gecko or gerbil. Call ahead to explain your circumstances; even a dog-only hotel can sometimes be swayed.
Surcharges and documentation
Some hotels are delighted to have your pet – if it weighs less than 25 pounds. Ask about surcharges for pets (or larger pets), whether your hotel requires a hotel health certificate (ask for the form or call your vet), and if your hotel requires a refundable cleaning deposit – and if your pet didn’t make a mess,make sure the charge is removed from your bill at the end of your stay.
Leaving your pet unattended
A hotel room is a foreign country to a pet, and nervous pet travelers are likely to misbehave or make noise when you leave them alone. If you are going out to dinner or will be away for several hours, hire a pet sitter (a pet friendly hotel should have good contacts). Consider using a pet door hanger to alert guests and staff that a pet is in the room.
Getting ample exercise
Pet friendly hotels should be within walking distance of a good park, dog run or public area where you can take your pet out for frequent breaks. Take along at least two litter bags. Remember to keep your pet contained or on a leash; you might think your ferret is adorable, but not everyone will be a fan.
Make stays a bit easier
Request a ground floor room so pet walks are easier for you both. Before you leave, make a travel kit that includes their favorite toy, their pet health certificate or shot record from the vet, a first aid kit, ID tags, and carrier and/or leash, as well as ample supplies of food you know they can tolerate.
Pet-friendly hotels handle room assignments differently from each other; while some may reserve a block of rooms for pet owners, others may not, and choose to do a deep cleaning or sanitizing treatment to pet rooms. If you’re a dog owner with an allergy to cats, consider asking the hotel if it accepts cats. The sanitizing treatment might not remove all the allergens from a formerly cat-inhabited room.