If you are a dog owner who loves to travel, often the hardest part of the journey is leaving your loved one behind. In a recent Nature’s Recipe survey, nearly half of respondents said they avoid traveling with their dogs because of the inconvenience and that the biggest obstacle is finding a hotel suitable for dogs.
How to travel with your dog at night in a hotel
As additional planning is required to find out how to travel with your dog, here are eight tips to help you stay overnight in hotels and find dog-friendly properties.
Find out the hotel’s pet policy and fees
When traveling with your dog, I recommend booking directly with the hotel by phone. This way you can ask specific questions and find out the hotel’s pet policy.
Before booking, ask if there is a pet fee, if the fee is per night or a flat rate, if there are restrictions on breed or weight, if the whole hotel is a pet house or has a certain floor if you can leave your dog only in the room if there are walkers or dog keepers available and if there are any fees associated with damage from your pet.
Professional advice: A fee of $ 25 to $ 50 for dogs is fairly standard, depending on the hotel. Check for special offers from large hotel chains that are suitable for dogs, or ask a boutique hotel if it offers discounts for pets in the off-season.
Guess your dog’s behavior
You will never know how to travel with your dog until you try it, but understanding your dog’s behavior is extremely important when you stay overnight with him at the hotel. For example, if your dog tends to bark at people who pass by a window, ask for a room upstairs. Or, if your dog gets nervous in elevators, ask for a room on a lower level so you can climb the stairs. Another useful tip is to turn on the TV when you leave the room so that your dog does not hear people coming and going into the room and worrying.
Professional advice: Before you go on a longer trip, take a test trip to a nearby pet hotel to see how your dog reacts. If things don’t go well, you can easily take your dog home.
Have a plan if you can’t leave your dog alone
If the hotel’s policy is that you can’t leave your dog alone in the room, make sure you have some resources to turn to if you plan to go somewhere that Fido doesn’t allow. Ask if the hotel has a dog rental or a babysitter rental; in some pet-friendly hotels, unforeseen staff members are happy to walk your dog for you, as long as you ask in advance. Another option is to take your dog to a makeup artist, kennel for boarding or even a dog spa for the day.
Professional advice: If you can only leave your dog in the hotel room, always give it to the reception staff and ask them to call you if there are any complaints or noise problems.
Explore pet-friendly restaurants
If you cannot leave your dog in your room in accordance with hotel policies, you will want to find restaurants where you can bring your dog for food. Most hotels can provide a list of nearby restaurants where pets are allowed and usually, if the hotel is a pet, at least part of the lobby bar or restaurant on site will also be.
I also found that most restaurants with outdoor seating allow dogs as long as they are tethered and stay on the perimeter. However, the weather does not always allow this, so it is wise to have a backup plan – such as room service or food for home.
Professional advice: See BringFido for pet-friendly restaurants by city or region.
Pack the appropriate equipment and food
Your dog packing list will vary depending on the length of your stay and the mode of transport. Most hotels will include a dog bed, some treats and a bowl as part of the pet fee; ask about it some time ago so as not to bring anything unnecessary. You can also buy pet food at your destination to save a little extra space in your suitcase.
If you are going to travel often with your dog, I recommend buying a folding water bowl, a travel bed, piss pads, an extra leash and lots of treats. If I pack dog food, I always measure it in advance and put each meal in a separate plastic bag.
Professional advice: One of the best things I learned about how to travel with my dog is that you should always bring a favorite toy or object from home. Having something with a familiar smell will help you make your dog more comfortable in the hotel room.
Stick to a routine
Dogs are creatures of habit, so it’s important to stick to your pet’s routine when traveling. Feed them at the same time, place the dog bed in a similar place as at home, and give them plenty of exercise. One of the first things you need to do when you get to the hotel is find a green space for them to go to the toilet.
Professional advice: If your dog is used to interacting with other dogs or needs some time off the leash, find a nearby dog park.
Choose the right hotel for pets
Keep in mind that just because a hotel allows you to travel with your pet doesn’t mean it’s necessarily “pet-friendly.” The hotel may have rooms available for your pet, but for example not provide additional privileges or information.
If you are traveling with a small dog that does not require much exercise, then any standard hotel chain will probably do so. But if you have a larger dog that needs a lot of attention or are traveling on a limited budget, more research may be needed to find the right shape.
Professional advice: Boutique hotels often offer more comfort or attention to dogs if they are proud to be pets. Some of my favorite pet hotels include The Colonnade Hotel in Boston, Topnotch Resort in Stowe and Hotel Vermont in Burlington.
Kimpton is a great chain option for dogs, as it does not charge additional fees and even invites dogs (and any other pet) to the nightly, free reception of wine with which the brand is known.
Find activities suitable for dogs
Some offer activities suitable for dogs while on holiday include hiking, jogging or cycling, breweries (call in advance to make sure they are pets), markets, beaches and outdoor parks and monuments. The more tired your puppy is, the better he will sleep in the hotel.
Professional advice: BringFido allows you to search for events and activities in your destination.
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