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According to the U.S. Travel Association about 20 million people travel with their pets each year. In order to meet this need a number of hotels now offer pet-friendly lodging. There are a couple of websites that can help you find the perfect pet-friendly hotel. A couple that I’ve checked out and like include bringfido.com and pets welcome.com.
That said, you still should still be aware ofthe following:
1. When reserving a room at a pet-friendly hotel via an app like StayAtHand or the internet, be sure to call and confirm that all the information is up-to-date and that pets are indeed welcome. Hotels change management and/or ownership sometimes and they don’t always update their websites. You also want to confirm if there are additional fees for bringing a pet.
2. Pet-friendly hotels have their own rules and the rules can even vary within chains. Some hotels restrict the size and age (usually puppies are discouraged) of animals and how many you can bring. Some only allow dogs. Others only allow cats. If you break the rules and you are caught, be ready to pay some fines. You also need to find out if your pet needs to be kenneled at any or all times during your visit and you should also find out what the leash rules are.
3. Request a ground floor room. This comes in handy when Fido needs to tinkle in the middle of the night.
4. Look for pet perks. Many hotels offer special dog beds and treats. Some even offer dog-walking and spa services! So, before you reserve be sure to shop around to find the hotel that offers the best extras for your pet.
5. Be leery of “pet-friendly” rooms. These are usually the rooms with older furnishings and/or smoking rooms. Blech.
6. Be prepared to sign an agreement stating that you are financially responsible if your pet causes any damage to hotel property. There is also usually a refundable deposit required to guard against damages. If your pet causes damage to your room it’s best to tell the management right away instead of waiting until the end of your stay.
7. Use a crate or carrier when leaving your pet alone in the room. This is for the safety of your pet and the housekeepers who clean your room.
8. Opt for suite or apartment living whenever possible. This will give you and your pet more space. In addition, a kitchen can’t be beat for storing pet food and washing pet dishes.
If you’re ready to book your next vacation and want more information on pet travel don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help you find the perfect hotel for you AND your beloved pet.
John K. Hart
Founder and CEO of StaySmarter
A purpose-driven and results-focused leader, John is the Founder and CEO of Imagine If, a team of hotel insiders that is the maker of the StayFaster and StayAtHand websites and apps, a powerful suite of tools that are the smartest way to get your hotel stay. They provide consumers the world’s fastest, most powerful way to book hotels. They provide hotels a new pricing model, support for their rewards programs, and significant opportunities for brand differentiation.