Caitlin UltimoPet Parenting / Travel

Proper Petiquette for Staying at Pet-Friendly Hotels

Contributed by Jenna Donleavy, traveler and pet parent of three rescue dogs: Knox, Bear & Harper

How to Practice Petiquette in Pet-Friendly Hotels on Your Next Pupcation

It’s been a cold and snowy winter in Boston, and more often than not, my mind wanders to warmer days and beach vacations. As I drift off to these tropical lands, I snap back to reality when I remember that my pups would also love a getaway. If you are like me, it’s hard enough to leave them for a day—let alone a long weekend or even a week! Throughout my 3 years of being a dog mom, I have promised myself I would do my best to include them in all of our vacation plans.

How will I travel with my dogs when a lot of hotels have strict no pet policies? Well, it’s easy, and I am going to give you the lowdown on pet-friendly hotels and dogs, as well as pet travel petiquette.

Selecting Pet-Friendly Accommodations:

After deciding on a destination for your trip, it can sometimes be overwhelming to choose the type of pet-friendly lodging you’d like to stay in. Home rental apps are great resources if you are looking for more room during your stay, such as an entire house or condo. These sites allow you to filter the houses that only accept pets so you can see all the pet-friendly options available. You can scroll through pictures where you can view photos of the yard and living spaces to make sure they’re adequate for your furry friend.

For smaller pet-friendly accommodations such as a room in a resort, hotel or inn, I always begin my initial research on large booking websites. These sites allow you to filter for pet-friendly hotels. Take some time to check out photos of the properties, read reviews from those who have brought their pet to the property and always call the hotel to triple-check.

Over the past few years, more and more hotels have become pet-friendly, and a handful even go above and beyond to make your pup feel at home. The Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, Maine had doggy room service and even allowed Bear to sit with us while we enjoyed a cocktail in their fireside lounge.

Petiquette Tips for Pet Travel:

You’ve done your research and selected the perfect pet-friendly accommodations for you and your pet. Upon arrival to the property, your pup immediately feels at home, and you can’t wait to take them around to explore. At check-in, the staff will usually inform you of or hand you a pamphlet about the hotel’s pet policy, which usually includes things like keeping your dog on a leash, picking up after your buddy, and not leaving them alone in the room. If you are not given a set of rules, be sure to ask so you are well informed of where they can go on the property and where they may be restricted.

Even if your pup is allowed to romp around and lie on furniture at your home, be sure to treat your hotel room respectfully, and do your best to keep your dog off of the beds and other furniture. Most dog-friendly hotels supply dog beds and some specific doggy towels. If they don’t, be sure to ask so you and your pup can relax comfortably without the worry of excess shedding and accidentally wrecking the sofa.

As a quick tip before leaving for your trip, be sure to check in with the hotel to make sure you can leave your dog in the room while you are out exploring. If the hotel requires that your pup be crated, try a foldable dog crate for easy travel and make sure your pup is crate trained beforehand. As I mentioned above, some pet-friendly hotels do not allow you to leave pets in rooms unattended (but do, however, offer pup sitters!). Knowing this ahead of time will help you better plan your activities while away.

If your dog can relax in the room while you are out, be sure to provide him with a chew toy that will divert any destructive dog behavior away from the hotel furniture. The Kong Classic dog toy is the perfect interactive toy to keep your pup busy and satisfied while you are out and about. Before you leave, be sure to use the “Do not disturb” sign on your door or inform the housekeepers that you do have a pet in the room, in case one of the staff has an allergy or is not comfortable around pets.

Being such an animal lover and continuously surrounded by them, I often forget not everyone is such a canine enthusiast. If you show a little petiquette and are extra courteous, conscious and respectful when traveling with your dog, you will be pleasantly surprised with how receptive others are. Plus, who doesn’t love seeing a four-legged hotel guest when they may have left theirs at home?! There is no better way to make friends during your trip then with a dog. Enjoy!

Jenna Donleavy bio

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