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Are Pet Friendly Hotels Friendly for All Guests? Part 2

Enter!

OK. Back from shoveling snow!

Our last post reviewed problems that non-pet-owning guests run into when staying at pet friendly hotels. Thankfully, the issues are few and not nearly as polarizing as the ones we covered in last week’s posts on dining at dog friendly restaurants. Perhaps this is why pet friendly hotels are more accepted and why you see them at all price points – ranging from high falutin’ boutique hotels to budget hotel chains.

What are the Objections –

Proponents of pet friendly hotels say it’s about having a choice. For those who fancy neither canine nor feline, there are plenty of places to stay where pets can’t be guests. For people who want or need to travel with a pet, hotels that offer a respite for Rover are a Dogsend.

As I see it, the travelers in the USA Today column that lodged complaints about pet friendly hotels had two major objections:

#1 – Barking dogs left unattended in rooms.

What, no one has been disturbed by the roar of a cat? What can I say … Bad Boy! This shouldn’t happen.

#2 – Some people are allergic to pets.

Yes they are – but they’re not as plentiful as you might think. By one account, only about 10 million Americans are allergic to dogs (roughly 3.3% of our 300 million population). Another source says: From 15 percent to 30 percent of people with allergies have allergic reactions to cats and dogs… Cat allergies are about twice as common as dog allergies. (Note that this statistic is not 15-30% of the population, just 15-30% of the subset of people who have allergies.)

Tips for Hoteling With Pets –

  • When choosing a hotel, check out GotPetFriendly’s detailed pet policies to see if unattended pets are permitted in rooms.
  • If there will only be short periods of time when you will need to leave your dog behind, consider dog walking and/or pet sitting options. These services may be offered by the hotel, or you can look for these service providers, as well as doggie daycare facilities, on our web site’s Travel Search page.
  • Dogs need to be exercised – maybe even more so when traveling. When you make hotel reservations, ask if there is a fenced-in play area on the property or if there are nearby parks or trails. Again, you can look for places to go and things to do with your pooch on our Travel Search page.
  • Bring along a sheet or towel to put over the furniture or bed if you’re going to let Tabby or Fido sleep there.
  • Do what you can to dog-proof your room. A recent blog post by Dog Jaunt has some masterful tips in this regard.
  • Carry carpet cleaner in your pet travel bag just in case an accident occurs in the room.
  • Let people know there is a pet in the room. For $8.75 you can buy a cool set of pet friendly hotel door tags – that hang over a standard door knob or slide into the key-card locks – to advise housekeeping to skip your room because your dog is inside, or to make up the room because your dog is out.
  • If you anticipate having to spend a lot of time away from your dog, consider boarding or pet sitting arrangements that will allow you to leave your hound at home.

Anything we missed? Other tips for staying in a hotel with you pet? Please share!

  • Diddlehopper77 says:

    It would be nice if dog friendly hotels also had a doggy daycare. Dog parents could pay extra for each day they are used. So if there is something that you have to do that day where your dog can’t go, you could just drop the dog off to a designated area for them to get babysat right in the hotel. How convenient?

  • […] link: Are Pet Friendly Hotels Friendly for All Guests? Part 2 February 11th, 2010 at 11:06 […]

  • Mary-Alice says:

    This is such a useful and sensible post. We've been staying at pet-friendly hotels for a year now, and we've never heard a peep from other canine guests. I find that traveling with a crate is crucial for the dog's security (and, especially when puppies are involved, the room's safety!). Exercise is key — also consider bringing really absorbing toys and long-lasting chews with you as a way of keeping your dog occupied.

  • […] my follow up post, I will provide some tips for people hoteling with their pets. In the meantime, let us and others […]

  • AndASmallDog says:

    Hi Rod,
    Our dog also barks when he hears doors slamming or if someone knocks on the door (he is pleasantly surprised if its room service!). We can't crate him due to his abandonment by previous owners. We try to limit the time we are not in the room with him but sometimes it is unavoidable. Some museums and restaurants (and family) don't allow pets!
    Good post and I hope more hotels start allowing dogs – of all sizes! : )
    Leila

  • […] the original post: Are Pet Friendly Hotels Friendly for All Guests? Part 2 Categories : Dog Friendly […]

  • Might be a good idea to crate your dog when you leave the room for brief periods, say when you're heading downstairs to have breakfast. This will prevent any potential altercations with your dog and the cleaning staff, as well as ensure that escape is not an issue.

    • Good ideas. Probably depends, too, on how dogs feel about their crates. Is it “my space” where I'm safe, or is it where I get sent for punishment. Amazing how the things you do early on with your dog can come back and bite you!

  • Good post with excellent tips. The no barking rule is *very* important! Funny enough, I've never heard a barking dog in a hotel, but I have been annoyed by unruly hotel guests

    • Our dogs only bark when disturbed. Slamming doors, knocking on our door. I expect that … and I'm imagining that other dog owners expect that, too. (PLEASE tell me that happens with your dogs!) I can see where insecure dogs would bark nonstop if left unattended in a room. And we don't do that.

  • michelechollow says:

    Good points, and people should leave their cats with a cat sitter. Cats are territorial, and are happier at home.
    At Loew's Hotel and at the Four Seasons, both in Philadelphia, the outsides of the rooms are marked with a plaque that says “dog in residence.” It's a good idea for cleaning staff to know not to leave the room door wide open just in case the dog isn't in his crate.

    • Interesting point about cats. Still trying to get a fix on how often people travel with their felines and why.

      • michelechollow says:

        Rod, I can't emphasize this enough: cats should stay at home with a cat sitter. We have a wonderful cat sitter who we trust, and our cat loves her. Cats don't like to be moved to unfamiliar places. I just don't see the point of traveling with a cat.

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