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Dog Barking In Hotel Rooms: Tips For A Quiet Stay

No one wants to be that person … the one whose dog is barking in a hotel.  But we’ve all heard it. Someone leaves their pup alone in a hotel room and returns later to find that the poor dog barked the whole time.

Not only is it heartbreaking to think of your dog being that upset, it’s embarrassing to know that you’re responsible for disturbing other guests. And it could be expensive if the hotel asks you and your dog to leave!

Small dog in sunglasses with his head sticking out of a black pet carrier

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Barking Might Lead to Higher Pet Fees

The real cost, though, could affect the entire pet travel community. Some accommodations have chosen to stop welcoming canine guests due to problems with dogs barking in the hotel. Recently a hotel manager contacted me to remove his hotel listing from GoPetFriendly.com. When I asked why they decided to stop being pet-friendly, this was his response:

[Being pet friendly…] has cost us too much in guest satisfaction and in room rebates to other guests disturbed by barking dogs. This happens more often than we would like, and it’s pushed us to the brink.  

I’ve railed against unreasonable pet fees, but I didn’t considered the expense of dogs barking in hotels. The reimbursements required to satisfy disgruntled guests are undoubtedly being spread across all pet travelers in the form of higher pet fees. Or the hotel may decide to stop welcoming pets altogether!

So, what can we, as responsible pet travelers, do to keep from spoiling the fun for everyone else? The tips below will help ensure you’re not the one whose dog is barking in a hotel.

Topnotch Resort and Spa - Stowe, VT

Consider Whether a Hotel the Best Choice

Before you travel together, you’ll need to understand your dog’s tendencies and limitations. It’s your job to keep your pup out of situations he’s not ready to handle. So, if your dog barks a lot at home, a hotel is probably not the right accommodation choice for you.

Dogs that bark a lot may be more comfortable staying in a pet-friendly rental property, bed and breakfast, cabin, or with family or friends. Any of these option will be quieter than a hotel, and staying with friends or family might mean there are people around to keep him company.

Seniors with Dog in Park

 

Strategies to Avoid Dog Barking in a Hotel

If your dog has the skills to stay quietly in a hotel, you can avoid any chance that he’ll disturb others by not leaving him alone. Sitting by himself in a unfamiliar place that smells like strangers and has unusual noises wouldn’t be fun for any dog.

Instead, plan activities that include your pup, use room service or take-out for your meals, and have friends gather at your hotel rather than going out to meet them.

Another alternative would be to hire a pet sitter to stay with your pet while you’re out. The front desk may even have a list of local pet sitters they recommend.

READ MORE ⇒  Tips for Finding the Right Pet Sitter

 

Set Your Pet Up for Success

If you must leave your pet alone in a hotel for a short period of time, these steps will help you and your dog avoid problems:

  1. Be sure the hotel’s pet policy allows you to leave pets unattended. Note any limitations on the length of time pets may be alone.
  2. Do not leave your pets alone until they’ve acclimated to the hotel room. Take time to establish the hotel room as “home” in your dog’s mind, so he understands that when you leave, you’ll be right back.
  3. If available, upgrade to a suite. Having a living and bedroom, for example, allows you to settle your dog in the one furthest from the hallway. The room in between becomes a buffer, giving your dog space from activity outside your door.
  4. Keep the time you’re away as short as possible. Do what you have to do and get back to your dog as quickly as possible.
  5. Bring the things that make your dog comfortable, like his bed or blanket. For dogs that are used to sleeping in a crate, consider covering the crate with a blanket from home to help keep him calm.
  6. Tired dogs create less ruckus. Be sure your dog has a long walk with plenty of opportunities to relieve himself before you go out.
  7. Pack something extra-special to keep him busy while he’s alone. Whether it’s a tasty chew, a toy stuffed with food, or a dog puzzle that requires work to get the treats out. If his mouth is busy, your dog will be less likely to bark!
  8. Help your dog relax by tuning in a classical music station on the radio or television. Or get music specifically composed to reduce anxiety in pets from Through A Dog’s Ear, and leave it playing quietly to cover any noises that might trigger barking.
  9. Stop by the front desk every time you leave your pet to verify that the staff on duty has your cell phone number. If you need to turn your ringer off, leave your phone on vibrate so you can always be reached.
  10. Every dog can have a bad day. If the hotel notifies you that your pup is missing you loudly, apologize and return to the hotel immediately. Then don’t leave your dog alone again for the rest of your stay.

READ MORE ⇒   Hotel Chains Where Pets Stay Free

Staying in pet-friendly hotels is a privilege. And it’s our responsibility to avoid causing issues for the hotel or other guests. Do you have additional tips for keeping dogs quiet in hotel rooms? Please leave a note in the comments below!

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  • Hanna says:

    I have taken my crate trained dog on multiple trips where we stay in pet friendly hotels and he has always done fine staying in the room by himself. All of a sudden, on this trip, I can’t leave the room for a second without him completely freaking out. What gives?

    • Amy at GoPetFriendly.com says:

      Hi Hanna! I’m so sorry to hear that your dog is now frantic when you leave the room. It’s hard to say what might have caused his anxiety and, even if we knew, it wouldn’t help resolve your issue.

      My advice is to start working with the crate at home. Does he have the same response there? If not, try the yard, a friend’s house, etc. When you discover a place that he reacts to your leaving, that’s where you start re-training him to be calm in the crate. Start by making sure he’s comfortable with a familiar blanket or bed. Use a frozen, stuffed Kong or other toy or a bully stick to keep him busy. And slowly increase the amount of time you can be out of sight without causing him to panic. Hopefully, since he’s done it in the past, you’ll make quick progress. Good luck!

  • Bonnie Rennels says:

    Amy, most of the time, we travel with our dogs in our travel trailer because RV parks and state parks are better noise buffers than hotel rooms. But for quick trips of 1 or 2 days we stay in Pet Friendly Hotels. One thing we find helpful is to keep the TV up loud to mask the noise from the outside. I also always put the “DO NOT DISTURB” sign on the door. And I never choose maid service, we never allow anyone to enter the room in order to protect our dogs. We instinctively do all the things you’ve suggested, Rescue Remedy, toys & blankets from home, frequent exercise, etc. and those things really help. Last July 4th we took a trip to Bentonville, AR and missed a fabulous Fireworks show because our dogs were so terrified of the noise that we could not bear to leave them alone in the room for even an hour. They wouldn’t have been barking but they would have been scared to death. As you pointed out, there’s no substitute for being there with them.

    • Amy at GoPetFriendly.com says:

      Thanks so much for your comment, Bonnie! I agree that being in the RV is more comfortable for us all, and your suggestions to leave the TV up, use the Do Not Disturb sign, and forgo maid service are great points. It’s a shame you missed the fireworks, but there would have been no way to enjoy them knowing your dogs were miserable. Waggin’ trails!

  • Yvettr says:

    Im so afraid of leaving mine in a hotel in fear of them being stolen? Sm i worrying.too much?

    • Amy at GoPetFriendly.com says:

      I would never tell you that you’re being too cautious with your pets. It’s our responsibility to keep them safe. That said, we have left Ty in Buster in hotels rooms for short periods of time. One thing you could consider would be getting a Blink Camera. They’re fairly inexpensive and super-easy to set up. That would allow you to monitor your pets while your away. We use them in the RV and I wrote about it in this post: http://bit.ly/2KTkDtg

      I hope that helps – waggin’ trails!

  • Hi Deborah! You have some great questions. It never hurts to request a room in a quiet area of the hotel, but there’s no way that I’m aware of to know which hotels have better sound insulation than others. Generally, I think most people understand a woof or two, but more than that can cause trouble. Another idea would be to consider vacation properties or cabins that would give you, and your pup, more privacy. Good luck to you!

  • Our dog alert barks when he hears noises so is it usually possible to ask for a room where there are fewer guests/foot traffic? Also, is there a way to differentiate between hotels with GREAT sound insulation and those with poor? We ourselves have been bothered by loud TVs, loud guests, rambunctious kids, etc so I would think that during daytime hours there should be some expectation that when in a place with a lot of activity and people, one must expect noise that one cannot necessarily control. How do we know how much barking is okay and how much is not?

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