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Dog Barking In Hotel Rooms: Get Tips For A Quiet Stay

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No one wants to be that dog owner … the one who leaves their pup alone in a hotel room and finds out later 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

The real cost, though, could affect the entire pet travel community. Some hotels have chosen to stop welcoming canine guests due to problems with barking dogs.

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.  

Reimbursements May Lead To Higher Pet Fees

I’m the first to rail against unreasonable pet fees, but I hadn’t considered the expenses hotels face in reimbursements to disgruntled guests. Those costs are undoubtedly being spread across all pet travelers in the form of higher pet fees – if the hotel decide to remain pet friendly at all!

So, what can we, as responsible pet travelers, do to be sure that we’re not spoiling the fun for everyone else? The tips below will ensure that your next hotel stay is pleasant for everyone.

Topnotch Resort and Spa - Stowe, VT

Is A Hotel The Best Choice?

Before you begin traveling together, you’ll need a good understanding of your dog’s tendencies and limitations. It’s your job to keep your dog 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

Tips to Keep Dogs From Barking in Hotel Rooms

If your dog has the skills to do well 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 coming from the hall wouldn’t be fun for any dog.

Instead, plan activities where your pup can join you, 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.


Get some tips for finding the right pet sitter!

Tips for Finding the Perfect Pet Sitter from GoPetFriendly.com

If you do need to leave your pet alone in a hotel room 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, and make note of 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. First, 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, consider upgrading to a two-room suite. Having a separate bedroom and living room allows you to settle your dog in the room furthest from the hall, while the other room acts as a buffer between your pet and the hallway.
  4. Keep the time you’re away as short as possible. Go downstairs for something to eat, run an errand, or attend a quick meeting – but when you’re finished, get back to your pup as quickly as possible.
  5. Bring the things that make your dog comfortable, like his bed or crate. For dogs that are used to sleeping in a crate, consider covering it with a blanket from home to help keep him calm.
  6. Tired dogs are less likely to create a ruckus, so 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 toy stuffed with food and then frozen to last longer, or a dog puzzle that requires your dog to work to get the treats out – if he’s entertained, he’ll be less likely to bark.
  8. Turn on something that helps your dog relax. Find 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 help 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.  And if you need to turn your ringer off, leave your phone on vibrate mode so that you can always be reached.
  10. Every dog can have a bad day, so if the hotel has to notify you that your pup is missing you loudly, apologize, return to the hotel immediately, and don’t leave your dog unattended again for the rest of your stay.

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? Leave a note in the comments below!

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  • 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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