Pet Travel. Made Easy.

Operation: Give Big Dogs a Break

What's he got that I don't?

When it comes to travel, small dogs are lucky. They can fly in the cabins of planes, they are allowed inside many shops and businesses, and they can stay at more hotels than dogs which may weigh only a little more. What’s up with that?

The Problem

Some of the most popular dog breeds don’t have the luxury of going on vacation with the rest of the family because they are deemed “too big.” Many hotels that are dog friendly often have weight restrictions … and in many cases only dogs weighing less than 25 pounds are permitted. (Notable exception: We previously reported that Motel 6 and Studio 6‘s new pet policies remove dog weight restrictions at all of their locations.) The reasoning behind size discrimination doesn’t seem to be based on anything except the perception that smaller dogs are less messy or less threatening. If you have any additional insight about the rationale, please share in the comments!

What’s Being Done About It

AndASmallDog and GoPetFriendly have joined forces to persuade hotels to scratch their restrictions on Rover’s rotundness. We’ve created a grassroots campaign at and started an online petition to gain support for this important cause.

How You Can Help

Please sign the petition! Our initial goal is 1,000 signatures. When we reach that level we will present the petition to hotel corporate offices to see where we can make a difference.

To receive campaign updates and read about other ways you can help, follow @GoPetFriendly and @AndASmallDog on Twitter and join the Give Big Dogs A Break Facebook cause. For those of you reading this who write a blog, you can grab a Give Big Dogs A Break petition widget to add to your website.

Please spread the word, and thanks for your support!

  • Meagen Kleiner says:

    Every single small dog i have ever known (a LOT!) pisses and shits all over the house, bites at strangers, yips and yaps about everything constantly…and the OWNERS!! its OK for the small dogs to piss and shit everywhere bc they are tiny and cute, its bullshit!

  • I'm thinking some possible reason hotels discriminate against bigger dogs comes down to the volume of bodily functions big dogs would potentially let loose, and the likelihood that big dogs would intimidate more guests than small dogs, would make more noise (which we know just isn't true), and might try to eat the other guests small dogs… Good luck with your petition!

  • Are the wieght restrictions uniform of the places that have them, or are they all over the map?

    I'm with ya K9 Coach!

    • That's a tough question to answer. The break points for small and big dogs seems to be around 25-40 lbs. A particularly thorny issue is chain hotels were some locations are corporate owned and others are privately owned. The pet policy is not consistent from locations to location. As I noted in my post, however, Motel 6 and Studio 6 now have a uniform pet policy across all of their locations.

      • martykilroy says:

        I got a lab puppy 2 years ago and at the time I'd been living in an upscale apartment complex for several years. When they told me I'd have to move because my dog would grow to weigh over 30 pounds, I was shocked. They would not relent even though I'd suffered many sleepless nights listening to the barking of a small dog that lived above me. When I turned in my notice, they were so shocked that they found a way to change the policy. I'd already bought a house by then and Charlie and I are very happy with our huge back yard.

        • Thanks for commenting – much appreciated. Your experience is, unfortunately, not unusual. I don't know why people/businesses believe that small dogs are better behaved than large dogs. If you haven't done it already, I hope you take the time to sign the petition at the link in the body of the post.

  • K9 Coach says:

    Interestingly enough working with as many dogs as I do, I see many small dogs causing bigger problems than big dogs when it comes to dealing with the world outside their normal comfort zone.

    For instance, peeing, nuisance barking, whining and chewing things. Little dogs can do a lot of damage, but the big dogs get blamed!

    uhh… I'm not saying all little dogs are bad or anything like that… I'm just sayin'… well ya know, give the big dogs a break. :)

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