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Update: Operation Give Big Dogs a Break

Thanks to BtC4Animals, I expect to be joining you soon!

Today is the first of four annual Blog the Change Days being championed by Be the Change for Animals. These days provide an opportunity to rally people around the “pet cause” that is nearest and dearest to your heart.

Our Pet Cause

At GoPetFriendly, we’ve made no secret of our pet cause – to get hotels to remove the weight restrictions that keep larger dogs from traveling with their human families. Imagine that you have two children and the older one cannot stay in the hotel of your choosing because his/her weight violates the hotel’s “kid policy.” Never mind that younger children tend to be noisier and less well behaved. Makes no sense, right?

So back in April, @AndaSmallDog and @GoPetFriendly announced Operation Give Big Dogs a Break. We created a grassroots campaign in the form of an online petition to garner support for our cause.

And it’s working. First, Give Big Dogs a Break got mentioned in DOG Living magazine. Then, FIDO Friendly magazine picked up the story.

Why Does This Cause Matter

In June, we reported the results of our May pet friendly travel poll, which asked our blog readers: “What size dog(s) do you travel with?” The results were a little surprising.

  • Only 25% of readers travel with a pet less than 25 pounds!
  • 20% of readers said their travel companions weigh 25 to 50 pounds.
  • 34% said they’re traveling with a dog between 50 and 75 pounds.
  • 21% cruise with really big boys – over 75 pounds!

We think the results of the poll weigh “heavy” for those of us traveling with large dogs (our Ty and Buster weigh 40 and 70 pounds, respectively). How so?

  • Our January poll question asked where people stay when they travel with their pet – 73% said in a pet friendly hotel.
  • Our March poll question asked what is your most important consideration when choosing a pet friendly hotel – 33% said number of pets, weight, or breed restrictions (second only to low or no pet fees).
  • Thus, most of you are staying in a hotel when you travel with your pet, and you feel strongly that the weight restriction is an important consideration.

While there are some hotel chains out there that do not impose weight restrictions, the majority of hotels do. Some hotel weight restrictions kick in at a measly 25 pounds; a more common limit is 50 pounds. According to our survey results, 75% of us find ourselves in “the dog house” at a weight restriction of 25 pounds, and even with a restriction of 50 pounds, 55% of us are still too big to book a hotel room!

So the question is: Why do so many hotels have a weight restriction that, even at its most generous cutoff, eliminates the majority of people who travel with their pets? That’s why this cause matters!

How You Can Help

Back to the online petition. As of midnight July 14, we already have 491 signatures! We’re hoping to get to 1,000. When we reach that goal we’ll present the petition to various hotel corporate offices and implore them to reconsider their policies.

1. Sign the online petition if you haven’t already done so.

2. Join the Give Big Dogs a Break Facebook page.

3. Grab a Give Big Dogs a Break petition widget to add to your website.

4. Spread the word!

Thanks for your support!


The beauty of Blog the Change Days is the sense of community and goodwill it can inspire among like-minded pet lovers. Click the links below to learn about the causes that drive these bloggers.

  • […] you know that some hotels have a weight limit on dog guests? I didn’t until I read Go Pet Friendly‘s Blog the Change post. You can sign this petition to help get the weight limits […]

  • Ashley says:

    It's very weird to think that there would be a weight restriction. I don't think weight should be a factor is how much damage/noise a dog could possibly make. I hope hotels realize how much money they're losing by turning away clients with big pups.

  • Romancepuppy says:

    This is a great cause!

  • I agree that weight restrictions are so unfair! Such a great idea to create a petition (which I signed). This would be such a great accomplishment!

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