Tips for Finding a Dog-Friendly Hotel

August 9, 2013 by Tails Magazine in Featured, Lifestyle with 0 Comments

doginbedIf you’ve ever brought your pet along on vacation, you know that it can be difficult to find the right accommodations. Luckily, Andrea Servadio, co-owner of Fitdog Sports Club in Santa Monica, California, has shared some helpful advice to make the whole process a little easier.

The first thing you will need to do is find the best dog-friendly hotel in the area. You’ll want to make sure the hotel is truly dog-friendly and learn about the hotel’s rules and fees to make sure they meet your needs and budget.

Despite claiming that the hotel is dog friendly, some are really not so keen on having your dog stay with them.  How can you tell before booking? Call with a few simple questions, and you’ll find out very quickly if the staff really loves and welcomes four-legged friends or sees them as a inconvenience.

  • Are they dog-friendly? By asking this, you will get an open response on their pet policies and will be able to quickly establish if they are pet lovers. You want to make sure they concentrate more on the amenity of being dog-friendly versus the rules and restrictions of having your dog on site.
  • Do they provide dog accessories like beds and bowls? Hotels that love dogs always have fun doggy stuff when you arrive. Some will put together a doggy goodie bad of assorted toys and treats. The Westin, for example, will send a Heavenly Dog Bed and water bowl station to your room. If they respond by saying that you are responsible for bringing your own dog bed and crate, you may want to skip that hotel.
  • Do they have any recommendations for pet sitters, dog walkers, or doggy daycares?  Dog-friendly hotels should have a list of dog friendly restaurants, pet sitters, and parks. Again, if this is something that they don’t offer, it might be best to look elsewhere.

Once you’ve established that the hotel loves dogs, you will want to know the rules, restrictions, and cost of having your dog stay with you to make sure you found the best fit. Below are some common rules and restrictions you should be aware of before booking.

  • Pet deposit or additional overnight charges may apply. Many hotels require a pet deposit or charge additional fees per night per dog. In some cases, the additional charges for your dog could be as much as the cost of your stay. Ask upfront for a quote.
  • Dogs can not be left alone. The hotel might restrict you from leaving your dog unattended in the hotel room. In this case, you would want to find a pet sitter or dog daycare in the area for those times you will be out.
  • Housekeeping will not enter if the dog is present. Generally housekeeping will not enter your room if your dog is there. So if you would like your room to be serviced, then take your dog with you and put up the “please service” sign.
  • Weight or breed restrictions may apply. Be specific when describing your dog over the phone to make sure your breed and size dog is allowed at the hotel. You do not want to arrive at reception and be turned away because your 70 pound Boxer is over their 25 pound weight limit.
  • Barking is not allowed. This may seem obvious, but a hotel is a very noisy place and many dogs will be encouraged to bark due to all of the commotion around them. If this happens, you may get a visit from the hotel manager and be asked to leave! If you think your dog may bark in your absence, find a pet sitter or dog daycare in the area for when you are out.
  • Know the restricted areas in the hotel. The hotel may allow your dog in the lobby and your room, but restrict him from other areas. Make sure you know where your dog is allowed––the more places you can walk around with him, the better.

Have you stayed in a hotel with your furry friend? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

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