Good dogs make great travel companions, and great hotel guests.
Good dogs don’t shred toilet paper (looking at you, Pika), they don’t have “accidents”, they don’t bark uncontrollably, they don’t get drunk and rowdy, and they are friendly towards other dogs (and humans). Great dogs are of course trained by great humans. We are ultimately responsible for ensuring the hotel stay is enjoyable for all (more and less hairy) parties involved!
Pika and I have stayed in hotels across the US and Europe; in all seasons, on different occasions, and we loved every single trip! (Note: this post is mostly focused on the US, but we are planning a similar post for Europe in the future.)
We want to share 5 most important tips about bringing your best fur-friend along on your holiday, to a hotel, hostel, AirBnB…you get the idea.
1. Plan ahead
This involves choosing the right hotel for you, as well as making sure your dog is ready to travel. When picking a hotel, carefully check their pet policies and contact the hotel in advance if the policies are ambiguous or not stated on the hotel website. Many hotels, while dog friendly, may charge a high (nightly) fee for your fur-friends, have specific weight/breed restrictions, or other strict rules that may not work for you. Additionally, some hotels may be located on busy streets, with little or no grassy areas for potty breaks – again something you should consider. As far as dog-readiness goes, make sure your pup is up to date on vaccinations, and depending on the destination also on flea control, and heartworm medication. (You can find a map of heartworm incidence in the US here). Even if your dog doesn’t usually wear ID tags, they should during travel.
Each dog ID tag should contain your pet’s name and your telephone number at the minimum. For any travel abroad, a microchip is essential as well, but we advise everyone to microchip their dog anyway, as a registered microchip gives lost pets the best chance of returning home.
2. Inspect the room and make Fido feel at home
Once you are checked in, make sure to inspect every nook and cranny of the room before you let your dog off leash. Check for any dangerous items in the room itself, and anything previous guests may have left behind on the floor, such as pills, papers, or food.
Some hotels provide dog bowls, beds, and even toys, but you should always bring a few items that smell like your dog’s home with you, to make them feel comfortable.