Times are changing, and more businesses are adapting their policies to meet the needs of pet-loving travelers. While many label themselves pet-friendly, there’s still a range as to how friendly they really are. Some will roll out the red carpet to welcome your furry friends, while others are begrudgingly tolerant, with their nose in the air. Find out if a particular hotel is right for you and your pet by asking the following questions.
Side note: since policies are constantly changing, try to get written answers to your questions, so you have proof in case you need it. If you’re asking these questions by phone, ask for the hotel employee’s name, and keep note of it.
Questions to Ask Pet-Friendly Hotels
Is there a fee?
Always ask if there are any additional pet fees, and be sure the terms of your stay are clear upfront, so there are no surprises. Does the hotel require a security deposit, and is it refundable? Are fees per day or per stay? Does the rate change for multiple pets? Remember – each hotel is different.
How many pets are allowed per room?
If you’re traveling with multiple pets, this question is a must. Some hotels have quantity limitations, and it’s best to know upfront before arriving.
Is there a weight limit?
Some hotels have weight and size limits when it comes to pets – but don’t let that stop you! If your dog is a few pounds over, see if there’s wiggle room. They might let you book anyway.
Are there breed restrictions?
Dog-friendly doesn’t always mean all dogs. Ask about breed restrictions, and whether your pup is welcome.
Are pets allowed on the furniture and/or bed?
If there are furniture and bed restrictions, it’s best to come prepared with options for your pet (or else they’ll be banished to the floor!). A comfortable crate, blanket from home, or plush bed will do. In either case, restrictions or not, we always like to travel with a dog bed and lint rollers.
Can pets be left unattended in the room?
This is a must ask, especially if you’re planning some dog-less activities, like a nice dinner out or a dip in the hotel pool. Hotels fear dogs left unattended may bark and disturb other patrons, or damage the room in your absence. Leaving your dog in a crate, or having a quiet dog, might alleviate some of those fears. Always speak to someone, and feel out the situation.
We once stayed at a hotel that didn’t allow dogs to be left alone in rooms, but were told informally that if our dogs don’t bark and we put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, we were free to leave them behind.
Are there specific rooms designated for pets?
Some hotels require four-legged guests to stay in certain rooms that they deem pet-friendly. These rooms are often on specific floors, or areas of the hotel. It’s great to know upfront where you’ll be staying, especially if you have preferences (high floor vs low floor, proximity to the lobby or elevator, etc).
Are there restricted areas that are off limits for pets?
Here’s where the pet-friendly hotels separate themselves from the pet-tolerant hotels. It’s common for animals to be restricted from certain areas (by law), such as pools and restaurants. While some hotels will be happy to allow access to most other common areas, some are not. I’ve heard of pets being restricted from certain floors, entrances, and even the lobby!
How many pets are allowed in the hotel at a time?
This is good to know if your dog is reactive or anti-social. You may cross paths with other dogs in common areas, like the lobby, and it’s best to be prepared. You might be able to stay on a different floor or area free from other pet guests, if necessary.
What pet-friendly amenities does the hotel offer?
With more and more hotels jumping on board with four-legged guests, many are going the extra mile to make your furry friend feel welcome. Dog bowls and dog beds in rooms, treats at check in, and grassy pet relief areas are only some of the amenities now being offered. Ask what they are ahead of time, so you’re prepared to pamper your pet with all that’s offered.
Want to know about the best pet-friendly hotel chains in the USA? Click here.