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15 Tips for Staying in a Hotel With a Dog: Get Ready Before You Go

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on July 1, 2024 by Dogster Team

Cute Chihuahua dog near blue suitcase in a Pet friendly hotel

15 Tips for Staying in a Hotel With a Dog: Get Ready Before You Go

Bringing your dog along on vacation can be such an exciting time! Your dog will be almost as excited as you and your family to get out and see the world. If this is your first time traveling to a hotel with a pet, you probably are wondering exactly how it’s all going to go down.

What are the rules on hotel etiquette with dogs? In this article, we go over several different aspects that you should take into consideration when visiting hotels with your dog.

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The 15 Tips for Staying in a Hotel With a Dog

1. Research the Hotel

Woman on her phone in front of a computer
Image Credit: Ostanina Anna, Shutterstock

Make sure to research the hotel carefully. You can find tons of pet-friendly options online, easily reading about the stipulations on the website. If you have any questions, you can call the hotel to see if they can help you with reservations.

Each hotel will have its own special set of rules for pet guests, so it is important to understand what you’re signing up for.

2. Consider Fees

Some hotels require fees for pet guests. Others will let them stay for free! Ultimately, it depends on the actual establishment and the rules they have. You can look around the same area and price a few out.

You have to consider the best deals, amenities, and what works best for your budget. The last thing you will need to worry about on expensive vacations are outlandish pet fees—so make sure to read the fine print!

3. Know Size Limitations

English Cocker Spaniel and suitcase indoors
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Sometimes, hotels can have rules about how big doggy guests can be. Some prefer only small dogs, while others have no restrictions. If you have a medium to giant dog, it’s always best to check the rules, in case size matters.

A quick call to the hotel can clear up the question. You can also find helpful information about doggy-related aspects of hospitality on sites like BringFido.

4. Check for Breed Restrictions

Some dogs are considered dangerous, and breed restrictions for the place you’re traveling to might be in place. Examples might be Pit Bulls, Dobermans, German Shepherds, and Bulldogs. These types of dogs are often restricted in places like condos, apartment complexes, dog parks, and hotels, especially in places with breed legislation.

You should ask directly if they have any breed stipulations before booking.

5. Uphold Documentation Requirements

white maltese dog sitting on the bag with owner holding its pet passport
Image Credit: Monika Wisniewska, Shutterstock

Some dogs require documents in order to enter the hotel. Often, hotels will want proof of vaccine status, up-to-date dog tags, and proof of rabies shots. It might seem like a headache or hassle, but it is to protect other guests in the hotel and other dogs in the hotel.

If the hotel you have chosen requires documentation, you might be able to avoid having to carry physical papers with you on your travels by emailing the records.

6. See If the Hotel Requires Preauthorization

Sometimes, before you can come to the hotel with a pet, you have to have prior approval from the hotel. This might include emailing specific documents or having correspondence with the hotel manager before booking the reservation. There may only be certain rooms that are dog friendly, and the hotel may not have any pet-friendly rooms available if they don’t know in advance that you’re coming.

It’s always best to check before assuming all pet guests are welcome—especially if the details aren’t explained clearly online.

7. Gain Clarity on Gray Areas

woman with dog checking out Chewy Affiliate Program
Image Credit: nakaridore, Freepik

You might not know the full details of what a hotel requires for pets. From not knowing what’s complimentary to trying to create a thorough supply list, you will need to gain clarity in a few areas.

  • Complimentary Items: Some hotels offer complimentary doggie bags and other supplies to make your dog’s stay more enjoyable. Others don’t have anything in particular that’s special for canine guests.
  • Waste Area Availability: Your dog is going to have to go to the bathroom! That can be very difficult to do when you are in a big bustling city hotel with no grassy space available. It’s best to know how far you have to walk to let your dog do their business. Some hotels have a grassy waste site right there on site, making it easy to run your dog out when they need to go.
  • Pet-Restricted Areas: Some hotels designate a particular floor or area for guests with pets. Many of them do this to separate guests, protecting allergy sufferers, trauma victims, and anyone else who might not be happy about seeing a canine in the same area where they are staying.

8. Leaving Dogs Alone in Hotels

You might wonder, can you leave your dog in a hotel room? After all, sometimes, it can be hard to take Fido to every place you go on vacation. Some hotels allow you to leave your dog alone in a hotel room, others require them to be crated if they’re going to be left alone, and still others restrict dogs from being left alone altogether.

Communicate with the hotel to figure out their rules for leaving pets unattended before you go. The last thing you want is to be in violation of something that could’ve been easily avoided. It might mean you have to pay extra fees to the hotel or a damage deposit if your pet is going to be left alone.

9. Make Sure to Bring a Well-Trained Pup

beagle dog lying on white sofa in a hotel room
Image Credit: Soloviova Liudmyla, Shutterstock

You won’t want your dog to be ruining anyone else’s time while you’re on vacation. It’s important to bring a well-trained, mannerly pup that can handle the interaction.

The last thing you want is for a hyper pup to trip guests, bark at inappropriate times, and invade other people’s space. If your dog isn’t quite trained yet, it is important to keep them on a tight leash, preferably with a harness that has a handle so you can have full control.

10. Update Tags and Microchips

It is crucial that your dog is completely up to date when they come to the hotel. That way, you can avoid any problems that might occur due to miscommunications along the way. In case you need the documentation, we say to take it just to be safe.

If your dog gets away from you on your journey, up-to-date information on their microchip and dog tags can help them find their way home.

11. Treat Your Pet for Parasites

owner applying flea and tick medicine to a dog
Image Credit: Nick Alias, Shutterstock

Before bringing your pup in public, it’s time to get rid of those pesky parasites. If you haven’t treated your dog lately, there’s never been a better time. Some hotels might even check for fleas and other parasites before allowing entry.

We think that makes a lot of sense! After all, it would be a real bummer to go to a hotel to have fun on vacation and bring home a colony of fleas from a less-considerate previous guest.

12. Be Sure Your Dog Is Up to Date on Vaccines

Proper vetting is crucial when you take your dog outside of the home. They encounter strangers that are furry and human alike—so transmission of viruses and other forms of disease is possible. If you’re the owner, it’s your responsibility to prevent it.

If your dog is ready for boosters, take them to the vet so they can have a clean bill of health before their travels.

13. Bring Doggy Supplies

Packing luggage for travelling with pets
Image Credit: Yekatseryna Netuk, Shutterstock

Even if you have a special doggy bag waiting for your pup when they arrive, it is important to bring along a series of supplies. Travel with dogs requires that you plan ahead, so don’t forget to include them in your packing checklist.

Make your own special doggy supplies list before packing so you aren’t unprepared.

14. Practice Good Housekeeping

Make sure you clean up all the messes! Our dogs can be quite destructive in our homes and when we’re out. Just because you are somewhere temporary doesn’t mean you should take any less care of your surroundings.

Make sure that you clean up any accidents, prevent destructive habits, and so on. It isn’t just the housekeeping staff’s job to keep things tidy, after all. Plus, you wouldn’t want to lessen your holiday budget by paying extra fees for damage.

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15. Make Sure to Control Excessive Barking

border collie dog waiting for the treat
Image Credit: kathrineva20, Shutterstock

Remember, you have neighbors and close quarters when staying in a hotel. Sound can travel through walls easily in a hotel, especially if it is as loud as a barking dog. The last thing you want to do is get complaints, which could potentially incur extra fees.

Try to be courteous to those around you and control your dog’s barking behaviors. If you have a loud pup, an Airbnb or more secluded option could be a better fit.

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Now you understand a bit more about proper hotel etiquette when traveling with pets. You can prepare what you need to make your trip successful.

Remember to speak directly with the hotel to make sure there are no gray areas you aren’t clear on. This can clear up a lot of confusion and eliminate any extra fees you might not expect when traveling with your pet.

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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