A "pet-friendly" hotel is one that will allow you to board or room with your dog or cat. Often the hotel maintains a specialized staff to care for your animal, or the pet is permitted to share your room rental. Finding a good pet-friendly hotel can be very challenging, so if you are planning to remain in one location more than a night or two, you might consider looking for a pet-friendly vacation rental, such as a vacation condo, villa, or rental house, rather than a hotel.
If you do decide to lodge at a hotel with your dog or cat, begin by locating all pet-friendly hotels in your destination city. You can read their websites and customer reviews to get an idea of the quality of each hotel, but you will not know exactly what to expect unless you get on the phone yourself and ask the proprietors some specific questions about their pet-friendly facilities:
Pet fee: - There is not a standard rate for boarding a pet at a hotel, so comparison shop before you book your hotel. Fees generally start around $10 nightly for each pet, but can quickly climb to $50 a night per animal.
Pet amenities: - The quality of your pet's stay in the hotel will be greatly enhanced by toys, treats, and other "amenities." Some hotels even offer pet-sitting services, which can improve your own vacation! Check carefully at each hotel you price to determine whether water and food bowls are provided, whether a pet menu is available (and its price range), etc.
Room restrictions for pet: Many hotels advertised as pet-friendly actually restrict certain pets from your room, requiring them to stay elsewhere in the hotel. Others have specifically designated pet-friendly rooms, and you will be restricted to lodging in one of these rooms. Pet-friendly hotel rooms tend to book up quickly, so call well ahead of time to reserve.
Breed restrictions: Many hotels advertised as pet-friendly do not allow every size or breed of dog and cat to lodge. This type of restriction is rarely mentioned on the website, so be sure to question the proprietor about the specific size and breed of your pet.
Pet policies: Each hotel will have unique policies regarding your pet's visit, so be sure to inquire about any issues that concern you. Good starting points are determining whether the hotel has a designated "walking" area on site and which areas within the hotel are off-limits to pets.
Traveling can be stressful even for the pet who loves to ride in the car. By calling ahead and carefully planning your lodging, you will minimize your pet's discomfort and make the most of your own vacation time. And if you are planning to lodge for more than just a night or two, do consider the option of renting a pet-friendly vacation home or condo, where you can create a homelike environment for your dog or cat, free from restrictions and tailored to your pet's specific needs.