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Staying in a Pet Friendly Hotel

Cat and dog in a pet friendly hotel on the bed

While a pet friendly hotel can make vacationing with your pets easier, there are still potential problems. We decided to reach out to Susan Smith at PetTravel.com to get some answers.

More and more hotels and inns advertise as pet friendly hotels. We have a dog and a cat that we’d like to take with us for the first time on a vacation. What are some things we should know when we’re staying at a pet friendly hotel with them? What should we do with them when we go out and need to leave them in the hotel room? Any tips you can give us would be great!”

Susan Smith of PetTravel.com, answers:

“It is great that you are traveling with your pets! We do it all the time now, but the first time was a challenge. What we would advise is to take some trial runs before your actual trip if you are driving. acclimatizing your cat and dog to the car is really important to avoid having accidents on your first trip. Make the trials short the first time and see how they do in the car. Restraint is important, so bring their carriers or get harnesses for them. If you are flying, then get their carriers and/or crates early and get them used to being in them.”

“ When you stay at a pet friendly hotel, the most important thing is to call ahead and find out what their policies are. Many pet friendly hotels do not take cats due to allergens they produce. Also, many hotels will not allow pets to be left alone in the room. If your pets sleep with you or are accustomed to being on furniture (what cat is not?), then bring extra sheets or blankets to put over hotel furniture. (makes clean up easy, too!) Bring their bedding with you if possible as it will be familiar to them. For your kitty, establish a potty place in the bathroom.”

“When you first arrive at your pet friendly hotel, spend time with your pets as they explore their new surroundings. Make sure they are comfortable before you go out. Walk your dog before leaving (exercise is good!) Consider crating your dog if there is any chance it will suffer from separation anxiety. Hang a “Do Not Disturb” tag on your door. Hesitate down the hall to see if you hear any barking before leaving. Don’t plan to be gone for long. These new surroundings will be unsettling for your pets and they will look for your comfort.”

“Have a safe and happy trip!”


  1. John

    October 19, 2017 8:51 pm

    I agree with everything Susan Smith wrote. I’d only like to add one piece of advice (for dogs at least):

    When you’re going out, stay calm and don’t make a big deal about it. And don’t use “baby voice” as it can trigger excitement.

    • Lori

      October 23, 2017 3:23 am

      You’re so right! When I “casually” leave the house on errands, Soldier sometimes doesn’t even notice because he’s happily occupied with something else. If I make a big fuss and hug him, he instantly knows I’m leaving and will act like it’s the end of the world. Such drama!

  2. Evelyn Pinder

    December 4, 2018 11:28 am

    Nice, my best friends are dogs. When I go traveling I take my dogs with me. So, your post is valuable for me. Thanks for posting this article!

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