When it comes to pet-friendly lodging, it pays to find the right place. Sure, a lot of hotels say they’re pet-friendly, but when you show up with your canine or feline family member – does the front desk give you a warm welcome? With just a little up-front effort (mostly, asking the right questions), you can select a hotel that is truly pet-friendly.
1. Know that you have more chain options than ever
Luxury trends in pet-friendly lodging and hotels have trickled down into chain establishments. There are many hotel chains across the nation – from economy to upscale – that are pet-friendly and worry-free.
2. Non-chain? Look for a proprietor who’s also a pet owner
Your best bet here is a bed-and-breakfast where it’s made explicit that the owner loves pets. If treats are provided, the owners show photos of their cats or mention is made of “fenced acreage for your dog to run,” you’ve hit gold.
3. Check the number of pets allowed
Some pet-friendly hotels will only allow you to bring one pet inside – but what if you’re traveling with two? “Pet-friendly” doesn’t always means “friendly to multiple pets.”
4. “Pet-friendly” is a variable term
Dogs are the pets most often welcomed, but only under certain weight limits. Some hotels aren’t quite as happy to host cats, rabbits, and other small animals.
5. “Pet-friendly” may actually mean “a few rooms only.”
Some hotels only dedicate a few rooms, or smoking rooms, to people traveling with pets. This is why it’s so important to find a sincerely pet-friendly hotel!
6. Ask if there’s a pet fee, and how it works
Some places will allow your pet to stay for free, but others will charge a per-night, per-pet or per-stay basis. Is it a fee, or a refundable deposit?
7. Double-check all policies and fees before checking in
The rates or rules may have changed since you booked the reservation. Perhaps there’s a cleaning fee or a deposit. Make sure that everything is mutually understood.