Traveling with a dog can be a stressful process. You’ve got the car all prepped and your seat covers in place, but you need a place for you and your dog to sleep! While you may love your beautiful ball of energy with your entire heart, you also know that not everyone else does. While on the road or visiting a new destination, you’ll need some pet friendly hotel chains in your corner to help house you and your dog.
Below, we cover some of the pet friendly hotel chains and the ways that they make accommodations for your and your dog. Remember that “dog-friendly hotels” can only do so much to make the travel experience great for your dog, and the other part of the travel experience is on you! Make your dog’s stay in hotels more comfortable by planning well and traveling smart.
Prepping for Travel
Even the most dog-friendly hotel that you can find won’t be that dog-friendly for your canine friend if you don’t start the trip right. Dogs need a lot of tender love before and during road trips to have a happy experience. Avoid the common dog road-trip mistakes to keep your canine friend happy while you’re traveling.
Use some of the best on-the-go dog apps to keep connected and stay ahead of your dog’s needs. Make sure your dog gets plenty of sleep and rest before you leave, and allow plenty of stops and bathroom breaks along the way.
Traveling with a dog can be easier if you have more people with you, but if you’re going solo, try investing in a co-pilot bucket seat cover to keep your car clean and your dog comfortable. Before you ever arrive at the hotel or even get into the car, there are some steps you can take to prepare your dog for the long car trip. This will get you ahead of the curve!
The Best Dog-Friendly Hotels
Hotels and lodgings are moving toward pet friendly environments. A 2016 study showed that about 75% of luxury hotel spaces now accommodate pets. Pet and travel culture is changing to be more inclusive of younger travelers, who often need accommodations for pets instead of children.
There are more than 120 Double-Tree locations across the United States that are happy to welcome you and your dog into one of their many pet-friendly rooms. Still, not all Double-Tree hotels are pet friendly. It is more limited to major cities and select areas.
To find out if a Double-Tree location is going to accommodate your canine friend, just navigate to their hotels page, find a location you’re interested in, and click on “hotel information.” You’ll have to call ahead to reserve a pet-friendly room. However, Double-Tree does not offer free pet accommodations. While they do offer nicer hotels than many of the other places on this list, you might be charged up to $75 in a non-refundable service fee in order to cover some cleaning charges. If you’re willing to spend a little extra cash, then Double-Trees can be lovely pet friendly environments.
Best Western wants to be known as the “leaders in pet-friendly hotels,” and they’ve got the cute dog pictures on their website to prove it. Not all of their hotels accept dogs so you’ll have to call ahead when you know where you want to stay. They also allow cats, birds, and other small animals in many of their hotels. Even if you know the specific hotel you are staying in allows pets, it’s best to let them know ahead of time that you’ll be traveling with a dog. Sometimes they only have certain rooms that are pet friendly, and you’ll want to make sure that one of these rooms is available.
Most rooms allow a couple of dogs to stay with a max size of 80 lbs. per animal. Other types of animals (they list monkeys!) are subject to the approval of the individual hotel. If you’re toting a bird or snake with you, best to call ahead and check on that animal. Best Western animal accommodations aren’t always free, however. Each hotel will have its own policy on pets, which have a maximum charge of $30 per day and up to $150 per week. They may also require a deposit of $150 to cover potential damages caused by your canine friends.
The lodging group Choice Hotels is committed to helping you and your dog find a bunk for the night, with over 2,500 locations across the United States that all welcome pets. Choice Hotels includes places like Holiday Inn and Days Inn. They even have some recommendations for dog-friendly cities you can pop over to on your journey. They offer great hotels for dogs in places like Los Angeles and Indianapolis, where you can find dog friendly city activities and an abundance of dog parks.
At this point you may be asking “What hotels will let dogs stay for free?” Don’t worry, Motel 6 has you covered. Motel 6 has an extremely pet-friendly hotel environment for you to stay in. All of their locations have pet-friendly rooms. There’s no weight limit on dogs and you can have up to 2 pets stay with you in your room for no extra fees.
Creating a Hotel Dog-Friendly Environment
No matter which of the best dog-friendly hotels you may stay at, there are additional steps that you can take as a dog owner to make the hotel even more pet-friendly.
Once you arrive at the hotel, make sure to let your dog run around and get acclimated. Take your canine friend up to your room and let them explore and settle in for a bit, but then take them out to let them stretch their legs. Familiarizing your dog with the hotel room quickly, then giving them a break from the confined space, and then returning to it, will help your dog have a happy hotel experience.
Make sure to have plenty of food for your dog on the trip, and try to feed them at regular times that you would while not traveling. While it can be more difficult to feed them at the normal times, it helps keep your dog’s digestive system and rhythms on track.
While you’re moving around and having your dog sleep in strange environments, nutrition becomes a more important factor than ever before. Invest in some dog-hearty supplements that can keep your dog calm, happy, and healthy on the go.
Always call ahead when wondering ‘what hotels allow pets for free?’ or even if a hotel will accommodate your dog. While many hotels want to brand themselves as dog friendly, sometimes the actual hotel locations will differ in their policy from the ones that you can find on the corporate website. Make sure to plan ahead of time, and always let the hotel know that you’ll be bringing a dog. Even if it says that they allow dogs in all rooms, it’s always best to give the hotel a heads up before plodding in with a ball of furry energy!