How to find dog-friendly hotels and bring your pet along

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It's time for vacation, and you're poised to make a reservation for your dog at a kennel. But there's no more need for sad doggy eyes. Make everyone happy and bring your dog with you on your next vacation. If you're not into camping, you and your pet will likely opt for a hotel. Whereas pets used to be banned from most hotels, now they are frequently welcomed, but there are costs and issues to consider.

Cat, dog, bird?

It's pretty obvious, but of the three choices above, dogs are the clear winner of the can't-wait-to-go crowd and probably the easiest for you as well. Cats are plainly miserable in all but their coveted stalking grounds — whether in your home or outside. Birds are also quite attached to their surroundings and can be very loud when you're not around.

How to find dog friendly hotels

Thanks to a number of easy-to-use online tools, you can quickly find hotels that accommodates pets. One reasonable chain allows up to two pets without extra fees or deposits. Another offers special deals and allows you to have up to two pets stay free. More standard are hotels that permit one pet to stay for free, as long as they are well-behaved. No matter where in the U.S. you travel, you'll find pet friendly hotels. Here are a few websites that make pet-friendly hotel searching easy:

However, rather than making your reservation online, we suggest calling the hotel so you can ask your questions and be sure you won't face any surprises when you arrive.

Making your reservation

When calling to make the actual reservation for you and your dog, be sure to ask and get answers to these questions:

  • Are there fees associated with making a pet reservation? Deposit? Extra fee per night? Refunds?
  • Are all sizes/types of dogs welcome?
  • Is it okay to leave your dog alone in the room, uncrated?
  • Is there somewhere to walk dogs where they can eliminate?
  • Are there any dog off-limits areas in the hotel?

Once you get the answers, you can choose to make the reservation or search for another hotel that better meets the needs of you and your dog.

On the Road

To make it a fun-for-all experience, heed our tips below.

  1. Make a list of all the things you need to bring for your dog: food bowls, leashes, toys, food, medicines, etc.
  2. Get a name tag made with all your contact information on it and make sure to put it on his or her collar in case you become separated.
  3. If he doesn't travel in a crate, cover the seat with a blanket or beach towel.
  4. Buy doggy doo doo bags, or take a bunch of grocery store bags with you to be a good citizen and pick up your dog's poops.

With hotel route in hand and trusted companion in tow, you are off to a vacation you and your dog will never forget.

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