Finding dog friendly hotels
Finding dog friendly hotels with accommodations for your dog can be trickyIn the summer time, it's all about vacations and get-aways. In the autumn, it's over the river and through the woods to Thanksgiving dinner. And in winter, it's Christmas or Hanukkah travels. But no matter what the season, if you're a dog lover who can't stand the idea of leaving your four-footed family members in a boarding kennel or with a dog sitter, you'll probably be looking for dog friendly hotels along the way.
Find the right place to stay with your dog (or dogs) can be challenging. But if you know the right places to look, you'll be booked and on your way in no time.
Bring Fido...almost everywhere!
One of my favorite places to start is at a website called BringFido.com. They have an amazing database of pet-welcoming hotels, restaurants, parks, camp grounds and attractions.
Their site also includes great information about flying with pets, so if your travels to the hotel are by air, do check out their site before you book.
One word of caution, however. Some of the dog-friendly restaurants on their list do not offer outdoor table service, so if you're traveling alone call ahead to verify that you can get outside service or take Fido inside to order if table service isn't provided. Some restaurants will make exceptions for patrons with pets.
Dog Friendly guides to all over the world!
Another great resource is DogFriendly.com. This massive site lists dog-welcoming hotels and inns in the U.S. and Canada, Europe, Asia and elsewhere. They also provide extensive information on dog-friendly dining, dog parks (on- and off-leash), hiking trails, ski areas, and more.
You can search their site for your destination, or buy the book or ebook to match your travel plans...a great option for times when an Internet connection is iffy.
Try the Trips with Pets directory
TripswithPets.com offers U.S. and Canadian travelers detailed, up-to-the-minute information on pet-friendly accommodations and attractions. They also provide a blog for current info, tips and stories about pet travel.
Interactive portions of their site let visitors share their own pet travel tales, and site members (it's free to join!) receive notices of special rates and other promotions. There's even an e-newsletter to keep you posted on changes in travel policies, travel issues and other important information for you and your canine companions.
Head to the hotel websites
Some hotel chains pride themselves on being pet-friendly for domestic and international travelers. Marriott has a separate pet-friendly locations web page to make finding the right property as simple as clicking and booking.
Choice Hotels takes it one step further on their pet-friendly webpage, offering information on local dog parks and other attractions near their pet-welcoming hotels.
Check out the websites for your favorite hotel chains and see what they offer for guests with dogs or cats in tow. You might just discover that they greet you and your pet with open arms..and a biscuit or two!
Make sure your dog is hotel ready
Even if you find the perfect dog friendly accommodations, you need to make sure your dog is as ready for the hotel as they are for her. Work on any barking, stranger aggression or chewing issues before you head out for summer vacation or holiday travel with your dog. Make sure puppies are housebroken, or be prepared to keep them crated when they're in the room.
Also, double check your dog's microchip and the registry information. Include local contacts if possible...ringing your office or home phone won't help if you and your dog are miles away from either. Replace any worn or inaccurate tags with new dog name tags.
And find out if the hotel you're booking has a special door hanger for rooms with pets so the housekeeping staff doesn't accidentally open the door and let your dog escape.
Dog friendly hotels are growing in popularity
What may have been rare years ago is now becoming mainstream. With the right research tools and some advance planning, you should be able to find pet friendly hotels no matter where your travels take you.