Pet-Friendly Hotels Guide

Pet-friendly hotels are on the rise, but make sure your hotel welcomes your pooch before you book your trip. See more pet pictures.
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­If you're like many animal owners, you probably think of your pet as part of the family. As such, you carefully consider its needs, care and well-being when you plan trips or vacations. Unlike t­he old days, ­when you were forced to leave your pet with a sitter, you now have several options available if you want to take it along with you on the road.­

Today, your pets can travel with you. You may even find that some of your favorite establishments will grant your pets the same respect they grant you. Remember, however, that not all hotels will be willing to house your pet.


More and more hotels bill themselves as pet-friendly, but does that mean they really are? If they do like pets, how deep will you have to dig in your wallet to have yours stay with you? Most hotels have common-sense policies in place that benefit everyone, including other guests, but some hotels that advertised their affability to pets actually weren't.

­Most pet-friendly hotels offer amenities like treats a­nd toys, but a few go the distance to make the whole experience as enjoyable for the pets as it would be for the owners. Towels, sitters, leash-free play areas, special food, beds, blankets and gift baskets are just some of the amenities that pet-friendly hotels offer.

In this article, you'll learn about some of the most common rules and requirements pet-friendly hotels enforce. You will learn about kennel and leash policies, as well as other requirements you should be aware of before you check into your room. You will also learn about the extra fees associated with traveling with your pet, and who's responsible when something goes awry.

If you're planning a vacation and want to include your pet, you'll need to know what rules pet-friendly hotels have. Invite Fido to join you as you review the rules in the next section.


Hotel Rules for Pets

Every pet-friendly hotel has its own rules, and these rules can vary among chain hotel locations. Some hotels limit the number of pets you can bring and how much they can weigh. Some allow only certain types of pets. For example, some only allow dogs. Should you decide to risk it and bring your cat, know that pet owners that break the rules are subject to fines.

When you travel with your pet, you must make sure your hotel has its pet policies in writing. You may want to know, for example, if the hotel requires your pet to be kenneled at all times during your visit. Learn about the hotel's leash policy -- some hotels require that pets remain on leashes at all times, while other hotels have leash-free policies and leash-free play areas.


Even the pet-friendliest hotels may ask that owners not allow pets on the furniture or beds. Other hotels provide sheets to be placed on furniture and used to cover the bed, so the pet is free to relax next to its owner or elsewhere.

Generally, all hotels have designated areas for pets to relieve themselves; some even have wide-open leash-free play areas the whole family can enjoy. Make sure that you review the most common hotel requirements for pet owners before you book your stay.


Hotel Requirements for Pets

Most pet-friendly hotels have the same basic requirements for pets:

  • Must not be aggressive
  • Must be clean
  • Must not have fleas
  • Must have proof of current vaccinations
  • Must use designated areas and owners must clean pet waste immediately and dispose of in designated receptacles

Pet owners are usually required to sign agreements stating they will be financially responsible for any damage caused by the pet and any expenses incurred by the hotel for pet disturbances.


Other common requirements include a non-refundable pet guest fee or a refundable deposit to guard against damages [source: Inns By The Sea].

What happens when your room -- or your pet -- gets dirty? When this happens, most pet-friendly hotels will request that you remove the pet from the room during housekeeping, and most prefer that you do not bathe your pet in the hotel bathtub. Pet-friendly hotels must maintain the quality of their rooms no matter what the circumstance, so many ask that you clean dirt or sand from your pet's paws before letting it enter the room. Some even supply special pet towels and wipes to streamline this process.

Some pet-friendly hotels are friendlier than others. Some supply emergency food, waste-disposal bags, dog leashes, kennels and carriers, pet beds and bedding, treats, gifts, and even pet services, including grooming, walking, sitting and veterinary care [source: PetsCanStay].

Although some hotels understand how important your pet is to you and may even want to pamper it, others are less understanding. Unfortunately, it may be easier for you to leave your pet at home. On the other hand, if you're ready to book your vacation and would like more information on pet travel and pet-friendly hotels, visit the links on the next page.


Lots More Information

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

More Great Links


  • Dunsmuir Lodge. "Amenities." (Accessed 01/14/09)
  • Inns By The Sea. Svendsgaard's Inn. " Pet Policy." (Accessed 01/14/09)
  • Pets Can Stay "Standard." (Accessed 01/14/09)
  • Pets Can Stay "Premium." (Accessed 01/14/09)
  • Schoolhouse Creek. "Pet Policy." (Accessed 01/14/09)
  • The Beach House Inn. "Services and Amenities." (Accessed 01/14/09)
  • The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows. "Canine Connoisseur Program." (Accessed 01/14/09)
  • The Palms at Pelican Cove. "Pet Friendly Hotel Accommodations at the Palms." (Accessed 01/14/09)
  • Travelodge. "Pet-Friendly Locations." (Accessed 01/14/09)
  • TripAdvisor. "Howard Jonson Inn Tulsa: Traveler Reviews." (Accessed 01/14/09)
  • Viewpoints. "The Grand Hotel-GrandCanyon, AZ Review." (Accessed 01/14/09)