Skip to main content

5 things to always ask before booking a supposedly pet-friendly hotel

Have you been dreaming of that relaxing, worry-free getaway? Did you ever imagine your pet could come, too?

These days, traveling with your dog, cat, or another furry friend is more than possible — it’s pretty easy! Many hotels pride themselves on being pet-friendly, but what exactly does “pet-friendly hotel” mean?

As much as we’d love to give you a one-size-fits-all answer, the meaning of “pet-friendly” can change from hotel to hotel. This is just one reason why it’s a smart idea to browse your hotel’s website — or give them a call — before you go.

So, what does “pet-friendly hotel” mean to different hotels?

What does it mean to be pet-friendly?

Sometimes, a pet-friendly hotel simply welcomes four-legged friends alongside their owners. Other times, these locations offer special accommodations for pets, whether it be a dog park on the property, a room service menu for pets, or even kennel services. No matter what a location’s definition of pet-friendly is, though, they try their best to make the stay as pleasant as possible for both people and their pets.

A woman and her chocolate Labrador check in to the front desk of a hotel
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Pet-friendly hotel rules

When you check in with the concierge, they’ll be able to explain everything you need to know about your visit with your pet: where to take them to relieve themselves, if they’re allowed on beds and furniture, if they can accompany you to the pool, bar, etc.

Apart from following the posted rules and keeping your buddy on a leash or in a carrier, you’ll want to prepare for your trip in a few additional ways.

Brush up on training before you go

You’ll want your best buddy to be on their best behavior while you’re out and about, so make sure to practice training and obedience before your trip. Nearly all hotels and public locations require pets to be in carriers or on leashes anyway, but you’ll always have a backup if your pet can listen to commands.

Bring along all your pet’s belongings

To help your four-legged friend feel at home in the hotel room, you should bring some things from home. Your pet’s bed, a few toys, and identification tags will go a long way in helping everyone feel comfortable. Besides, it’s recommended not to suddenly change your pet’s diet (aside from a few treats, of course), so their usual food is a must-have. Don’t forget the food and water dishes!

An orange tabby cat lies on the bed of a hotel room
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What to ask a pet-friendly hotel

Whether you ask upon your arrival, or even before you book, it’s ideal to keep a few questions in mind. Remember, you can call down to the front desk if you’re already in the room and they’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Are all rooms pet friendly?

The most certain way to avoid complications when traveling with your pet is to make sure the hotel knows about them from the get-go. This ensures that when you reserve your room you’ll get the appropriate one and that you won’t be slapped with any surprises when you arrive.

Is there an additional pet fee?

These days, many pet-friendly hotels charge an additional fee on top of your room fee, but the exact amount varies. Of the several hotels listed by the American Kennel Club as some of the most dog-friendly, pet fees vary from $35 to over $100. There may also be a refundable deposit or cleaning fee, so be sure to ask!

There are a few wonderfully generous hotel chains that let pets stay free, including Red Roof Inn. They do have a one pet per room limit and a few other restrictions, though, so be sure to read up on all pet policies before deciding which hotel is for you.

Does housekeeping still enter my room while my pet is present?

When you travel with your pet, you may need to take them for a walk when housekeeping comes by. Alternatively, you may be able to opt out of housekeeping during your stay, so don’t forget to ask about your options.

Are there restrictions as to what pets are welcome?

We’d love to say that all pets are welcome at pet-friendly hotels, but this is not the case. Many locations have restrictions on the species, breed, and weight of animals they allow. Read up on your hotel’s pet policy before you go; the last thing you’d want is to arrive just to find out your pet can’t stay!

Is my pet allowed alone in my room?

Many hotels, no matter how pet-friendly, do not allow animals to stay in the room unsupervised. Even the most well-behaved animals will need to be accompanied by their owners unless otherwise stated, or the deposit may be lost. You might even be charged an additional cleaning fee if your pet makes a mess, so it’s best to err on the side of caution.

When traveling with your pet, keeping these questions in mind will make every bit of the process that much smoother. When you don’t need to worry about hotel details, you can focus on enjoying making memories with your best buddy!

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
Gabrielle LaFrank
Gabrielle LaFrank has written for sites such as Psych2Go, Elite Daily, and, currently, PawTracks. When she's not writing, you…
How to find the right veterinarian for your pet
Getting your pet the best medical care will improve and prolong their life
Veterinarian examining cat while little boy watches

Taking your dog or cat to the vet might cause you some anxiety, especially if you're doing so for the first time. Trust us, it makes pet ownership so much more enjoyable when you have an animal doctor that both of you like. Choosing the right veterinarian for your beloved companions may not be easy, but it's certainly worth it — you'll have a better time caring for your animals, and they will stick around longer with excellent medical attention. Here's how to choose a vet.
When should I look for a vet?

We hate to add to your checklist, but you probably want to look at vets before you even bring home a dog or cat. It can take time and lots of phone calls to different places before you figure out the right fit — meaning a practice that suits your needs and budget and has availability.

Read more
Is a Belgian Malinois a good family dog? Everything you need to know about this amazing dog breed
Belgian Malinois breed description, family behavior, and more
A Belgian Malinois leaps through a meadow of dandelions

If you're considering opening up your home to a new four-legged family member, there may be a lot of thoughts swimming through your mind. This is totally normal. Bringing home a new pet is a big change, so it's only natural (and responsible) to think through every aspect of the decision before you commit. One thing you may be considering is which dog breed would be best for your home. Although you may not be able to hand-pick your perfect breed when adopting a pet from a shelter, knowing a bit about the most common dog breeds can help you make an informed choice.
The Belgian Malinois is a breed often seen in cities, suburbs, and farms, though it's often mistaken for an entirely different dog -- the German shepherd. While they are related, these breeds are completely separate from one another. Familiarizing yourself with Belgian Malinois characteristics and traits will help you decide whether this may be a breed for your family, but first, we'll have to ask -- is a Belgian Malinois a good family dog?
Let's find out everything there is to know about this strong and loyal dog breed.

Belgian Malinois breed characteristics

Read more
Family member allergic to cats? Where to find hypoallergenic cats for adoption
Here's how you can have a cat even if you have allergies
Bengal cat peering around a row of potted plants

While our opinions may differ on innumerable issues, there is a universal constant we can all agree on: No one enjoys suffering from allergies. If you're dealing with itchy eyes, a running nose, constant sneezing, coughing, wheezing, or even hives, then you're suffering from an allergy to something in your immediate environment.
Maybe it's just pollen, but it can also be ... your cat. Cat allergies are relatively common, but just because someone in your family has cat allergies doesn't mean you have to give up your dream of being a cat parent. From bathing your cat to allergy treatments, there are a few tips you can use to limit exposure to allergens. Even better, you might even find the purr-fect solution waiting for you in a local shelter. Keep reading to learn more about hypoallergenic cats for adoption.

Should I adopt a cat if I'm allergic?

Read more