Searching for a Pet-friendly Hotel? 6 Things to Know Before you Book

Searching for a pet-friendly hotel? 6 things to know before you book

More and more, pet parents on the go want to take their furkids along wherever possible. Accordingly, there has been a recent increase in pet travel, whether on trips around town, business trips, or cross-country trips. Hotels have taken note, and many are taking steps to welcome furry guests in order to accommodate greater demand.

While more hotels may accommodate pets,  traveling with a pet still isn’t as simple as “book-and-go.” It’s very important to take a close look at hotel pet policy details to ensure you and your pet, or pet posse are welcome.

“Just because a hotel indicates that they allow pets, doesn’t mean that they will accept all pets." says Kim Salerno, CEO/Founder of TripsWithPets. “It’s important to do your homework before booking. Reviewing specific hotel pet policies is a must to ensure it can accommodate your pets.”

Salerno lists out several specific pet policy details to thoroughly evaluate before booking a pet-friendly hotel.

1. Pet Fees

The number of hotels that accommodate pets for free is growing smaller all the time. Most pet-friendly accommodations do charge a separate pet fee. Fees range from as low as $10 to as high as $100. Most hotels charge a flat fee per night, some charge a flat fee per stay, and still others charge a sliding scale fee or a fee per pet and per night. Occasionally, hotels will require pet deposits. Knowing these specific additional costs ahead of time is essential for trip planning and budgeting.

2. Pet Weight Limit

A wide majority of hotels do have pet weight limits. If your pet’s on the heftier side, it’s important to find out whether an establishment is willing to accommodate her, or whether you need to move on to the next pet friendly option.

3. Number of Pets Allowed

Most  hotels only allow a maximum of one or two pets per room. If you’re traveling with human companions and three or more four-legged family members, renting two rooms may be a good option for you, as it will allow you to accommodate everyone. If you need help finding room for your whole motley crew, TripsWithPets is ready and able to assist you.

4. Types of pets welcome

The term “pet friendly” isn’t exactly a rubber stamp for all pets. Every pet-friendly hotel welcomes dogs, and many also allow guests of the feline persuasion. Some hotels, like Kimpton, are open to pets of all sizes, shapes, types, and stripes, but these hotels are rare. Bottom line: Don’t assume that any hotel allows all types of pets–verify before packing up your parakeet.

5. Unattended Pet Policy

During your stay at a hotel, you may want or need to visit a place or event that is less than pet friendly. Some establishments allow guests to leave pets unattended in their rooms, while others don’t. If your hotel’s policies don’t allow you to leave your pet unsupervised, you may have to either alter your plans so that your pet is able to tag along, or arrange to have your pet cared for while you’re gone. Knowing ahead of time can keep you from missing out on something you really wanted to do, or scrambling to make last-minute plan changes.

6. Breed Restrictions

Although breed restrictions aren’t tremendously common, some hotels do employ them for some dog breeds, such as bully breeds, German Shepherds, and Dobermans. This practice is less common with hotels and more common with privately owned vacation rentals and B&Bs.

“What sets TripsWithPets apart is that we provide detailed pet policies for all the properties on our site,” says Salerno. “This allows pet parents to know before booking. There are plenty of accommodation options out there. And if you need us, we’re happy to help.”

While some hotel chains reliably accommodate pets across the board, most hotels maintain their own individual rules and their own specific pet policies. This means that hotel policy restrictions can vary widely, even within the same brand or the same chain. Like all other policies, pet policies are always subject to change. Never assume “pet friendly” means what you think it does – always know before you go.


Photo credit: istock/humonia