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Many of the lower cost and several of the higher end hotel and motel chains now provide a limited number of rooms for people traveling with pets, particularly dogs. Since these hotels and motels do accommodate owners and their pets, one might reasonable expect that all breeds, types and sizes of dogs would be welcomed. Unfortunately this is not always the case and it is always important to call ahead and find out the exact policies of the hotel or motel before you arrive. Some bed and breakfasts are also very dog friendly, but a great number of these private accommodations are not open to pets, again calling ahead is the key to having a stress free check-in with your dog.
There are several websites that are dedicated to listing and providing online reservations for pet friendly accommodations. These websites will typically provide dog friendly hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts and even hostels in countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom and Europe. Each of these sites strongly recommends that all travelers contact and confirm with the accommodation that there are no restrictions or changes in policy that may affect the dog owner at check-in time.
Fees For DogsAlmost all hotels and motels that offer dog friendly room are going to charge some type of additional fee for having the dog in the room. This covers additional cleaning charges as well as flea treatments for the room. In reality many of these hotels don't have routine flea treatments so be sure your dog is well protected with some type of flea medication, ideally the monthly liquid applications that are very effective in controlling adult fleas.
The rate per room that hotels will charge for dogs can range from a low of around five dollars per night to as high as twenty-five dollars or more per night. In addition the owner will be charged for any damage the dog does to the room with chewing, soiling carpets or bedding or scratching at doors or windows. Dogs that shed excessively may also end up costing you additional fees that aren't charged to your card until later.
Size Restrictions Most dog friendly hotels and motels are fairly accommodating for dogs that are well behaved, even if they are very large breeds. Some hotels do have weight and size restrictions with only smaller to medium sized dogs allowed in the rooms. If you are traveling with a larger breed or even a giant breed, be sure to call ahead and verify that your dog will be welcome at the hotel.
Breed RestrictionsWhile this may be a hotel policy, there are also different towns and cities that have very strict laws about what breeds of dogs can and cannot be within city limits, or under what conditions they have to be maintained. Pit Bulls are by far the most common under this category, often either completely banned from the area or requiring a muzzle and lead to be on whenever out in public places. Many hotels and motels won't allow Pit Bulls, Mastiffs or other breeds like this simply because irresponsible owners have allowed these dogs to terrify other guests or destroy rooms in the past. This is certainly not the fault of the dogs, but even very responsible owners with well trained dogs have to pay the price.
If you are traveling with a Pit Bull or a dog that could be mistaken for a Pit Bull be sure to check local regulations and also confirm with the hotel there will not be a problem at check-in or with staying.
Smoking Rooms and Pet RoomsMost of the lower cost chain hotels and small independent hotels and motels combine their pet rooms with smoking rooms. If you are a person that simply cannot stand the smell of smoke, check before making a reservation if the pet room is a smoking room to determine if the accommodations will meet your needs.
Some of the more upscale hotels that cater to pets do provide owners the option of smoking or non-smoking rooms as well as allowing pets in these rooms. This is often worth the few extra dollars per night to owners that don't smoke and don't relish the thought of being in a smoky smelly room for a night or more.
Dog Play AreasMany of the pet friendly hotels and motels offer a fenced area for dogs to run off leash while the owners are able to supervise either from their room or from the area. Keep in mind that owners are using these areas at their own risk so walk around with your dog and check for damage to the fence or other objects or items in the enclosure that may be problematic for your dog. Remove any old toys, bones or other debris, you don't want your dog chewing on something that another dog has had it it's mouth, this is good way for viral infections and parasites to spread.
Barking and DisturbancesDog owners need to be aware of the fine print on their agreement to use the room. If the dog is barking, whining, running, banging or jumping around in the room and disturbing other guests, the hotel or motel does have the right to evict the owner and the pet, without refunding the cost paid for the room.
Since no one wants this to happen, it is important to exercise your dog routinely and to not leave him or her alone in the room unsupervised. Remember that even very calm and well trained dogs are typically going to bark at strange sounds and voices, which will be all around them in a hotel or motel. It is always a good idea to keep your dog with you whenever you leave the room or put them in a crate or carrier where they will be relaxed and cannot possibly cause a disturbance.
With the growing number of people traveling with dogs, finding a hotel or motel that is pet friendly is not difficult in most areas. Doing a bit of research, including reading online reviews by fellow dog owning travelers can help you decide which accommodation best matches your needs and your budget.
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