Pet Travel Etiquette

Pet-Friendly Hotel / Travel Etiquette Some lodgings refuse pets or are reluctant to accept them. Hotels that were previously "pet-friendly" may change their policy.

What gives? Unfortunately, sometimes one bad experience with pets can lead a hotel to refuse them in the future. Here are a few ways you can persuade accommodations to continue to welcome our four-legged pals...

Make sure your pet is reliably housetrained.

Sure, accidents can happen even to pets who are rock-solid at home... but a reliably housetrained pet is less likely to cause a mess when traveling. If an accident occurs, notify the front desk immediately and offer to clean up.

Good doggy manners are appreciated.

Your pet should have good "house manners" and remain quiet (or stop barking on command) and calm when in the room. Chewing or scratching is also a no-no, as is racing around the room as if it's a dog park and knocking things over.

If an accident occurs or something is broken or damaged, take responsible for your pet and offer to pay for the damages or replace the item.

Don't leave your pet unattended.

Even the most well-mannered pet can behave out of character in unfamiliar surroundings. Non-stop barking is one of the biggest complaints because it disturbs other guests (not to mention that the poor dog is clearly distressed!).

Stressed-out dogs may also have accidents in the room. If you must leave your pet unattended (and your lodging allows you to do so), notify the front desk and leave them with a phone number where they can reach you in case of an emergency. Many accommodations will ask that you crate your pet if you leave them alone in the room.

An alternative is to get suggestions for nearby doggy daycares or pet-sitters.

Don't allow your pet to greet other guests or pets (unless invited to do so).

As adorable as your pooch is, there are many people who are afraid of them or who have allergies. And the sight of a big dog bounding towards you can be a little scary - no matter how friendly the dog is!

Wait until you get a clear sign that someone wants to say hello to your pet. Likewise, don't let your pet approach another animal unless the owner gives permission.

Keep your pet under control.

Keep poochie by your side in public areas. Even if you're staying at a pet-friendly accommodation in the country, and your hosts indicate your dog can run leash-free, he should still respond reliably to voice commands. Remember that pets can become disoriented in new places, and wildlife and pets just don't mix.

Clean up after your pet EVERY time.

Bring along a supply of doggy waste bags and promptly pick up after your pet. Bring extra towels for wiping off paws and for rubbing down wet dogs prior to returning to your room. Even if your pet-friendly lodging allows pets to use the furniture, bring cover sheets from home to help keep fur to a minimum.

Choose an accommodation that suits your pet.

That probably sounds strange, but let your pet's personality help you to choose the right lodging for your vacation. For instance, if your pet doesn't like busy places with lots of activity, a popular hotel or resort isn't your best bet. If your pet is sociable, loves to run and play in the water, look for a cottage resort or private vacation home in the country where he can romp around freely.

Ask questions about the lodging's pet policy.

Every accommodation has different policies in place. Find out what they are and if you're not entirely happy with their pet policies, look for another place. If you're staying at a smaller accommodation you may be able to talk to the owner or manager to see if you can come to an agreement.

ALWAYS mention your pet!

There is no need to sneak your pet into an accommodation. There are many that are pet-friendly, and by demonstrating good "pet etiquette" our furry friends will continue to be welcomed whenever we travel.

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