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Dogs in Hotels: Nightmares to Avoid

Traveling with dogs can be challenging to say the least. More stops for bathroom breaks and walks, More cost for hotel rooms, medicine to help keep them calmer in stressful situations.

Collage of dogs in different settings

We will do everything to make sure we keep our dogs comfortable and happy. We traveled from Arizona to Nevada and then down Highway 1 the coastal highway, ending up in San Diego for a month. What we have learned we want to share to help you avoid some of the pitfalls and learn some of the things that worked for us.

On one occasion we showed up and didn't have the hotel didn't have a room for us because they didn't look at the notes in the app saying that we had two dogs and needed a bottom floor (they only allow dogs on the bottom floor). So after we had driven all day and were exhausted, we had to rush to find a place that would allow our dogs, wasn't booked and was within our budget. We ended up in a Motel 6 in Hollywood and had to pay $40 extra for parking.

What happens if I sneak a dog to a hotel?

Brown and white pit bull laying on a wood floor next to a brown chair
Try to keep them off the furniture, it doesn't always work.

Sneaking a pet into a hotel can result in huge fines. The other thing to consider is the hotel cleaning staff will not clean the room the same. This can result in someone who has allergies to pets suffering due to you not wanting to pay the extra pet fee. With more and more hotels accepting pets there is no excuse for sneaking a pet into a hotel.

Don't sneak pets into hotels!

There are plenty of apps that will help you find a pet-friendly hotel. The one we used is called BringFido.com there are several others you can use such as:

wisepawz.com helps you find pet-friendly hotels and restaurants.
Petswelcome.com For pet-friendly hotels
pet-friendlyaccommodation.com.au If you are traveling to Australia's East Coast

How can I take my dog to a hotel?

Here are a few tips to make sure you are invited back to the hotel, and to make sure you are a good guest.

2 dogs laying on the floor in a hotel room. Can you take your dog to a hotel?
Always bring their favorite blankets and toys
  • Dont leave your dog alone. This should be a no brainer but it is mentioned in every hotel's pet policy. Dogs left alone in starnge places can create havok. The best plan of action is to just don't.
  • Bring only a housetrained dog to the hotel. This is to make sure you wont have to clean up a ton of messes. Also so you wont kicked out of the hotel due to messes your pet makes.
  • Make sure to visit a vet prior to your vacation. This will ensure that your pet is healthy and ready to travel.
  • Make sure to bring along your dogs blanket. Bring along familiar items so your dog is less stressed during the trip. Familiar smells and textures will help your pet to adapt to the new surroundings easier
  • Bring food and water bowls. We brought their food bowls from home but also purchased a travel water bowl that made it not as messy for the dogs to drink while we were on the road. This bowl worked well in the hotel room as well.
  • Do what you can to minimize barking. We all know dogs bark it is what they do. Try to keep them as quiet as you can so as not to disturb the other guests. Using dog toys and treats is a great way to help keep them quiet.

Things to consider before traveling

2 pit bulls laying on a bed in a hotel room.
Our dogs are always in our bed with us 🙂
  • Sick, injured or dogs who are recovering, or pregnant dogs really ought to stay home.
  • A vet checkup and current health certificate with vaccinations is helpful.
  • Make sure you dog doesn't have fleas
  • Up-to-date ID tags, and preferably a microchip, are great protection.
  • Training and obedience level has to be assessed: can they travel well? How do they react around strangers? How do they react around other animals? How does your dog react to strange noises?
  • At a bare minimum, they need an A+ in potty training. Accidents in a hotel room are a pain for everyone involved. You have to clean up the mess as best you can and then the cleaning crew has to deal with it also.

Can you leave a dog alone in a hotel?

2 dogs in our van on a road trip. Don't leave them alone in a hotel room.
We take them everywhere with us

The short answer is no. It is not advisable and usually against hotel policy to leave your pets alone in the hotel room. Dogs barking can disturb other guests, Dogs can attack the housekeepers who unexpectedly enter your room. That little door hanger can fall for whatever reason and the housekeeper

Hotels we have stayed with that allow pets are the Motel 6, Holiday Inn, Marriot Courtyard, and the Residence Inn. We have stayed in upscale hotels and mid-grade motels like Motel 6. We have found that the cost of the pet fee varies drastically by the establishment. Also, more expensive hotels do not necessarily charge more for pet fees. Interestingly some mid-grade hotels charge just as much or more. Shop around and you may find a suitable hotel with a lower pet fee.

Limitations on pets

2 dogs on a couch that is covered with a blanket.
Cover the furniture if they are going to be on it

Most establishments limit the number of pets and the weight of the pet you can bring. Some will allow bigger dogs with an extra fee. We have 2 pit bulls so we are always looking for hotels or Motels that will allow bigger animals. We have found most to be accommodating.

We love being on the first or second floor this makes it easier to get the dogs in and out of the room. It also makes it easier if your pups are not people-friendly. Ours love people but are not friendly to other animals. We usually request to be near an exit door. You can make this request upon booking your room.

Get more travel tips and follow us on our Journey to Mexico.

More Of Our Life in Mexico
Mexico Week 2
Quirky Things About Driving in Mexico
Medical Care in Mexico: Our Family's Experience

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