Last Updated on March 18, 2024 by Elizabeth

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Finding a pet-friendly hotel can be harder than it sounds. For starters, hotel policies can be inconsistent among different properties of the same brand. And even if a hotel says it is dog-friendly, it doesn’t always mean it welcomes all dogs. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to make sure you can bring your dog to a hotel.

Confirm the Hotel’s Pet Policy Before You Arrive

Even if the hotel’s website says that it’s dog-friendly, there’s a chance that the policy has changed since the information was last updated. Call the hotel to confirm that you have a dog. Confirm that the hotel allows your dog’s breed and ask whether there is a weight restriction. You don’t want any last-minute surprises when you arrive.

While some high-end hotels may provide dog bowls and beds, most mid-range and budget hotels don’t. Consider bringing your dog’s bed, bowl and favoriate toys from home to provide some familiar smells and sights.

Be Crystal Clear About the Pet Fee

Be aware that dog-friendly means that the hotel allows some dogs; it rarely means that it welcomes all dogs. And be prepared that there might be a fee, too. Overnight pet fees generally range from $20 to $100 per night. Some hotels may charge a flat fee, which can be $100 to $500 for your stay. If the fee is too steep, check out another brand. As a rule of thumb, budget hotel chains typically charge less than luxury brands.

Familiarize Yourself With the Hotel’s Pet Rules

All hotels have rules, but they can vary from brand to brand and property to property. Still, you can expect some variation of the following:

  • You often must declare your pet at check-in. This is so the staff can make sure your dog meets the weight and breed requirements.
  • Also at check-in, expect to be asked to sign a pet agreement where you acknowledge that you are aware of the rules.
  • There’s almost always a limit to the number of pets per room; often there is a maximum of two.
  • Pets must be crated when left alone in the room.
  • Pets are not allowed on the furniture
  • When walking through the hotel, dogs must always be on a leash or in a carrier.
  • Pets are often not allowed in certain places, like the pool, dining room or spa.
  • If your dog damages the room or furniture, you will be charged an additional fee.

Get the Lay of the Land

Most pet-friendly hotels are not awash with dogs; rather, they have certain rooms that they assign to guests traveling with dogs. When you call the hotel, ask about options about room types and location. If your dog has mobility issues or requires frequent potty breaks, you may want to request a room on the ground floor.

If your dog barks at lots of different noises, you may want to make sure your room is in a quiet area, away from the elevator and busy common areas like the pool. Hang the Do Not Disturb sign to prevent unwanted knocking. Leaving the TV on inside the room may help muffle outside noises, too.

Know Which Brands are the Best Fit for Your Dog

Even if your dog is calm and well-behaved, some hotel brands are simply more pet-friendly than others—and thus tend to attract more furry friends. At Red Roof Inn and Red Roof PLUS+ properties, for example, one pet per room (up to 80 pounds) can stay for free. At Motel 6, up to two pets weighing a combined 150 pounds can stay per room for free.

Many dog owners love Kimpton Hotels, which have no size restrictions and no limits on the number of pets allowed. The front desk can also loan you pet beds and water bowls.