3 Quick Tips for a Stress-Free Hotel Stay with Your Dog
Updated: Feb 25
Amongst all of the other life changing decisions we made in 2020, we also welcomed Oreo into our home as a foster dog, quickly #fosterfailed and we had a dog of our very own. With Oreo in the picture, we knew we could either start shelling out serious money for boarding every time we took a trip, or we could get a little more creative with our travel plans. Through a combination of preparation, research, and good old-fashioned trial and error, here are our keys to a stress-free hotel stay the next time you bring your dog along.
Use Bring Fido to Navigate Complicated Pet Policies With Ease
Booking a hotel without a pet can be one of the easiest parts of travel planning. Go to your preferred hotel brand, search the location you would like, and find the best combination of price, location, and amenities for your needs. When traveling with a pet, it is not quite straightforward as it normally is. First, not all hotels are pet friendly. Then, the pet-friendly hotels all have different policies for how many dogs can stay with you, how much the dogs can weigh, and whether or not you can leave your pet in the room unattended. Finally, most hotels will charge you the dreaded pet fee which can be up to $100 per stay, and if you aren't careful these fees can cost you more than your nightly rate.
If you are booking directly through the hotel brands, they only allow you to filter to hotels that allow pets AT ALL and don't give you much other information in the search results. The only way to get all of the information on the specific hotel's pet policy is to either call the hotel, or find that specific property's website and scroll through the Amenities page to find the "Pet" section. Luckily, there is a better way:
Bring Fido is a pet specific travel site that has been a game-changer for planning where to stay when traveling with Oreo. Simply put in your destination, apply the filters you need, and quickly view all of the hotels that will meet your needs. Bring Fido makes it easy to find hotels that allow large dogs, multiple dogs, and find the hotels that won't gouge you with high pet fees. While we don't always recommend booking hotels through third party sites, you do have the option to do so directly on Bring Fido.
Of course, once you find a few hotel options that fit your needs, you should still compare rates, location, and amenities as you would for any other booking system. It's also important to still take time to validate the hotel's pet policy by calling or checking their website, but Bring Fido can save you tons of time and effort narrowing your search. It has been our
Make Your Dog Feel At Home Wherever They Are
Oreo came from Alive Rescue, a local rescue that does great work diverting dogs from Animal Control to foster families and eventually adoption. Since the first two years of Oreo's life were not the happy, carefree years that she deserved, it took her well over a couple months to get fully acclimated to our home. When we started doing more traveling with her, we found that it was especially important for Oreo to feel "at home" wherever she was.
First, once we arrive at the hotel, we always give Oreo plenty of time to sniff around and do a little bit of exploring. This starts with finding the area where she will do her business, then transitions to the hotel lobby area, and finally letting her loose to explore the room once we check-in. It's important to remember that even the air itself may smell different than your dog is used to so it's critical to let them take it all in and not rush their acclimation process.
Next, make sure you pack the right gear(s) and supplies so that your dog stays nourished and comfortable. Despite our best efforts, Oreo is not a big fan of drinking water during our drives, so the first thing she does when we get to the room is chug an entire bowl of water. We also make sure to bring her own dog bed and blankets wherever she goes so she can always rest her head on something familiar. Bringing your dog's favorite treats sounds simple, but it can really help remind your dog of their regular routine while being away. Finally, don't forget to bring a few of your dog's favorite toys (bonus points for quieter ones to keep your neighbors happy too!), which can be a great way to let some of that pent-up road trip energy out before heading to bed.
Hotel Stays are a Great Excuse to Spoil Your Dog
Even the best planned and executed hotel stay with your dog can still an overwhelming experience for even the most well-behaved pup. Dogs are creatures of habit, so they might be sad or anxious that they are being taken out of their routine. One easy way to help your pet cope is to spoil them a little! There are many ways to spoil your pet, but here are a few ideas that Oreo has loved:
Before your trip, stop by the pet store and pick up a new toy. Keep it hidden away until you are all settled in the room and then watch their little eyes light up
Let them hang out or sleep on the bed with you. When else will you have that king size bed all to yourself?
If you are staying in an urban area, find a nearby dog park and let your dog tire themselves out and make some new friends
Many pet-friendly hotels will have treats and toys ready for you if you call ahead. So just like our first suggestion, call the hotel to check pet fees and let them know you'll be bringing a dog along. This what Oreo received when we arrived at the Aloft St. Louis - toys, waste bag, blanket, and more!
Bringing your pet along on your next trip doesn't have to be a burden. Try these tips, and you can ensure that you and your pets can enjoy the journey as much as the destination!
What are some thing you do for your pet(s) when you travel to make them feel more comfortable?? We're always listening for new ideas to try for Oreo too!