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Staying in a hotel with your dog

What a treat it is to bring your pup along on a trip, whether it be by necessity or by pure choice. Preparation, and a few tricks, will make your stay with your fur baby a breeze. While some of it you’ve likely already pondered, we may have an additional suggestion or two up our sleeve. But if not, use this as your go-to guide before booking your next vacay.

Pet Friendly Hotel Preparation

Check hotel policies before booking. While this seems like a given, be certain to read the fine print. Is there a weight limit for pups? Maybe a fee? What happens if the wiggles get the best of your baby and they break a vase? Calling the hotel is one extra step you can take to be sure you’re picking a hotel with policies that fit you both best.

Work out any behavioral kinks. Easier said than done, right? Maybe Fido has picked up a bad chewing habit. Make sure nothing is going on with those chompers that may need treatment, and use positive encouragement to direct them to a toy. Or maybe they’ve decided doing business outside isn’t their thing anymore. Perhaps it’s time for a potty refresher course.

Get them out and about. If your dog is a home body, it may be a good idea to get them used to going to unfamiliar places in the weeks or days leading up to your stay. Also, consider a smaller rehearsal trip to see how they behave.

Find out the facility situation. You’ll want to know if the hotel has a designated pee and poop area for pups, or if there’s a dog park nearby. What’s the sidewalk situation? Are there pet friendly restaurants nearby?

Pet Checklist for your Hotel Stay

Documents and records. It’s always a good idea to carry vaccination and wellness records when traveling with any animal. Keep tags on their collar, even if you normally don’t at home. This is also important if they happen to wander off.

A list of veterinarians in the area. Sure, we all have phones these days and can search something in a split second. Having a list of highly rated doggy docs in the area can remove worry out of an already stressful situation.

Note: the Figo Pet Cloud helps you find pet-related and pet friendly businesses wherever you roam, including veterinarians and emergency animal hospitals.

Comfort items. A Favorite blanket and toy can make all the difference in calming your pooch, who may be anxious while away from home. Some hotels offer dog beds, but if they are super attached to theirs, it may be worth packing.

Food and bowls. Some hotels, like the amazing Kimpton establishments, provide bowls, and sometimes even food for pets. However, you may want to pack zip lock bags of a kibble their tummy is used to. Don’t forget the treats!

Leash. Not only for other’s preferences, but for the safety of your dog. Leashes keep them from running off or getting into mischief.

Poo bags. Need we say more?

Arrival Tips

Have documents ready at check-in. The representative will want to verify all is up to date.

Secure the premises. Do a quick look around the room and set anything you think your pup might mistake for a play thing, out of reach. Scan for any potential hazards as well, like those tiny soap bottles.

Give pets their safe space. Like you do with their crate or snuggly end of the bed at home. Make a little nook, with their comfort items and food bowls.

Supervise. While your dog familiarizes themselves, keep a close eye on them. They’ll settle in soon enough.

Know the “unattended” policy. Going a bit backwards to our first tip, be sure to know the rules on leaving your pup at the hotel. Some won’t allow it, while others are cool with well behaved dogs hanging for the day.

We hope our guide helps things go super smooth during your hotel stay, whether it be the first, or one of many, with your four-legged companion. Here’s to many more slumber parties in super swanky accommodations!


Karyn Wofford is a “Mom” to her fluffy, sweet dog Halli. She spends much of her time traveling and advocating for Type 1 diabetes—and Halli sometimes accompanies her on her adventures. You’ll find Karyn’s work on sites like Mother Earth Living, and in magazines such as Diabetes Forecast.

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