I can’t believe out of all the traveling I’ve done with Wynston, especially in the last year, that I haven’t written a post specifically on tips for staying at a hotel with your dog. At one point I was completely new to dog-friendly hotel stays, but now I’m most certainly an expert. So let’s dive right in. These tips are sure to make your first hotel stay with your dog (or upcoming stays) more fun and less stressful!
Tips for Staying at a Hotel With Your Dog
Check the hotel’s policy.
First and foremost, check your hotel’s pet policy. I’m sure you probably did this already when choosing a hotel, but always double check it. I’ve found that certain hotels and resorts will charge more money for your dog the longer you stay, or the opposite. Check all the fine print. You don’t want to be left with unexpected charges, or face insane breed/size restrictions.
Set preferences before checking in.
Whenever I stay at a hotel I always like to call on the phone to request a ground floor room or one next to an elevator. I recommend actually calling and speaking to a person. I’ve found that putting notes in an online reservation isn’t as effective. I like requesting ground floor simply because it’s easiest to take your dog out potty. Same goes for right next to an elevator. When we stayed at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, there wasn’t such thing as a “ground floor” level, but they did get us close to an elevator so it saved us a bit of a walk. At some hotels, such as the Kimpton Resorts, you can request a dog bed and bowls. Get on the phone and make that call. It’s worth it!
Bring vaccination records.
I always bring Wynston’s vaccination records and ESA documentation. I’ve never been asked for it upon check in, but you never know. Best to be prepared.
Ask the reservation desk about amenities.
Every hotel has different amenities. I like IHG hotels like Candlewood and Staybridge Suites because they have full service laundry rooms. They are great in case there’s an accident, or if I’m staying for a while. It’s also nice to have a continental breakfast that you can enjoy with your dog, or a store to purchase food or other necessities. Your hotel may have helpful, hidden amenities that you don’t know about, so ask!
Some resorts (like Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas) even offer specialty dog services. They will check on your dog in the room if you need to leave them there for some reason, and even take them for potty breaks. Your hotel may even have room service for dogs! Yes, that does exist, and it’s AWESOME!
Check out potty areas.
When you check in to the hotel, scout out the property for dog potty areas. Some hotels even have designated dog parks or play areas. I always make sure to do my homework when we arrive, so when I need to take Wynston out later I know exactly where to take him.
Allow your dog to explore the room.
In my opinion the most important part about staying in a hotel with your dog is their comfort. When you open up the door to your room, let your dog go ham. Allow them to play and explore. Let them jump on the bed. (Just don’t let them pee, in case they are a marker). Let your dog get used to the surroundings. Wynston always gets the zoomies immediately on the hotel bed. He absolutely loves it!
If you traveled with potty pads and a kennel, set them up immediately. Do whatever you need to do so your dog settles in with no stress or anxiety.
A functional kitchen?
Another reason I love IHG hotels is because many of them have full kitchenettes. This means microwave, full fridge, dishwasher, stove and more. It makes it so much easier on my wallet and routine. I can cook meals in the room instead of having to spend time and money eating out. I can also refrigerate any of Wynston’s medications or fresh food. A kitchen in our room is typically a must-have. When booking a stay somewhere, I always choose a location with a functional kitchen if I can.
Bring your dog’s toys, chews and blanket.
While traveling, your dog could probably benefit from some familiar smells. Bring your dog’s favorite toys, chews, blanket or bed to the hotel. This brings a sense of comfort into a new environment. If your pup enjoys interactive toys or puzzles, bring them along for some fun during hotel room downtime. If your canine companion is occupied and having fun, it’ll make staying at a hotel with your dog that much more enjoyable.
And don’t forget the necessities!
Of course you’ll want to pack all of the necessary items when staying in a hotel with your dog. Food and water bowls, toys, treats, updated ID tags, collar and leash, waste bags, medications, and whatever else you need.
Have you ever stayed in a hotel with your dog? Do you have any best practices to add to this list? If you are new to staying in hotels with your dog, check out our other helpful posts!