Look Under The Hood Before Booking Pet-friendly Hotel

Pet parents increasingly want to take their furry family members with them wherever they can. This has led to an uptick in pet travel, whether around town, on business, or across the country. In response to this demand, more hotels are taking steps to accommodate four-legged guests.

While there may be an increase in accommodations that allow pets, taking a trip with a pet still requires you to look under the hood. Taking a closer look at hotel pet policy details is essential to ensure you and your whole crew are welcome.

“Just because a hotel indicates that they allow pets, doesn’t mean that they will accept all pets.” says Kim Salerno, CEO/Founder of TripsWithPets.com, a website that provides online reservations for pet-friendly accommodations. “It’s important to do your homework before booking. Reviewing specific hotel pet policies is a “must” to ensure it can accommodate your pets.”

Salerno notes that there are a number of specific pet policy details to check for when looking to book a pet-friendly hotel.

1. Pet Fees

There is a waning number of hotels that allow pets to stay for free. Most pet-friendly accommodations charge an additional fee for pets. Fees can range from $10 to around $100. It is most common for hotels to charge per night. However, some charge per stay, while others may charge per pet/night. In rare cases, pet deposits may also be required. It’s important to be aware of these added costs and factor them into your trip budget.

2. Pet Weight Limit

You’d be hard pressed to find a hotel that does not have a pet weight limit. If you have a large pet, it’s important to know before booking whether an establishment is willing to accommodate him, or whether you need to keep looking.

3. Number of Pets Allowed

The majority of hotels only allow one or two pets at most per room. If you’re traveling with human companions and 3+ pets, you might consider renting two rooms to accommodate everyone. If you need help finding space for a crowd, TripsWithPets can assist you.

4. Types of Pets Welcome

Pet friendly doesn’t automatically mean “all pets.” All pet-friendly hotels allow dogs, and many also allow cats. Some hotels, like Kimpton, are open to whatever pet you happen to bring, regardless of species, size or breed, but these are uncommon. Bottom line: Because a hotel says they allow pets, don’t assume they allow all types of pets.

5. Unattended Pet Policy

During your travels, you may want to attend an event or visit a place where your pet won’t be welcome. Some hotels will allow you to leave your pet unattended in your room, and others will not. If the hotel you choose has a “no unattended pets” policy, you may have to either modify your plans so that you can bring your pet along, or make arrangements for your pet’s care in your absence.

6. Breed Restrictions

Although not prevalent, dog breeds such as bully breeds, German Shepherds, and Dobermans, are restricted by some accommodations. It is more commonly found with vacation rentals and B&Bs.

“What sets TripsWithPets.com apart is that we provide detailed pet policies for all the properties on our site. This allows pet parents to know before booking.” says Salerno. “There are plenty of accommodation options out there. And if you need us, we’re happy to help.”

While some hotel chains are reliably “pets allowed” across the board, most individual hotels have their own specific pet policy, and policy restrictions can vary widely, even within brands and chains. Policies are also subject to change. Never assume a hotel’s pet policy – always know before you go.