Friday, June 5, 2009
By Anna Lee
Pet lovers are a large and growing group of people. However, there are many people who, for various reasons, are not pet lovers. Some people have allergies and I understand they would not want to use the same room where dog dander may trigger an attack. Others may feel that a room isn’t really clean if a dog or cat had been a previous occupant. I will provide you with some firsthand information, as well as websites, that I have used to find dog friendly motels and hotels. Hopefully the information I am sharing will help make your trip or vacation more enjoyable for you and your pet. A short amount of time setting up your accommodations can save you a lot of time in the long run. I always feel more comfortable leaving for a trip when I know I have pet friendly rooms ready and waiting for me.
Years ago pet friendly rooms did not exist. You just took your dog with you on a trip and didn’t think much about it. Not true in today’s world. Before we take a road trip I plan the route and make sure there is at least one pet friendly motel where we intend to stop. If not, I adjust the route by a few more miles one direction or another. I would rather travel a few extra miles and know there is a dog friendly room waiting for me.
Pet friendly rooms are not hard to find as they are becoming more popular. Motels owners realized they had to conform to what the customers want. Motels set aside a certain number of rooms for the weary travelers and their faithful pets. I don’t know if they actually clean the pet friendly rooms differently than the regular rooms. I hope they clean pet friendly rooms more thoroughly, since they do charge a pet fee. Finding pet friendly lodging requires a different type of online search than you would normally use.
I have been searching for pet friendly motels and hotels for the last 11 years. There are several excellent sources, and I will give you a few suggestions. It will certainly make your next trip easier if you plan ahead. One thing to be aware of is many motels and hotels ask that your dog be on a flea and tick program. I make sure to put a flea and tick preventative on our dog a few days before our trip. She has never had one flea in her life and I don’t want her to pick up a stray!
The first, and usually the last, site I check is Petswelcome.com. This is a very simple website to use. Just follow the instructions screen by screen. They provide information as to the room rate and pet charges. Some listings have a link directly to the motel. When you book a pet friendly room that you found through Petswelcome.com please let the motel employees know that is how you found the room. It will help them decide to continue their listings in Petswelcome.com.
If you prefer to stay at a particular chain, you can check the chain’s website. Look under amenities to find out if they list pets as an option. Sometimes I check the motel’s website after Petswelcome.com just to find out what restaurants are in the area. I accidentally ran across a few search sites that charge you for the information. Do not pay to find a pet friendly motel or hotel; you can get the information for free.
Other websites that I have used as search tools are:
*Petfriendlytravel.com – they also offer a listing of off leash and dog friendly beaches
*Dogfriendly.com – they also offer info on dog friendly campgrounds
It is not difficult to find a pet friendly motel or hotel. When I started out for the first trip with our dog I was worried how she would be welcomed by the larger chains. For that 1998 trip I selected a small family run motel, nothing fancy, but they were pet friendly. The towels were so thin you could not dry yourself and the room was too small for two adults and a large dog. Each trip after that we upgraded to bigger and nicer motel chains. Now when we visit our family for the holidays we stay in a dog friendly, extended stay, all suites hotel with no problems or worries. Make your pet friendly motel or hotel reservation and pack your suitcase. Don’t forget to pack your dog’s favorite toys and enough CANIDAE® dog food for the trip. Happy travels everyone!
Read more articles by Anna Lee