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Expert-backed tips for finding pet-friendly hotels

And how to prepare your pet for a hotel stay.

One of the main perks of traveling is spending time in a hotel. Picture it: complimentary breakfasts, freshly washed sheets and, in some cases, the chance to bring your pet along for the adventure (or staycation!). But, before reserving a room, it’s essential to make sure your pet is ready for the stay and that the hotel can accommodate your pet. 

There are some things to consider before (and during) your stay to ensure you and your pet can relax. I mean, isn’t that what vacation is all about? Read more to learn how to prepare for your hotel stay with your pet.

What should I look for in a pet-friendly hotel? 

While planning your trip, it’s important to pick a hotel that states their pet policy on their website (and it doesn’t hurt to call and verify before booking), Dr. Aliya McCullough, Fetch’s on-staff veterinarian, says. It’s also a bonus if the hotel offers amenities, like grooming or dog-walking services. 

“Pay attention to size requirements, additional fees and limitations, like which type of rooms pets can stay in,” she adds. “Some hotels will not allow you to leave your pet unattended in the hotel room, and some hotels will require pet parents to sign a waiver.” 

What are some things to consider before staying in a hotel with your pet?

Before booking your trip, you should consider if your dog has a personality suited for travel, Dr. McCullough suggests. Ask yourself if your pup is adventurous and would benefit from the trip or would they prefer to stay in their safe space. Think about if your dog is well-behaved and confident in public settings and how they respond to new environments. 

Cat parents — getting your pet prepped is a little different. First, make sure your cat is comfortable traveling and staying in new places. It’s also good to make sure they’re used to their carrier, too. To help them out, you could pack their favorite toys or blankets and calming pheromones, which are scents that mother cats release to relax their babies.

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Why is staying in a hotel not a good idea for some pets?

Staying in a hotel may not be the best option for all pets. Try to find accommodation alternatives if your pet becomes stressed in new environments or if you have to leave them by themselves for a long period — this is especially important to consider if your dog is prone to going to the bathroom in the house or destroying things.

Whether staying in a hotel for one night or an extended vacation, check with your veterinarian before booking the trip with your dog as your plus one — they should give you the OK that your pet’s health is fit for traveling and hotel stays. 

What items can I bring to make my pet feel comfortable in a hotel? 

Bringing things that make the hotel feel more like home can improve your pet’s travel experience. For both cats and dogs, Dr. McCullough suggests packing the following items:

  • Your pet’s favorite blankets or toys so that they have familiar smells and comfort items around them
  • Food puzzles for mental stimulation
  • A treat-dispensing toy so your pet associates that space with something positive

Besides packing some items to help calm your pet, you could keep the “do not disturb” sign on the door and use a white noise machine, television (if they’re already comfortable with it!) or radio to prevent and drown out unfamiliar sounds.

The Dig, Fetch Pet Insurance's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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