Take your pet on a family vacation! It is a fun way of enjoying the company of a four-legged companion even when away from home. Yet traveling with pets is made difficult with restrictive hotels and sometimes also thoughtless pet owners. Five pet tips make it possible to take your pet and enjoy the experience.
1. Travel with pets only after confirming that they are still welcomed.
The hotel industry is in constant flux. The lovely little family-run outfit you booked a room with three months ago, might have been bought out and changed its target demographic by the time you get there. Even if you book your room quite early in the season, make sure that a week prior to arriving you call in and double-check that you are still allowed to take your pet. This is especially true when traveling internationally.
2. Take your pet supplies with you.
Traveling with pets is made easier by hotels and motels that welcome four-legged guests. Bringing along bedding, blankets, bowls, toys and travel crates is the responsibility of the pet owner. Assuming that you are asked to put down a pet deposit, it is a good idea to drape pet-accessible furniture with your own blankets. Moreover, consider crating your pets in your absence. A traveling pet may experience extreme separation anxiety in new surroundings, and it may take to damaging carpets, doors or furniture when left alone.
3. Traveling with pets can get expensive; budget wisely.
Take for example Extended Stay Hotels; billing itself as a “pet friendly hotel company,” the business specifies that only one pet may stay in each guest room. Thus, if you are traveling as a couple with two dogs, plan on renting two rooms. Moreover, there is a $25 nightly cleaning fee (in 2011) for having the pet inside the room. The total expense is capped at $150 per stay, but other outfits may not be this generous. If you take your pet — or multiple animals — with you, be prepared to spend a lot of extra money just on accommodations.
4. Be mindful of pests, diseases and bed bugs.
Before long, tips for traveling with pets must also take a closer look at potential health issues. As much fun as taking the animals along can be, doing so exposes them to risks. For example, New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania is a favorite with the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. CBS News reported that in 2005 a Hotel Pennsylvania was at the heart of a lawsuit brought by guests over bedbugs.
It is entirely possible for your pet to pick up bacteria, germs or pests that a prior guest left behind. Do not travel with a pet unless it is up to date on all of its vaccinations and in good health. Do not forget to also protect the pet against pest danger, such as heartworms.
5. Be a proactive neighbor.
Hotels specify that a pet must not cause a disturbance while on their premises. There is little definition of the term, and a room neighbor’s complaint about barking may see you ejected. If you are concerned that your pet may become a bit loud, introduce yourself to the guests staying on either side of you and across the hall, offer your cell phone number for quick contact and let them know that you will do everything you can to keep the pet quiet. Whenever possible, opt for a ground floor room — especially when traveling with a heavier or larger pet — to prevent a downstairs neighbor from having to listen to a frequent stampede.
Extended Stay Hotels: “Pet friendly hotels”
Hotel Pennsylvania: “Never leave home without your best friend”
CBS News: “Tourists Sue NY Hotel Over Bedbugs”