| Driving
pet friendly hotels

Making travel plans this Spring? May is National Pet Month so get ready to pack you and your pet’s bags to check into a pet-friendly hotel! Pet-friendly hotels are on the rise and they’re welcoming more and more of our four-legged friends, which appeals to travelers who are looking to feel more at home during their stay. In fact, leaving pets at home during vacation is becoming less common.  The American Veterinary Medical Association says that half of all pet owners in the United States treat their pets as members of the family. While this may not be surprising to us pet lovers, what is surprising is that many hotels don’t even charge an extra fee for pets to stay at the hotel, USA Today reports. Happy pet parent, happy pet. Cue the tail wagging!

Even though not all hotels offer a free pet stay, it’s not just those fancy five star hotels who leave chocolates on pillows that are offering this amenity. There are plenty of affordable family-friendly hotels checking in pets. Many hotel websites feature the pet hotel option to attract pet owners, however, if it’s not listed, just call the hotel to ask.

To help you find the purrrfect pet hotel, here some of our favorite websites to check out: Trips with Pets, PetsWelcome.com, PetFriendlyHotels.com, DogFriendly.com and BringFido.com.  Some of these websites list very inexpensive pet-friendly hotel chains on their page along with various articles about traveling with pets.

10 Things to Know Before You Go:

Ready to head out the door? Not so fast. Individual hotels vary on their pet policies. According to Petmd.com and PetFriendlyHotels.com, here’s what you need to know!

  1. Is the hotel pet-friendly or pet tolerant? Pet-friendly hotels have certain features to accommodate pets, such as dog runs, day care, or hardwood floors for clean-up. Pet tolerant hotels will only let you keep pets in your room and could vary their policies.
  2. Are there any pet fees I should know about? Some hotels require a security deposit that’s refundable with no charge before checking out.
  3. Is there a limit to the number of pets I can bring?
  4. Are there any pet policies I should read?
  5. Are there any breed restrictions?
  6. Can I request a ground floor room? This will make it easier for both you and your pooch to go in and out of the hotel.
  7. Are there any dog sitter or dog walker services? If your dog is a barker when you’re not there, you could be asked to leave. You may want to consider another option while you’re gone during the day.
  8. When is the maid service? Plan ahead so you and your pet don’t get in the way of the hotel staff.
  9. Are pets allowed on the furniture? If pets aren’t allowed on the furniture, bring their bed or kennel, or some blankets to ensure the hotel’s furniture is protected.
  10. Are there any nearby parks, play areas or outside areas where dogs are allowed?

Finally, while being on vacation with your pet is great way to escape and feel at home, keep in mind these tips to care for your pet:

Comforts of Home

To reduce any anxiety or stress you dog may experience in a new environment, you can bring a long anything that reminds them of home, like a few favorite toys or a comfy blanket.

Food & Water Station

Before you unpack your things, get your dog’s needs settled by adding water to their dog bowl and giving them a few toys to make their stay homey.

Hang Out and Take Them Out

Spend a few minutes with your pooch to get them comfortable in their new environment. Also, be sure to take them out frequently during your stay and try to keep them on as much of their feeding and bathroom schedule as possible to ensure a smooth stay for both you.

Scoop It Up

Finally, be prepared to scoop that poop while on hotel property. Don’t risk being asked to leave!

Check back with Direct Connect and follow us on our Facebook and Twitter for more pet news in honor of May’s National Pet Month!