7 Products You Must Pack for a Hotel Stay with Your Dog

This week, we’ve been up near Fort Worth taking photos for our upcoming DogTipper’s Texas with Dogs book. We spent much of our time at the area’s state parks but dogs aren’t permitted in shelters and cabins in Texas state parks. Since we don’t have an RV or trailer (and, in the 100+ degree temps, we weren’t about to pitch a tent), we stayed at an area hotel.

We’re happy to say that our stay went great, and we enjoyed it as much as we believe Irie and Tiki did. Much of our success, we think, was due to some careful packing before this and other overnight excursions we take with the dogs. Along with other items we packed for the trip including food, water, and bowls, we packed some items specifically for the hotel room. We count these among our must-have items when staying in a hotel room with your dog:

  1. A bedsheet. Irie and Tiki sleep with us at home so, of course, we planned for them to sleep with us at the hotel. However, we didn’t want to leave dog hair or paw prints on the linens so we brought a bedsheet from home to put over the bed. Although the hotel bed didn’t include a comforter, if it had, we would have removed it before allowing the dogs on the bed. If your dog doesn’t sleep with you, consider what you’ll bring for your dog’s bedding. (Some hotels have loaner beds.) We love molly mutt, a dog duvet you can stuff with your dirty clothes on the road–or borrow the hotel towels–to create a bed for the night.
  2. Poop bags. Bring them. Use them. Be a good ambassador for dog travelers and make the hotel glad they are pet-friendly!
  3. Clean up products. Along with a roll of paper towels in our car, we also carry stain and urine remover products, just in case. We like the Rug Doctor Urine Eliminator Wipes and Rug Doctor Spot and Stain Wipes; the packets of pre-moistened towelettes are easy to carry and, most importantly, they work. We didn’t have a pet deposit at this hotel but did at our last hotel–where Tiki vomited and created a stain that we used the wipes to clean. We got our pet deposit back!
  4. Chews. Stress in a new location is a lot easier to handle with a favorite chew! We always purchase ones that our dogs have had before so we’re not worried about upset tummies.
  5. Toys. The comforting smell of home and the fun of a plush toy are soothing for dogs in a strange hotel room, too. We brought a Hear Doggy toy from Quaker Pet Products; we love these toys because the squeaker is ultrasonic. Not only can WE not hear it, but we don’t have to worry that the next hotel room or people in the hallway can hear it. (And we don’t have to hear it squeaking in the car!)
  6. A Lint Roller. Just as with the bedsheet, you want to do everything you can to leave the hotel room fur-free. A quick once-over with a good lint roller can remove any trace that your furry family member was in the room!
  7. A White Noise Machine. For years, we traveled with a separate white noise machine; it masks hall sounds and will help keep your dog from barking. Today we have a free white noise app on our smartphones and it works great to lull everyone to sleep and keep exterior noises out of our room.

If you’ll be leaving your dog unattended in your hotel room (permitted at some but not all hotels), you’ll also need to pack a crate. We don’t leave our dogs while we’re traveling so we don’t pack this.

A few minutes of pre-trip planning can help make your hotel stay a paws up experience for you and your dog!

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About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.

  • SGilbert

    We travel with a noise machine to….sometimes I take my fan with me too. I am going to look up the phone app. The lint roller is my best tool in the house. I always have little short dog hairs on me. Before I leave for work Schooner loves to rub himself all over me to make sure I am taking his scent with me and his dog hair. I need to get Schooner & Skipper the Hear Doggy toy from from Quaker Pet Products.

    • I just love our white noise app (it’s WhiteNoise in the iPhone app store…I got the free version)! The Hear Doggy has been so fun with the dogs; they play and play…and we don’t hear a squeak!!

  • shilohsmom

    i bring a white noise machine too. And a slicker brush. With Shiloh’s long hair, I find it easier to get his hair off hotel carpets with a slicker brush than a lint roller. For short haired dogs, a lint roller works better.

    • That’s a great tip…I’ll bet a slicker brush works great for long hair!! Paris

  • Great tips! I never thought about bringing a bed sheet to spread across the linens on the hotel bed. We’ve only traveled with our 2 dogs once and that was during a hurricane evacuation. We actually stayed one night in a last-minute rinky-dink hotel that had a fleece blanket on the bed. Didn’t think/know to bring a sheet from home or even a lint roller for that matter, so of course, the fleece blanket was a dog fur magnet! I’m sure that hotel probably just had to throw the blanket away because there was so much fur on it. The hotel we stayed at the second night was MUCH nice and had the typical white duvet covers. Not as much fur stuck to those, but it would have still been nice for us to bring a sheet or a lint roller.

    I tried to think up all the things we would even remotely need to bring, but didn’t think of the sheet or a white noise machine. There were a lot of other families with dogs who had also evacuated at both hotels we stayed at, so there was a lot of barking/children running around in the halls. Luckily, Chloe is deaf and never barks anyway (but does pee all over the place, but she didn’t during this trip, thank God!), and Riley only felt the need to let out one or two barks before I shushed her. 🙂

    • The sheet is nice because it smells like home, too…they love that! We then throw it in the back of the car where the dogs lie and it’s a nice cover for them to nap on while we’re traveling.

      This hotel had white covers, too…and since we were going out SWIMMING, I could just imagine paw prints, no matter how much I cleaned their paws! The sheet worked like a charm! Paris