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:
- 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.
- Poop bags. Bring them. Use them. Be a good ambassador for dog travelers and make the hotel glad they are pet-friendly!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!)
- 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!
- 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!