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Tips for a Tail-Wagging Hotel Stay

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Because a hotel is a strange new environment for your dog, it can cause him to become anxious, and even behave differently than he would at home. It is important to reassure him, make him feel comfortable there, and, of course, to be courteous to the other guests staying there. How your dog behaves will help determine whether the manager of that property continues a pet-friendly policy so consider yourself a pet ambassador!

  1. When you check in, ask if the hotel has any special amenities for dogs or whether there are any activities nearby you and your dog can enjoy together. You might be surprised to learn, for example, that a restaurant down the street has an outdoor patio where dogs are welcome.
  2. Ask about any insect or ant poisons that the property may use in the rooms or on the grounds, which could be toxic to your dog.
  3. Consider requesting a ground floor room, to make it easier for you and your dog to enter and exit.
  4. Many hotels prohibit unattended dogs in a room. And in any case, the hotel’s housekeeper will not be able to come in and clean your room if you leave your dog unattended. Inquire when your room is scheduled to be cleaned, and arrange for you and your dog to be out of the room when the maid arrives. The knock on the door may trigger a barking response in your dog that annoys other guests.
  5. When you arrive at your room, immediately set out your dog’s bowls (give him fresh water right away, as he may have become dehydrated in the car ride), set out his toys, his bed if you brought that along—anything to make this strange environment seem like home. Play with him soon after you arrive to show him this strange room is a fun place, and you are not leaving him there alone.
  6. Turn on the TV or the radio to mask the hotel sounds until your dog become acclimated. Some reassuring words from you will help him, too.
  7. Be sure to take your dog on more walks than usual, giving him every opportunity to “do his business.” The trip may have taken him out of his normal rhythm, and you want to avoid accidents in the room. Exercise will also result in a calmer dog.
  8. Pack a little emergency cleanup kit, just in case of accidents. We carry Rug Doctor Urine Eliminator and Rug Doctor Spot and Stain Remover (which we used when Tiki vomited on a hotel carpet on a recent trip!)
  9. Check out the hotel exits and if possible find a side or back stairway to take your dog out rather than having to go through the lobby each time. Keep him on a tight leash when you are on property to make sure he doesn’t disturb other guests.
  10. Always clean up after your dog on the hotel grounds, even the parking lot.
  11. If your dog sleeps on the bed with you, consider bringing a sheet from home to put over the hotel linens, so the hotel does not have to have the blanket and bedspread cleaned after you leave.
Paris Permenter
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