Summertime is approaching. It is time to plan for a family vacation. Unless your pet is a poor traveler, or your hotel will not permit it, there is no reason to leave the family pet at home or in a kennel while you are away. Traveling with your pet is like being invited to a private home. If you want to be invited back, then you need to be a considerate guest.

Occasionally, pet friendly hotels will change their pet policy. In almost every case, it is because they had a bad experience with an inconsiderate pet owner, and now all pet travelers will have to suffer for the sins of one.

MAKING A RESERVATION WITH A PET FRIENDLY HOTEL

Confirm with the hotel in advance the size and type of pet that will be accompanying the owner. A hotel may state that they are pet friendly, but if a traveling pet owner shows up with a 100 pound dog they may find that the hotel limits their guests to small pets. Also, a certificate of good health and vaccination record may be required by the hotel in order to certify that your pet does not have ticks or fleas or any diseases communicable to humans.

If a cat is traveling with a pet owner, contacting the pet friendly hotel is crucial. Many hotels do not accept cats due to the allergies caused in many people by the dander. Additionally, the risk from damage from cat claws is a concern to many pet friendly hotel owners.

BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

Whether traveling by car or plane with a pet, have them bathed and groomed prior to traveling. A clean pet is more comfortable when confined which will likely happen when traveling.

CHECKING IN

Remind the desk clerk that you will have a pet in your room, and they need to notify the housekeepers. A “Pet in the Room” door hangar can also accomplish this purpose.

INTRODUCTIONSAfter entering the room, allow the pet to get accustomed to its surroundings. Show it where the water and food will be located. If your pet is allowed on beds and furniture at home, be sure and cover the furniture with a sheet or blanket for protection.

LEAVING YOUR PET ALONE IN THE ROOMDo not leave a pet alone in the room unless the errand is only a minute or two. Many pet friendly hotels will not permit leaving a pet alone in a room, even when crated. Put up the Do Not Disturb sign on the door when leaving.

If your dog is not accustomed to traveling, it is best not to leave them for any amount of time. A barking dog can be a major disturbance for other guests. If absence is necessary, ask at the desk if there is a trusted person they could recommend.

GOING FOR A WALK

The front desk should be able to advise a good place to walk your pet. Take along not one, but two litter bags, and use them. Keep your pet on a leash at all times. Their behavior in unfamiliar surroundings can be unpredictable.

SADLY, NOT EVERYONE LOVES PETSWhen on the street, or in the common areas of the hotel, make sure a pet is securely leashed, and be aware that not everyone loves animals. Pets should be kept close to their owners and not allowed to approach others unless both the dog and the other person (or animal) is comfortable with the meeting.

CLEAN UP

Always return the room to the order in which you found it. Be considerate of the next guest and the management of the hotel.