Dogs and travel don't always go hand-in-hand. For example, large dogs can make flying difficult, those that get car sick rule out road trips and others are just generally too anxious. But for dogs who are fine with travel, the next obstacle comes from where to stay. Fortunately, there are plenty of options within the hospitality industry, from cozy budget options to luxurious escapes (though this is more of a rare find). Here are tips for staying at dog-friendly hotels that allow pets and 11 pet-friendly hotel chains in the U.S. - so no pet parent has to leave their canine companion behind when exploring new destinations.
What To Consider When Looking For Dog-Friendly Hotels
Before diving into the specific hotel chains, there are some factors to keep in mind when looking for dog-friendly hotels. This is because each chain, as well as individual hotel, typically has different policies and considerations. These include:
Pet Policy: Check the hotel's specific pet policy to understand any restrictions or rules regarding size or weight, breed and number of pets allowed. In addition, some hotels designate specific floors or rooms for guests with pets, so make sure you book those.
Pet Fees: Be aware that some hotels may have additional fees for bringing your pet. These can include one-time fees, nightly fees, a pet-cleaning fee and beyond.
Pet-Specific Amenities: Some hotels offer more pet-friendly amenities than others, such as in-room provisions (dog beds, food and water bowls, treats) as well as outdoor benefits (designated walking areas, attached trails or even dog parks). Pro Tip: use caution before using hotel-provided pet beds or bowls to ensure your dog's hygiene and safety.
Advance Notice: Some hotels require advance notice that you will be traveling with a pet so they can make necessary arrangements and ensure a smooth check-in process.
Hotel Location: Check the hotel's location, surroundings and nearby attractions to determine whether the hotel is in an area suitable for dogs in general or your dog specifically, if he or she has particular needs or anxieties. Beyond suitability, you may want to check if the location is convenient for exploration and other pet activities, especially if you're planning to spend time in the area with your dog and not just stopping through.
Local Pet Services: Research beforehand to ensure your hotel is within acceptable distances from vet clinics and emergency animal hospitals, pet stores, and grooming services in case they're needed during your stay.
Hotel Reviews And Cleanliness: Make sure the hotel you're choosing is a good choice by reading reviews, particularly from other pet owners who have stayed at the hotel. Their experiences can provide insights into how pet-friendly the hotel truly is. Also, look into reviews about the hotels cleanliness (which can be from people who do not own pets as well) to ensure the hotel meet your hygienic standards.
It's recommended that, as a responsible pet parent and dog owner, you keep your dog on leash in public areas (especially in new and unfamiliar places), clean up after them and respect the hotel's rules.
Remember, it's best to contact the specific hotel or check their official website you intend to stay at to get the most accurate and up-to-date information about their pet policy. It's also recommended, when making a reservation, to inform the hotel in advance that you will be traveling with a pet so they can provide you with relevant details and ensure a smooth check-in process.
Tips For Staying In Hotels With Your Dog
Staying at hotels with dogs can be a rewarding experience, but it requires some planning and consideration to ensure a smooth and enjoyable stay for both you and your pup. Here are some tips for staying at hotels with dogs that can enhance your hotel stay, making it a pleasant and stress-free experience for both of you:
Prepare For Your Stay
Pack all the necessary dog supplies (such as dog food and medications, bowls, collars and leashes, harnesses, poop bags etc.) as well as things to make your dog feel at home (like dog beds, bedding and blankets, toys, etc.). The latter can be particularly helpful for anxious dogs.
Pro Tip: Consider taking a physical and/or digital copy of your dog's medical records, proof of vaccinations and identification information, just in case.
Let Check-In Know You Have a Dog So You Can Pick The Right Room
It may be obvious to the check-in receptionist if you're carrying a small dog, but many people use dog carriers or opt not to leave their dog in the car with family for check-in. In these cases, it's important to remind the receptionist that you have a dog to not only ensure you get a dog-friendly room, but also provide the opportunity to pick the room that's right for you and your dog. Some things to consider if you're able to pick your room:
- Lower floors are more convenient for potty breaks as well as dogs who dislike elevators or can't use stairs easily.
- Higher floors are more convenient for dogs who bark out the window.
- Rooms away from elevators and high traffic areas, such as isolated rooms or those at the end of the hall, are better for dogs who bark at doors and noise.
Follow The Hotel's Pet Rules And Be Respectful Of Guests
If the hotel you're staying at has specific rules and restrictions regarding pets, it's best to follow them. Some common ones may include:
- Pets not allowed to be left unattended in the room
- Rules around scheduling house keeping
- Designated areas for pets to go to the bathroom
- Pets being prohibited from hotel restaurant and bars
- Pets being prohibited from going on furniture or beds
Some more general and understood rules that should be followed as respectful and responsible dog owners include:
- Keeping your dog on leash in hotel common areas and public spaces (even if your dog has proper socialization training and is friendly - you never know if someone is afraid of dogs, allergic to dogs or has a reactive dog),
- Keeping barking to a minimum
- Cleaning up after your dog, outside and inside the room
Pro Tip: Use positive reinforcement to reward your dog's good behavior and create a positive association with hotels.
Keep Barking to a Minimum
Speaking of barking - although it's unrealistic to expect a dog to be completely quiet during your stay, it's respectful and responsible to limit when your dogs bark as much as possible, especially at night. Knowing your dog's behavior can go a long way to prevent excess barking, as can exercise, mental stimulation and chewing toys.
Pro Tip: If you know your dog barks, check the hotel reviews to see if there's any information about how noise carries or if the walls are thin.
Clean Up After Your Dog
Beyond picking up after your dog, it's also responsible to clean up after your pet in other ways. Here are some ways to respect the hotel and ensure cleanliness after your stay:
- Avoid letting your dog on the furniture that can't be stripped and cleaned, such as couches and chairs. If you must, place your own blankets or bedding first, especially if your dog sheds.
- Consider using a throw blankets for dogs who sleep in bed with their owners as well.
- Clean your dog before entering the room if they are muddy, sandy, or wet.
- Avoid bathing your dog in the room's bathroom, especially if your dog sheds.
- Make sure your dog is free of fleas before your stay.
- Try to only bring potty trained dogs to hotels (and bring pee pads or dog diapers if there's a chance of an accident).
- Groom your dog before your trip (e.g. brush them) if they shed.
- Leave an extra tip for house keeping, especially if you know or notice your dog has added to the mess.
Pro Tip: To keep your room as tidy as possible, you may want to let housekeeping in. If so, try to take your dog out when housekeeping arrives so you and your dog are out of the way.
Consider A Crate If Leaving Your Pet Alone In The Room
Most hotels do not allow pets to be left alone in the room. But for those that do, it's best to have a plan. Since you're leaving your dog in an unfamiliar environment, they may feel more anxious than normal and act out, even if they're usually fine being left alone. If you plan to leave them alone, consider the following:
- Acclimate them to the environment before leaving them alone.
- Slowly increase the amount of time they are left alone.
- Exercise them to tire them out.
- Use a crate to ensure your dog stays safe and no damage occurs.
- Pet-proof the room if not using a crate (e.g. close all doors and windows, removing hazards from reach, etc.).
- Provide chewing toys while you're gone.
- Leave the do-not-disturb sign on the door (and specific pet signs if the hotel provided one) to ensure housekeeping does not enter while you're gone.
- Put on the TV or music to provide some distractions and drown out outside noise.
- Consider getting prescribed medication from your vet for extra anxious dogs.
- Notify the front desk of your absence and the presence of your unattended dog in case of emergencies.
Pro Tip: Try to plan your trip so you don't have to leave your dog alone immediately after arriving at your hotel. Ideally, you would spend time in the room or even the entire night before doing so. And if your dog is really anxious, it's best not to leave them alone at all.
Provide Lots Of Exercise And Mental Stimulation
Exercise and mental stimulation are great tools to help your dog cope when staying at a hotel. Not only can it expel excess energy and tire dogs out, but it can combat boredom and relieve anxiety. You can walk your dog around the hotel's surroundings, find local trails, provide brain games and snuffle mats, among many other things. This will encourage your dog to relax, not bark and sleep while you're gone or through the night together.
Pro Tip: Chew toys not only provide your dog with mental stimulation and an outlet for energy, but also distract them from noises, unfamiliarity or your absence.
Try To Stick To Your Dog's Routine
Routine is so important to dogs and their wellbeing. It may be hard to stick to your regular routine while traveling or on vacation, but it's best to try to do so for your dog's sake. It will allow the to feel more at home in a new environment and more at ease with the unfamiliar. This means feeding them, taking them out, going to bed, etc. around the same you normally would.
Find Pet-Friendly Activities And Restaurants
For those times that you can’t or don't want to leave your dog unattended in the room (be it from the hotel's policy or your dog's limitations), you'll want to look for things to do around town that your dog can join in on. Some hotels can provide a list of nearby dog-friendly restaurants, but you may need to turn to the internet. Restaurants with outdoor seating tend to be dog-friendly, but it's best to double check with the facility.
Pro Tip: When weather doesn't permit for outdoor dining or activities with your dog, have a back-up plan. Look to order in (room service or otherwise) and have plenty of brain games, puzzle toys and other indoor tools to expel your dog's energy.
Fortunately, there are many dog-friendly hotel options for pet parents. Just make sure to always check with the specific hotel when making a reservation, as policies are subject to change and individual facilities within a chain may have different rules. Additionally, some hotels may have restrictions on the size or breed of the pet, so it's a good idea to inquire about any specific requirements. Here are the major pet-friendly hotel chains:
1. Best Western International, Inc.
Many Best Western hotels are dog-friendly. Best Western is a hotel chain with a global presence, and a significant number of their properties welcome guests traveling with dogs. However, it's important to note that policies can vary between individual Best Western hotels.
2. Choice Hotels International
Many hotels within Choice Hotels International are dog-friendly. Some of the well-known Choice Hotels brands include:
- Ascend Hotel Collection
- Cambria Hotels
- Comfort Inn & Suites
- Clarion Pointe
- Clarion Hotels
- Quality Inn
- Sleep Inn
- Extended stay
- Everhome Suites
- MainStay Suites
- Suburban Extended Stay Hotel
- WoodSpring Suites
- Econo Lodge
- Rodeway Inn
- Radisson Hotel Group
- Country Inn & Suites
- Park Inn by Radisson
- Radisson Blue
- Radisson RED
3. Extended Stay America
Extended Stay America is a hotel chain that specializes in accommodations designed for longer stays. Many of their properties are pet-friendly, allowing guests to bring dogs and, in some cases, other pets. Some of the Extended Stay America brands include Extended Stay America Premier Suites, Extended Stay Suites and Extended Stay America Select Suites.
4. Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.
Yes, many Hilton hotels are pet-friendly. Hilton has a program called "Hilton Pet Program," which varies across their brands and individual hotel locations. The policy typically allows guests to bring their dogs, and in some cases, other small pets, for an additional fee. Some of the well-known Hilton brands include:
- Canopy by Hilton
- Conrad Hotels & Resorts
- Curio Hotels & Resorts
- DoubleTree by Hilton
- Embassy Suites
- Hampton by Hilton
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Hilton Grand Vacations
- Hilton Hotels & Resorts
- Home2 Suites by Hilton
- Homewood Suites by Hilton
- LXR Hotels & Resorts
- Motto by Hilton
- Signia by Hilton
- Spark by Hilton
- Tapestry Collection by Hilton
- Tempo by Hilton
- Tru by Hilton
- Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
5. Hyatt Hotels
Yes, many Hyatt hotels are dog-friendly. Hyatt is known for its pet-friendly policy, particularly within certain brands like Hyatt Place. However, the specific pet policy can vary by individual hotel and location. Some of the well-known Hyatt brands include:
- Timeless Collection
- Park Hyatt – top-tier luxury brand, offering residential-style luxury
- Grand Hyatt – large luxury hotels with fine dining and expansive meeting facilities
- Hyatt Regency – Hyatt's signature brand
- Hyatt Place – mid-tier brand offering large rooms
- Hyatt House – extended-stay properties
- Hyatt – Hyatt's brand of modern hotels
- UrCove by Hyatt – Hyatt's new brand targeted to Chinese travelers, co-developed with Home Inn.
- Hyatt Residence Club – timeshare and vacation rental resorts
- Boundless Collection
- Miraval – luxury wellness resorts
- Alila Hotels and Resorts – luxury boutique hotels built around sustainable practices
- Andaz – art-and-design-focused luxury lifestyle hotels
- Thompson Hotels – luxury boutique hotels
- Dream Hotels - market-making design and experiential hospitality
- Hyatt Centric – upscale lifestyle properties
- Caption by Hyatt – select-service lifestyle brand with smaller rooms and lively public spaces
- Independent Collection
- The Unbound Collection by Hyatt – a collection of independent, upper-upscale and luxury hotels
- Destination by Hyatt – formerly Destination Hotels, luxury independent properties
- JdV by Hyatt – formerly Joie de Vivre Hotels, a collection of independent properties designed around their immediate neighborhoods
- Inclusive Collection
- Impression by secrets - all-inclusive adults-only resorts
- Hyatt Ziva – all-inclusive family resorts
- Hyatt Zilara – all-inclusive adults-only resorts
- Zoetry Wellness and Spa Resorts
- Secrets Resorts and Spas - All-inclusive adult only beachfront resorts targeted at couples looking for romantic getaways
- Breathless Resorts and Spas - Adult only all-inclusive beachfront resorts
- Dreams Resorts and Spas - Beachfront all-inclusive resorts targeted at couples and families
- Hyatt Vivid Hotels and Resorts - Adult only all-inclusive beachfront resorts
- Alua Hotels and Resorts - European seaside resorts and hotels
- Sunscape Resorts and Spas - Beachfront Resorts targeted at families
6. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)
Yes, many hotels within the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) are pet-friendly. IHG owns a variety of hotel brands, and the pet policy may vary by brand and individual hotel. Some of the well-known IHG brands include:
- Crowne Plaza
- Holiday Inn
- Kimpton Hotels
- Staybridge Suites
Pro Tip: Kimpton Hotels, in particular, are known for being very pet-friendly and they often don't charge a pet fee. They also tend to go above and beyond to welcome pets, offering amenities such as pet beds, bowls, treats, and even pet-friendly social events.
7. Loews Hotels
Loews Hotels are well-known for being pet-friendly. In fact, Loews Hotels offer a "Loews Loves Pets" program and typically provides amenities like pet beds, bowls, and treats. Some locations even have special pet services, such as gourmet room service menus for pets.
8. Marriott International
Many Marriott hotels are pet-friendly, including those within the "Marriott Bonvoy" program. The specific pet policy, including fees and restrictions, can vary by individual hotel and brand within the Marriott portfolio. Some of the well-known Marriott brands include:
- Classic Luxury
- The Ritz-Carlton
- St. Regis
- JW Marriott
- Distinctive Luxury
- Ritz-Carlton Reserve
- The Luxury Collection
- W Hotels
- Classic Premium
- Marriott Hotels
- Marriott Vacation Club
- Delta Hotels
- Distinctive Premium
- Le Méridien
- Renaissance Hotels
- Gaylord Hotels
- Classic Select
- Courtyard Hotels
- Four Points
- SpringHill Suites
- Protea Hotels
- Fairfield Inn & Suites
- City Express
- Distinctive Select
- AC Hotels
- Aloft Hotels
- Moxy Hotels
- Classic Longer Stays
- Marriott Executive Apartments
- Residence Inn®
- TownePlace Suites
- Distinctive Longer Stays
- Homes & Villas by Marriott International
- Autograph Collection Hotels
- Design Hotels
- Tribute Portfolio
9. Motel 6
Many Motel 6 locations across the United States and Canada welcome guests traveling with dogs and, in some cases, other pets. They generally do not charge additional fees for pets, though their pet policy may vary by location, so it's always a good idea to confirm.
10. Red Roof Inn
Red Roof Inn is known for being pet-friendly and they do not typically charge extra fees for pets. They even have a loyalty program for pets called the "Red Roof RediCard."
11. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Many Wyndham Hotels & Resorts are pet-friendly, but the pet policy can vary by brand and individual hotel within the Wyndham portfolio. Some of the well-known Wyndham brands include:
- Days Inn
- La Quinta
- Super 8
Pro Tip: La Quinta is particularly known for being pet-friendly and they usually allow pets to stay for free, as well as offering amenities like pet-friendly walking areas.
What Hotels Are Not Dog-Friendly?
Although there are many dog-friendly hotels, not every hotel will allow pets. While there isn't a specific list of hotels that are universally not dog-friendly, as policies tend to vary widely, certain ones are likely not to allow pets. These include upscale, boutique and even some budget-focused hotels, as well as those in specific locations that are not suited to dogs (such as wildlife preserves or specific resort areas).
Pro Tip: If you can't find a dog-friendly hotel for your trip, you can always check out AirBnB, VRBO or other private home vacation rentals as well as local hotels that are not part of larger chains.