Many of us will be hitting the road for the holidays with our dogs in tow. After all, our dogs are part of the family and many of us wouldn’t dream of leaving them behind. With the hustle and bustle of car rides, check in and unfamiliar places, HelpEmUp offers these tips for a safe and serene adventure:
- Identification tags. Before you even leave home, make sure your dog has proper identification in case you get separated. You might want to consider getting a microchip as well just to be safe.
- Choose your hotel wisely. More and more hotels are becoming pet-friendly. Always check the pet policy before you book a room. Do they allow multiple pets? Are the pets allowed to stay in the room unattended? How much extra does it cost for a pet? You may be assessed a flat pet fee, pay a higher daily rate for your room or be asked to pay a pet damage deposit. Are there certain breeds not welcome? Does the hotel require proof of vaccinations? All of these questions need to be answered. Also, read their online reviews.
- Choose the perfect room. Having a ground-floor room near an entrance/exit makes unloading and loading — as well as potty breaks — much easier. Many dogs don’t like going on elevators.
- Get your dog used to the room. Don’t check into a room and then immediately leave your dog alone. Give him some time with you to get used to the different smells. Your dog needs to know it will be “home” for a while and you will be coming back.
- Bring a taste of home. Your dog will be more comfortable if you bring his bed and some of his favorite toys. For dogs that are used to sleeping in a crate, you can also consider covering it with a blanket from home to help him stay calm. Tired dogs are less likely to make a fuss, so make sure you take him for a long walk before you leave him alone.
- Add some company. Your dog may start barking uncontrollably from separation anxiety if you leave him in a quiet room. Leave the lights on and the TV to keep them from worrying about the hallway noise. Also, close the curtains and put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door if you don’t want housekeeping there while you’re not there.
- Always be reachable. Stop by the front desk every time you leave your pet, to make sure the staff on duty has your cell phone number.
- Request a refrigerator if need be. If you feed your pet anything that can spoil, request a room with a fridge so you can keep your dog’s food close and fresh.
- Be a good guest. Find out where you can walk your pet or if they will be restricted to certain areas. Also bring along a large supply of poop bags and pick up after your pet. If your pet has an accident in the room, promptly clean the soiled area.
You don’t want to be asked to leave the hotel if your dog is bothering other visitors. You might want to ask the concierge service if they have a dog walker/sitter if you’re going to be gone a long time.
Here are a list of website to find pet-friendly hotels: