What you need to know before booking into a pet-friendly hotel

When you take your pet on holiday with you, it pays to be organised. Here are some questions that every pet owner should ask, thanks to Pets Can Stay…

When Booking a Pet Friendly Hotel Always Ask These Questions First!
Planning a trip is exciting but even more so when you know you can take the whole family …..and that includes the dog or cat! Once you have made the decision that your pet is comfortable with travelling and has the temperament for being in unfamiliar surroundings, there are certain things you need to be aware of when booking a pet friendly hotel. Choosing the correct type of accommodation where your family and your pet can peacefully co-exist takes a bit of research.
There are a few tips to include and critical questions to ask when booking hotels.
What is the Cost And What Does It Include?
Many pet friendly hotels charge a pet fee for pets to stay with you. (Some do not, but the majority does.)  This generally reflects a simple minimal cleaning fee, but these fees can vary. Some can be high so always be sure to inquire when planning.You may also be asked to sign a pet waiver form, allowing the hotel to charge your credit card should any major or extraordinary damage occur to the room as a result your pet.Try and find a hotel that works within your budget which charges no, low or reasonable fees.
Do You Restrict the Types of Pets Allowed in the Room?
A pet friendly hotel is not necessarily friendly to all types of animals. Many hotels that advertise themselves as a “Pets Can Stay hotel” or a “pet friendly” hotel implies certain types of pets. If your pet is a type that generally does not travel and is outside the norm (like a pet porcupine for example), you need to ask the hotel if they accept that type of pet. In a city like Vancouver where there are many film projects going on all year long porcupines, ferrets, or baby crocodiles may not be looked at twice and are fine in certain hotels. In a different city however these types of pets would not be accepted at any hotel….so always ask before finalizing your booking.
The size or breed of your dog may also be restricted so ask what sizes and types are allowed. In Ontario a pit bull may not be welcome, but in other provinces they could be perfectly fine and acceptable as a pet guest. Knowing this information ahead of time will save you many headaches. Pets Can Stay provides this info in their directory to make it easier but it is always good to double check in case policies change.
You should also ask what the maximum number of pets can stay in the room with you. The limit is generally two but again, always check.
Is There a Resident Pet (or Pets) Permanently Residing on the Property?
Bed & breakfast style properties or ranch type resorts may have “resident pets” that live on the property and mix with the guests. If so, you should consider how this will affect your pet and how sociable he/she is. This is not so much of a consideration in hotels but always ask just so there are no surprises and so that you can be watching for any potential situations.
If you are on a ranch and there are horses etc. your dog may be prone to chasing them or nipping at their heels. All situations can be easily monitored and controlled as long as you are aware they are part of the property. If you have any concerns you may want to book elsewhere to insure a stress free vacation.

What Kind of Pet Friendly Room Is Available?
Pet friendly hotels often choose their rooms specifically and strategically. This assists in controlling their cleaning costs & plans, consideration for guests with allergies, cleaning plans. They are also generally in an area that is close to exits, stairwells or ground floors so that guest can take their furry little traveler outside when the need arises. If you wish to have certain amenities in your room such as a Jacuzzi, kitchen etc. or wish a different area outside of what has been arranged for pet guests, always ask.
Do You Offer Special Services for Pets?
Many hotels that cater to this market have studied it well and try to provide as many amenities as they can so you will not have to pack these things yourself and bring them with you.
Each hotel varies but some offer special perks for their little pet guests like pet beds, food, treats, water bowls, waste bags, green areas etc. There are others who will provide recommendations for area vets, groomers, valets, hydrotherapy etc. Always ask as many cities have some very unique offerings.
What Rules Regulate Pets at Your Hotel?
Know the rules of where you can go with your pet on the property and where pets are off limits. Kenneling and leashing rules may not apply anywhere on the property in one hotel yet they may exist in another. Make sure you know the rules before you go and that you can live within them. If you cannot be comfortable with the hotel rules (if there are any) it would be best to check the pet policies of a different hotel rather than be stressed while on holiday.Are There Areas We Can Go Off-Leash?
Off leash grassy areas or pet exercise areas within a close distance to the hotel are a plus so always check before you go. Rover can run off some energy and the whole family can get some exercise. It is an added bonus if the area is a beach area! If there are no off leash green areas check for nearby dog parks as an alternative.When planning a trip always ask these basic questions. Comparing the answers of several hotels will help you narrow down the best choice and find the one that is the perfect vacation spot for you and your family!

Pets Can Stay
Pets Can Stay is an internationally recognized certifying body for pet friendly travel and pet friendly hotels throughout the world. Incorporated in 2003 with a mandate of providing a quality pet friendly travel experience for both the pet and pet owner, Pets Can Stay Inc. also certifies, guides and supports pet friendly hotels. By assisting with pet guest programs, raising awareness of services and resources available and liaising with both the pet traveller and hotels, Pets Can Stay strengthens ties between the pet and hospitality industry disciplines to benefit the hotels and the pet friendly traveller.

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