How To Stay In A Hotel With Your Dog: Your Guide

We get it. There is nothing better in the world than traveling with your dog by your side. Sadly, some hotels don’t have the same mindset. Finding the right place for you and your pet to stay is one of the most essential parts of any vacation. You may be wondering just how to stay in a hotel with your dog successfully.

How To Stay In A Hotel With Your Dog. Boston Terrier Society.
Traveling with Bella our Boston Terrier.

How Do You Travel With A Dog In A Hotel?

Traveling with a dog doesn’t have to be a hassle. Especially if your buddy has a bit of training already under his belt, a dog that has been potty broken can be little to no trouble to travel with. Even if your pet is just crate broken, traveling is still possible. There are some things you will want to consider when getting ready to travel with your pet. This is especially true if it’s your pets first vacation with you.

To start with, you will need to pack a doggy bag, look into dog-friendly hotels, and plan out your day. The more prepared you are to accommodate your pooch, the smoother the vacation will go. There are several hotels out there that don’t charge you a fee or better yet they may have specialty pet services. Some hotels even give you doggy care packages when you check in. Hotels will also need to be asked about proper potty spots for your dog. Many city hotels may not have a safe place for your pet to relieve themselves, which quickly becomes a significant problem.

Make sure always to have a back-up hotel chosen just in case something falls through. The last thing you want is to spend the night cramped in your car with your dog. Some hotels can veto a dogs stay based on the manager’s discretion. While these cases are extremely rare, it never hurts to prepare for a setback.

Can I Leave My Dog Unattended In A Hotel Room?

This question depends on a few factors, the most important being the hotel’s policy on dogs. Some pet-friendly hotels have strict policies on leaving your dog alone. This will especially be true if you try to leave your dog free roaming in the room. Hotel maids aren’t going to risk cleaning a room where a dog is roaming free. This can be dangerous for both the staff and your dog, who may become anxious or feel frightened by the sight of a strange visitor. There’s always the chance of a free roam dog escaping if the staff isn’t careful enough when checking on the room.

Secondly, a dog always has the chance of damaging the room if loose. The hotel is an unfamiliar area where anxiety can easily set in after your dog sees you leaving. Anxious chewing and accidents are a common reaction for even the most well-trained dogs when they feel nervous. If you’re going to leave your dog alone, my best advice is to crate them for their protection.

You may also want to hold off on maid service altogether or set-up a time that they can come in when you walk your dog. This can lead to a lot less hassle on both of your parts. Make sure to let the hotel know that your dog is staying in your room when you leave as the staff can often change between your stay.

Leaving Your Dog Alone, Have A Create Ready

The best way to leave your dog alone is by crating them, as mentioned above. The crate allows for a barrier to be placed between your dog and the hotel room. The crate also acts as a den and will allow your pet to feel more at ease when you leave. Make sure only to leave your dog crated for 8 hours at the most. After this point, your dog will have trouble keeping bladder control.

Be sure to place some familiar toys or a blanket in the crate. This will give your dog a familiar smell and help them relax more. Make sure to skip room service during the times your not there. You will also want to keep the crate somewhere away from the hotel door, but still easy to get to in the room. Some hotels will give you a door hanger that can easily inform staff that theirs a pet present.

Be Sure To Practice Leaving The Hotel

If you are allowed to leave your dog free roaming in the room, then warm them up to it. Leave for a bit to get a drink and then come back. Work on leaving and then returning the first day you’re their so they will realize they aren’t being abandoned in a strange place. If you are staying in a hotel with pet accommodations, you may be able to arrange for a pet check in with staff if your dog is a people person.

Do Most Hotels Allow Dogs?

The sad answer to this question is no, but there are quite a few good reasons for hotels not allowing dogs. Hotels put a lot of stock into their relaxing image and an untrained dog barking all night is going to upset guests. Many hotels, instead of setting strict guidelines, have decided to avoid any pet-related issues altogether. While this can be easily waved for service animals, still, you may have some trouble finding pet-friendly hotels in smaller towns.

Double Check

Be sure to double check with a hotel before booking a reservation. Situations have happened where the current information about the hotel’s pet status was not updated online. You will also want to ask if leaving your pet in the hotel room is allowed and if so, what are the stipulations to leaving them alone. Many hotels will only allow certain breeds of dogs or dogs that are below a specific weight limit.

Hotels Can Kick You Out

Even if a hotel does allow pets, complaints can quickly get you displaced. Dogs that tend to bark a lot may have trouble staying in the most pet-friendly hotels. Likewise, dogs who are aggressive towards other dogs may run into some issues even if they are kept well under control. Puppies can be another huge issue as many young dogs don’t completely master potty training until they gain full control of their bladder.


For the hotels that do allow pets expect to have to sign a contract agreeing to cover any possible damages to the hotel room. You will also need to brush up on the entire hotel policy before checking in. Many pet-friendly hotels can give you recommendations on how to make you and your pets stay worry-free.

What’s The Average Cost Of A Pet Fee?

You may be wondering how expensive it’s going to be to bring a furry plus one with you. The price of your pets stay will vary from chain to chain. In most, cases your pet will be charged a nightly rate just like you. Other cases the hotel may charge a refundable pet deposit you must pay before checking in. In some rare cases, a hotel may want an additional pet sanitation fee. This fee tends to pop-up in hotels that don’t have designated rooms for pets.

You should expect to spend between $100 USD to $250 USD per pet when vacationing. This fee will be more expensive, the more stars the hotel has. These hotels generally have more to lose when letting a pet stay with them than a cheaper motel would. You will find higher fees in Marriotts and lower prices at Best Westerns.

There are hotel chains out there that adore pets just as much as we do. Pets can stay for free at these following hotels. You will still want to check with the front desk before booking to check on any possible restrictions that might be in place.

Hotels Where Pets Stay Free:

Aloft Hotels

Aloft has select pet-friendly locations with no pet fee for dogs. These locations generally only allow dogs up to 40 pounds. The hotel does give you a doggy bag upon check-in that contains several amenities like a dog bed.

Kimpton Hotels

Kimpton takes your pet’s vacation a step further by providing amenities for your pooch. The hotel allows any pet to stay for free as long as they are friendly. This chain even offers pet sitting at some hotels so that you can venture out worry-free. Kimpton is one of the few hotels that specialize in pet comfort.

La Quinta Inn & Suites

This hotel chain allows pets to stay entirely for free. Many La Quintas are found in locations near popular attractions, making them an easy pick. Even better, this hotel allows up to two pets in the room at a time with no weight limit. You can also leave your pets in the room alone with this chain.

Motel 6

Motel 6 is a lower end hotel that offers low prices for travelers and a free stay for up to two pets. The pets combined weight cannot exceed 150 pounds and must be controlled when outside the room. Motel 6 doesn’t allow pets to stay alone, and they can be removed at the discretion of the manager.

Red Roof Inn

This hotel chain allows for one trained pet to stay with their family for free. They have a weight limit of 80 pounds, and the company even states that additional pets may be permitted for free at the manager’s approval. Red Roof does not allow pets to be left unattended.

How To Stop My Dog From Barking In The Hotel Room 

If you find yourself with a barking dog in your hotel room, don’t panic. Barking always has a cause, whether it’s the noise from the room next door or an open window. If you have noisy neighbors, request a room change. Most hotels will accommodate this when possible, especially in the case of a pet whos been upset. If your dog seems to be barking at the window, then close the curtains. It may also be useful to play some light background music to help block out the extra noise.

If your dog seems like he’s anxious try using calming treats. These treats use natural ingredients to help your dog relax and are sold at almost every pet store. You can also try darkening the room, so your dog thinks it’s time to settle in. If worse comes to worst, there are 

Dog whistles and anti-bark collars you can bring along on the journey. The callers can vibrate or make a high pitch sound whenever they detect your dog is barking.

Items To Bring When My Dog Is Staying In The Hotel With Me

  • Water/ Food Bowl
  • Crate
  • Blanket with their scent
  • Calming Treats
  • Baggies to clean up after your dog
  • Carpet cleaner (in case there is an accident)

If you have your hotel booked, you may just be wondering what to pack for the trip. Of course, you have the apparent list of items like food, leash, and toys ready to go. There are quite a few other items that can help make your vacation a success. If you plan on going out without your dog, then you will need to bring their crate. While crates can take up a bit of room in your car, most hotels won’t let you leave your dog unattended unless you bring one with you. Even if you don’t plan on going out, it’s always good to have a back-up plan.

Next, look into buying some calming treats for your dog. Dogs can get anxious in new environments, and calming treats are an excellent way to help them settle in. You may also want to bring a favorite blanket that’s already covered in their scent. 

For messes bring some pet safe shampoo and wipes with you. Rainy nights can quickly turn into a nightmare if you end up with a messy dog far away from home. 

Finally, be sure to bring your pets water and food bowls. You should never expect a hotel to provide a safe dish for your pet to drink from.  Be sure to make a list of close vets just in case something pops up while you’re in another town. 

Final thoughts…

Be sure to plan ahead for this great trip. Being prepared allows you to have the most amount of fun when you and your pooch hit the open road. Be Safe. Have Fun!

Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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