By: | | Dogs, Cats

If you can’t imagine leaving your best friend at home when you travel, many hotels are happy to accommodate your pets. Use these tips to help you plan a safe, enjoyable vacation when you stay at a pet friendly hotel:

1. Keep your pet safe from getting lost.

A stressed cat or dog can slip out of the hotel room, and may run off, perhaps trying to find their way back home. Hang the “do not disturb” sign on the doorknob to keep housekeeping staff from opening the door while your pet is loose in the room. Make sure their ID tags and microchips are up to date before your trip.

2. Use a travel litter box.

You can use a disposable or foldable, portable litter box for easier packing. Make sure to test the travel litter box before your trip to make sure your cat will actually use it.

3. Prepackage your pet’s meals.

It might make sense to pack your pet’s meals in containers or ziplock bags. That way, you won’t have to haul a big bag of pet food with you. Avoid making sudden dietary changes while you and your pet are on vacation, and resist the urge to overindulge your pet with bites of rich, room service meals.

4. Bring a long line for easier potty breaks.

Staying at a hotel means you won’t have access to a backyard. You’ll have to walk your dog so they can do their business. If your dog is not used to pooping or peeing on a leash, they may just need privacy in the form of a longer leash or a few leashes clipped together. Only use a long line or long leash in a safe, wide open space.

5. Regularly encourage your pet to drink water.

Some pets will not know where to find their water bowl in the hotel room. Your pet could be too anxious or excited to take a drink on their own. Call your pet over to their water bowl a few times each day to make sure they remember to stay hydrated, especially during summer trips.

6. Be prepared for accidents.

Even potty-trained dogs may have accidents in a hotel room or hallway. The unfamiliar scents and change in routine can cause your dog to forget their manners.

Bring potty pads if your dog knows how to use them. You can also put carpet cleaner in a travel-size squirt bottle to pack in your luggage.

7. Don’t leave your pet unattended in the room.

Pet-friendly hotel rooms do not allow guests to leave pets unattended. Even if your pet is very laid back and quiet at home, they may become loud and destructive if you leave them alone in an unfamiliar environment. If someone complains about your pet, you’ll get a call from the hotel, and you may be subject to a fine, or may even have to leave the hotel and find somewhere else to stay. That could really ruin your trip.

Some hotels offer pet sitting services, or you might find a pet daycare or boarding facility nearby. You can also ask the concierge about restaurants with pet-friendly outdoor dining options.

8. Consider alternative options.

Instead of a hotel, your pet might be more comfortable at an AirBNB, vacation rental or a friend’s house. You’ll be able to avoid pet fees and policies, and you may also be able to find accommodations with access to a backyard for your dog.

For less stress, leave your pets at home.

Though traveling may be fun for you, and a blast for well-trained, laid-back animals, it might not be the best choice for young animals, senior pets, and those with special needs.

Your pet might be happiest if they can stay in their own home, with visits throughout the day from a professional Ready Pet Go pet sitter. If you live in Silver Spring, Takoma Park, or DC, contact us to set up a Meet & Greet. We’d love to give you peace of mind while you travel!