It’s time for the holidays and for many of us, that means travel. This year, I’ve decided to leave my dogs home with their favorite dog sitter. I’ll only be gone a few days and they can stay at home and in their own bed. But what if you have to travel and want to take your dogs with you? 

Most people are finding Airbnb to be an easy option. You can fine tune your search for just pet friendly homes. And you can communicate directly with the host to ask questions about things like dog parks and trails. 

But if a hotel is more your style, more and more chains are offering pet friendly rooms. Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hyatt Regency, La Quinta, Red Roof Inns, Fairfield Inns, Motel 6, and all Westin Inns—are pet-friendly. Most will charge you a fee so call the hotel directly to arrange your stay and verify the additional cost. 

There are a couple of websites that make finding pet friendly hotel easy including or Once you find a hotel, do not book online. Call the hotel directly. They may have rules on the number of pets, size and what their fee is. Always write it down and get the person’s name you spoke to. We have found rules vary, depending on who is on the phone. 

And before you stay in a hotel with your dog, make sure they will not be disruptive. The first time I stayed in a hotel with my dog Baxter, he would not go to sleep. He wanted to look under the door and barked at people when they walked down the hall. I had to put a blanket in front of the door so no light came under and held him until he went to sleep. No one wants to get asked to leave in the middle of the night because your dog will not stop barking. 

Your basic check list before staying in a hotel or Airbnb: 

  • Is your dog house trained? If not, rethink your plans.
  • Do not allow them to bark. Bring toys to distract them and calming treats if they are anxious.
  • Do not leave them alone in the room. This is the quickest way to find yourself being asked to leave from excessive barking.
  • Carry a poop bag with you at all times and watch them so they do not try and mark their territory while walking the halls.
  • Not everyone loves dogs, so keep them leashed and away from other guests. Especially in elevators.
  • Bring a urine cleaner with you. When dogs are in a new environment, you just never know what will happen.
  • If your dog destroys something in the room, tell the front desk. Don’t be one of those people.
  • Bring a sheet with you so your dog is not laying directly on the bed or furniture.
  • Don’t forget the crate!
  • Bring their water and food bowl along with their bed and favorite toys.

Most of all, just be courteous and we should all have a happy, dog filled holiday! 

Article Written by Diane Hansell, Re-Published with permission by Pet Pantry in Harbor Springs