If you love being with your dog and consider him an integral part of your family, then you’d probably like him with you when you go on an extended trip. A two week trip overseas wouldn’t be a good time to try to take your dog, and neither would a visit to stay with a friend or relative who is allergic to dogs. However, if you’re going to be driving somewhere and staying in a hotel or motel, it could be a great time to take your dog. You can probably assume that he will be all for the idea too.
It should go without saying (but it’ll be said anyway) that you should never assume that a hotel or motel will accept dogs. Arriving at the hotel you’ve booked for two weeks and finding out that your pooch isn’t welcome can really put a damper on what started out as a great trip. Weeks before your trip, choose some hotels and motels that you find suitable in the area that you’ll be visiting and contact each one. You might be able to save yourself some time by going to www.officialpethotels.com. This helpful website lists pet-friendly hotels in areas all over the country. Make a list of hotels and motels that allow pets, then call them and ask about their pet policies. Some will have stipulations such as only dogs under a certain size. There may be an extra charge for pets, too. What you want to do is speak with every hotel and motel on your list. Make a separate list for each of them. On each list, put any rules and restrictions they have for pets, and any extra charges. Once you can compare these lists, you can choose and book the right place for you and your beloved buddy to enjoy your trip together.
Be sure that your dog arrives at the hotel or motel well-prepared. You’ll need to bring along a comfortable crate. There may be a time when you need to leave your dog in the hotel or motel room, and you need to remember that he is going to be in unfamiliar surroundings. Leave him alone for any period of time in those unfamiliar surroundings and he may resort to some behavior that you’re not used to seeing at home. This behavior may include excessive barking, chewing, digging at the carpet, scratching at the door, or urinating or defecating in the room. It’s not pretty, and it really doesn’t go over well with the hotel or motel staff. If you need to leave your dog in the hotel or motel room alone for a period of time, it’s best to take him out to potty first then put him in a crate with his favorite blanket or pillow. You’ll be doing yourself, the hotel or motel, and your dog a favor. If he has a lot of room to freak out while you’re gone, he’s more likely to injure himself than if he’s confined to a crate. And please, be gone for as short a time as possible.
Of course you want to bring along his regular food and his favorite toys, and make sure that he still gets to watch his favorite programs on TV. Some dogs try never to miss “The Dog Whisperer”. Also, you want to bring along plenty of plastic bags, plastic gloves, and a scooper for poop-patrol. Some hotels and motels have designated areas for taking dogs to relieve themselves, but they still appreciate it if you clean up the poop and dispose of it properly. It’s the age of political correctness, after all; plus it’s just plain good manners.
It’s actually a great idea to get your dog used to traveling as early as possible and as often as possible. If your dog travels with you on a regular basis and stays with you in different kinds of places, he comes to see it as a normal thing. This cuts way down on anxiety, and makes him a more pleasant travel partner. He may even come in handy when you need someone to consult with about what to order from room service.