Your dog is as much a part of the family as your kids, aren't they? So of course they come on vacation with you. According to the American Pet Products Association, 37% of dog owners have taken their dog on an overnight trip of two nights or more which is double the number a decade ago.
Having a restful and successful stay in a hotel room takes a little practice for some dogs. There are several things you can do to make the experience comfortable for you and your pup.
1. Find a dog-friendly hotel.The worst thing would be to arrive after a long car ride and realize the hotel you booked isn’t pet friendly. While more and more hotels are pet friendly, they vary in their degree. Some may charge an extra fee for your pet while others will welcome your dog with a welcome basket and his own travel dog bed. We recommend you call the hotel to book to be sure they are pet friendly and you get a dog-friendly room. Ask about any pet fees and be sure to ask for a ground floor room - this is helpful with those late night potty breaks!
2. Take a long walk with your dog once arriving to the hotel. A recently exercised dog is more likely to be relaxed and adaptive of his new surroundings - especially after a long car ride. It is important to let your dog roam around (on a leash) and take in all the scents as they please. It is also important to let him or her go up and sniff the different people you come in contact with because this lets him know that new people are alright and he will feel safer being somewhere new. While out and about, scope out the spots where your pup is allowed to do his business.
3. Enter the room slowly. When entering the hotel room with your dog, enter first and tell your dog to sit outside the door of the room. It is important to keep your dog sitting outside the door until you walk around the room for a small period of time. It is important to make sure your scent is all over the room in order to make the dog feel comfortable and recognize smells he is familiar with. Then let him/her in to walk around the room and get their bearings.
4. Bring familiar comforts of home. Bring your dog's favorite blanket and chew toy. so that they can have a piece of home with them in the hotel room. And don’t forget their dog travel bag with treats and food. Put out a dog travel bowl with water as nervous dogs pant a lot and he might be more dehydrated than normal.
5. Minimize your pup's alone time. Although you may leave your dog alone while at home, many hotels actually do not allow you to leave your dog unattended in your room. It's also a strange place and you brought him along to spend time with you after all. If you do have to leave your dog in the room while you go to dinner, you might consider crating him. This will keep him out of trouble and it actually can often make your dog feel safer as if he's in his den. Turning on the TV or music could keep him company while you are out.
Going on a road trip with your dog and staying in a hotel room together can turn out to be a great experience for the both of you. Just remember these helpful tips when booking a room, and let the memories begin!