When you start looking for pet friendly accommodations, one thing you will quickly find is that these hotels, inns and lodges often attract a wide range of pet owners. Your normally friendly pet may find himself a bit out of his element when surrounded by strange dogs and cats, not to mention strange people. Because of this, you need to be prepared to help your pet interact well with the others who are staying at your favorite pet friendly hotel or other lodging option.
Evaluate Your Pet
First, evaluate your pet and his ability to be around other pets. If your pet doesn’t play well with others, then you probably want to look for lodging that will allow you to keep him separate. A hotel with a community off leash pet area or a cottage with a resident pet, a pet owned by the owners who is there to greet guests, is probably not a good idea. A hotel with a strict leash and kenneling policy that will allow you to keep your pet away from others can work.
Consider the Accommodations
Next, consider the accommodations. Call the hotel to see if they tend to draw a lot of pet guests, and ask if they have resident pets or off leash areas. Chain hotels often do not, but if you are choosing a locally owned establishment or a bed and breakfast, you may find that there is a pet on the property. These resident pets tend to be quite friendly, but they also tend to have a lot of freedom to travel through the property. Determine if this will work for your pet or not.
Have an Introduction
If you arrive at the hotel or inn and find that there are pets there that your pet will need to be around, ask if you can arrange a safe introduction. This would involve both pets safely on a leash and under their owners’ control, then giving them the chance to sniff one another and have a bit of a greeting. Once your pet sees that the other pet does not present a threat, chances are your stay is going to go quite smoothly.
Keep in mind, though, that not all pets welcome this introduction. If the pet’s owner declines, assume that it means that the pet is not one who does well with these introductions. Simply keep your pet by your side and move on.
Considering Other Guests
Other guests may also need to be considered as you travel with your pet. Your 90 pound german shepherd may be as gentle as can be, but he is going to look menacing to those who do not know the breed and his cuddly personality. You will make your stay much more comfortable and peaceful if you keep your pet in your control and away from guests that may seem a little hesitant around him.
Whether you and your pet are interacting with other people or other animals, watch for body language clues that something is not going well. If your pet is playing with other pets in a pet-friendly area of the property, then you notice that one of the owners is feeling anxious or brings her pet to her side on a leash, it may be time to leash yours, at least until that group has left the area. If you notice another pet showing signs of aggression, it is time to take yours away from the situation. Sure, you might have “permission” to go off-leash in certain areas of the property, but this does not mean you should use that permission to make others feel uncomfortable.
Remember, the responsibility to control and supervise your pet is ultimately yours when you are traveling to pet friendly hotels. Take this responsibility seriously, stay within the location’s guidelines, and you can have a fun, rewarding travel experience with your pet.