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PetsAnimals and Natural DisastersIn a disaster, both domestic and wild animals may have been forced from their natural habitats, leaving them disoriented and possibly aggressive. Be smart and be safe, and follow these tips.Choosing and Using a Pet Crate for TravelCrates and carriers are necessities for pet travel and are required when for pets traveling by air. Keep your pet safe and sound by following these tips for purchasing and using a pet crate.Create a Pet Emergency KitBe ready for an emergency by assembling your pet's must-haves now.Create a Pet Travel KitBe ready to hit the road with your pet by assembling these pet travel items.Farm Animals and Natural DisastersFarm animals often suffer injury during a disaster but are just as likely to receive fresh injury after the storm, if not handled properly. Here are some of the things that can be done in the immediate aftermath of the storm or flood.If You Find a Lost PetIf you've found a lost pet, here's what to do.Managing Your Pet's Separation AnxietyDogs and cats are creatures of habit; they love schedules, routines and their owners. When routines change — school starts, you're away on vacation — your pet may have a tough time handling the situation.Adopting a PetThere are many different types of pets for many different people. Below is a "starter" list to help you select a pet for you and your family.Choosing a Kennel or Pet Daycare FacilityWhether it's for a social hour at doggy daycare or an extended kennel stay while you're away, you want to know your Fluffy or Fido is safe and happy when boarded.Choosing a Pet GroomerGrooming services can include a hair cut, trimming or shaving, combing, brushing, bathing, clipping nails, ear cleaning and teeth cleaning.Protect Your PetSafety first when it comes to your pets. They need you to look out for them!Choosing a Pet TrainerWhether it's puppy kindergarten or show dog or cat training, a great trainer can make a world of difference. But not every trainer can be a "dog whisperer" either!Choosing a VetThe best time to choose a vet is before you actually need one. Even better, meet with a vet before getting a new pet – they can recommend certain animals or even breeds that might best match your lifestyle.Traveling by Air with PetsMore than 2 million pets and animals are transported by air each year in the United States, according to the Department of Transportation. Make it a happy trip for your pet by following these tips.Finding Pet-Friendly HotelsChoosing a hotel can be a challenging task, but it can be even more difficult if you're bringing your pet along.Help My Pet's MissingIf your pet disappears, here's what to do.Traveling by Car with PetsRoad trip! It's great to bring the whole family on a trip, even your pets. To make your next road trip a breeze, read through these top tips from pet experts, vets and pet owners. Happy Trails!Pets and Disaster PreparednessBecause they are a part of the family, too, follow these tips to prepare your pets for a disaster and know what to do should a pet go missing.
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Finding Pet-Friendly Hotels

Choosing a hotel can be a challenging task, but it can be even more difficult if you're bringing your pet along.

To make hotel-hunting and your next hotel stay a little easier, we talked to pet experts, vets and pet owners on how to find the perfect pet-friendly accommodation:

NOTE: Most of these tips pertain to dogs. Many vets we spoke with stressed that cats tend to be homebodies and prefer to stay at home. Instead, arrange for a pet sitter or a friend to stop by to care for your cat. If you do choose to take your cat on trips, keep it in a crate for the duration of the trip.

WHN Expert Tip:
"Research the dog-related laws in your destination area. For instance, you may need to keep your dog on a leash at all times and also pick up after them in some cities and towns. Some cities also ban certain breeds (pit bulls, Dobermans, German Shepherds, etc.) Call the city administration or animal control offices to learn about the laws in your destination town(s)." Lisa Peterson, AKC Director of Club Communications and owner, breeder, and handler of Norwegian Elkhounds

Before You Go

Book the Hotel Room

First, find a pet-friendly hotel or hotel chain. Visit our Pet Links - Travel Resources [WHN page link TK] section for a pet resource list.

When you make your reservation, ask the following questions:

  • Do you take pets?
  • Is there a weight limit? (Many hotels have a weight limit and a number limit on how many are allowed in one room.)
  • Do you have any breed restrictions?
  • Are there any supervision requirements (e.g. you must be in the room with your pet at all times)? What other rules do I need to be aware of?
  • Will it be refunded at the end of your stay?
  • Are there any restrictions?
  • What, if anything, might cancel the refund?
  • Is there a quiet dog-walk area outside the hotel? Is it lit at night?
  • Do you have first-floor accommodations available? (It makes it easier when you need to take the dog out at 3 AM!!)
  • Is there a canine concierge? What services do you have available for pets?
  • Is there any construction or other conditions that might make it difficult for my pet?

WHN Expert Tip: Reconfirm!
"
If you're booking online or calling a 1-800 number, be sure to call the local hotel at your destination and reconfirm that they do take pets." Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, ASPCA Executive Vice President of National Programs and Science Advisor and owner of a dog, two cats and some fish

WHN Reader Tip: Think Outside the Box
"
We skirted hotel policies about pets when we traveled to the Atlantic City area: we located someone renting out their home for the length of our vacation and were able to bring our dog to stay in a home like ours." Barry L., Hanover, MD

Head to the Vet

Make sure your pet's vaccinations are up to date.

Ask about current medical conditions and if they could pose a problem while traveling.

Ask about feeding instructions and other things you can do to prepare your pet.

WHN Expert Tip: Dangers Ahead
"
Anticipate dangers you may encounter along the way. Each area of the country has endemic diseases, plants and animals that might affect your pet. In Arizona, owners should look out for scorpions and rattlesnakes. The Pacific Northwest has salmon poisoning: this infectious disease can kill dogs without aggressive treatment. Animals traveling to the East Coast should be vaccinated against Lyme disease. The fleas are ferocious in Florida. Prevention is a must so ask your vet about these diseases and travel concerns." Dr. Kristen L. Nelson of Veterinary Creative in Scottsdale, AZ

Make sure your pet's ID tags are up to date with your current contact details and vaccination information, if necessary. (Does it have a microchip? If so, update it as well.)

WHN Expert Tip: Make a Cell Phone Tag
"
Have a little tag made that has your cell phone number on it (many pet stores have machines that do this) [to attach to] your dog's collar when you're traveling. If your dog gets away from you while you're traveling, they'll call you at home but you won't be there!" Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, ASPCA Executive Vice President of National Programs and Science Advisor and owner of a dog, two cats and some fish

WHN Expert TIP: Ask for Referrals
"Ask your vet about referrals for other veterinarians in your destination area. Write down their contact details, just in case. If your vet doesn't have any names, do a little research of your own. Contact the destination vet and ask if your pet will need any additional vaccinations or medications, just to be safe." Lisa Peterson, AKC Director of Club Communications and owner, breeder and handler of Norwegian Elkhounds

Pack for Your Pet

You will need a crate or carrier for your pet to stay in while you're in the hotel. Read our article Choosing and Using a Pet Crate for Travel for tips on what to look for when selecting one for your pet.

You will also need a leash and collar for your pet.

WHN Expert TIP: Label It!
Label your crate with your name, address and cell phone number just in case. When you're traveling, add an extra label with your destination information.

Visit our Create a Pet Travel Kit for a complete list of items you may wish to take with you on your trip such as:

  • Bottled water or water from your tap at home
  • Leash and collar
  • Medications and pet first aid kit
  • Pet's food and water and food bowls
  • Pooper-scooper, paper towels, cleaners, extra bedding and plastic bags

WHN Expert Tip: BYO H2O
"
A change in the water might cause diarrhea and intestinal distress for the pet. If you're going to a different area, use bottled water. Also, your vet may be able to prescribe an anti-diarrheal medication or suggest a brand of canned food for your pet to prevent loose stools." Lisa Peterson, AKC Director of Club Communications and owner, breeder and handler of Norwegian Elkhounds

Groom your pet and trim its nails before you leave.

Do A Last-Minute Check

Call your accommodation to reconfirm your reservations and for any other last-minute questions.

On The Trip

Hotel Check In

WHN Expert Tip: Don't Assume All Rules Are Universal
Hotel chains can vary in policy surrounding pet-friendly programs due to differences in state and local laws. It's important to always request a list of rules surrounding pet lodging at every new hotel location. World Wide Pet Industry Association (WWPIA)

When checking in, ask for a rundown of the hotel's pet policies, rules and amenities:

  • Are there any pet programs?
  • Where is the dog-walking area? (Security precaution: Note how close it is to your room and/or the front desk in case you are out after dark.)
  • Confirm the details about the pet deposit:
    Will it be refunded at the end of your stay?
    Are there any restrictions?
    What, if anything, might cancel the refund?

Inside the Hotel

Always keep your pet on its leash or in its crate when walking around inside the hotel. The hotel may have policies regarding leashes in order to ensure the safety of its guests.

WHN Expert Tip: Keep It Confined
"If you leave the dog [loose] in the hotel room and you're not there, there's a whole multitude of things that could happen. Housekeeping could open the door and the dog could bolt. Or they could be frightened if they're not expecting to see a dog. Throw their favorite toy into the crate to keep them entertained." Lisa Peterson, AKC Director of Club Communications and owner, breeder and handler of Norwegian Elkhounds. "

WHN Expert Tip: Do Not Disturb
You can always hang a "Do Not Disturb" sign on your door. This will ensure that members of the cleaning crew or hotel employees do not surprise your pet. WWPIA

WHN Expert Tip: Home Away from Home
Be sure to set up an area of the room with your pet's crate, blanket and toys. Your pet will most likely be confused at first and will welcome the sight and smell of products from home. WWPIA

WHN Expert Tip: "During the trip, keep a close eye on your dog. If you notice any signs of distress like shortness of breath or chronic fatigue, it's a sign that your dog is not handling the trip well." Dr. Tod Schadler, associate dean of clinical studies at Ross Univ. School of Vet. Medicine

Back Home

WHN Expert Tip: "You may want to schedule a follow-up vet appointment to make sure your pet didn't catch anything or that it wasn't exposed to parasites and worms." Lisa Peterson, AKC Director of Club Communications and owner, breeder and handler of Norwegian Elkhounds

Want more travel tips? Top pet travel articles:

Traveling by Air with Pets

Traveling by Car with Pets

Create a Pet Travel Kit

Other Life Pages
PetsAdopting a Pet

There are many different types of pets for many different people. Below is a "starter" list to help you select a pet for you and your family.

 Read More
Animals and Natural Disasters

In a disaster, both domestic and wild animals may have been forced from their natural habitats, leaving them disoriented and possibly aggressive. Be smart and be safe, and follow these tips.

 Read More
Choosing a Kennel or Pet Daycare Facility

Whether it's for a social hour at doggy daycare or an extended kennel stay while you're away, you want to know your Fluffy or Fido is safe and happy when boarded.

 Read More
Choosing a Pet Groomer

Grooming services can include a hair cut, trimming or shaving, combing, brushing, bathing, clipping nails, ear cleaning and teeth cleaning.

 Read More
Choosing a Pet Trainer

Whether it's puppy kindergarten or show dog or cat training, a great trainer can make a world of difference. But not every trainer can be a "dog whisperer" either!

 Read More
Choosing a Vet

The best time to choose a vet is before you actually need one. Even better, meet with a vet before getting a new pet – they can recommend certain animals or even breeds that might best match your lifestyle.

 Read More
Choosing and Using a Pet Crate for Travel

Crates and carriers are necessities for pet travel and are required when for pets traveling by air. Keep your pet safe and sound by following these tips for purchasing and using a pet crate.

 Read More
Create a Pet Emergency Kit

Be ready for an emergency by assembling your pet's must-haves now.

 Read More
Create a Pet Travel Kit

Be ready to hit the road with your pet by assembling these pet travel items.

 Read More
Farm Animals and Natural Disasters

Farm animals often suffer injury during a disaster but are just as likely to receive fresh injury after the storm, if not handled properly. Here are some of the things that can be done in the immediate aftermath of the storm or flood.

 Read More
Finding Pet-Friendly Hotels

Choosing a hotel can be a challenging task, but it can be even more difficult if you're bringing your pet along.

 Read More
Help My Pet's Missing

If your pet disappears, here's what to do.

 Read More
If You Find a Lost Pet

If you've found a lost pet, here's what to do.

 Read More
Managing Your Pet's Separation Anxiety

Dogs and cats are creatures of habit; they love schedules, routines and their owners. When routines change — school starts, you're away on vacation — your pet may have a tough time handling the situation.

 Read More
Pets and Disaster Preparedness

Because they are a part of the family, too, follow these tips to prepare your pets for a disaster and know what to do should a pet go missing.

 Read More
Protect Your Pet

Safety first when it comes to your pets. They need you to look out for them!

 Read More
Traveling by Air with Pets

More than 2 million pets and animals are transported by air each year in the United States, according to the Department of Transportation. Make it a happy trip for your pet by following these tips.

 Read More
Traveling by Car with Pets

Road trip! It's great to bring the whole family on a trip, even your pets. To make your next road trip a breeze, read through these top tips from pet experts, vets and pet owners. Happy Trails!

 Read More