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How To Prepare Your Dog for a Hotel Stay?

At A Glance

Preparing to travel with your dog will ensure a safe and fun trip for both of you. Make sure to do the following before you book your hotel stay:

  • Research the pet policies in your chosen accommodations
  • Request a room at the end of the hall
  • Pack all of your pet’s essentials, including toys and bedding, to keep them comfortable and entertained

Last Updated on: Dec 22, 2023

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

Staying at a hotel with your dog may seem like a daunting task. No matter the nature of your trip, it’s important to be as prepared as possible.

In this article, we will discuss everything a pet owner needs to make their hotel stay stress-free and enjoyable.

Research Hotel Pet Policies and Fees

The most critical step is to research your hotel’s pet policies and fees. Many hotels welcome pets, but they often come with very strict rules and additional costs.

Here are essential questions to ask while researching:

  • What is the pet fee structure? Are there deposits required?
  • Are there specific pet-friendly rooms? Where are they located?
  • Are there pet amenities or services?
  • Are there restrictions on the number or size of pets allowed?
  • Can pets be left unattended in the room, and if so, under what conditions?

Some hotels offer pet packages that include beds, bowls, and treats for an additional fee. Some require a refundable damage deposit.

Clarify all expenses involved and ask about promotions or discounts that might apply during your stay.

Pack All Essentials

dog laying in the luggage

Pack a bag specifically for your dog. Make sure to include all essentials to make them feel at home:

Food and Water Bowls

Bringing their food and water bowls from home can reduce stress and encourage your dog to eat and drink as usual. Collapsible bowls are convenient for travel and take up minimal space.

Favorite Food and Treats

Abruptly changing your dog’s diet can lead to digestive issues. Pack enough of their usual food for the whole trip. Bring their favorite treats to reward good behavior and ease anxiety.

Beddings and Familiar Items

Whether it’s their bed or a favorite blanket, bringing something from home that smells and feels familiar can help your dog relax in a new environment.

Various Toys

Keeping your pup entertained is vital to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Bringing a selection of their favorite toys will keep them occupied: chew toys to relieve stress, interactive or puzzle toys for mental stimulation, and plush toys for comfort.

Medications and Health Records

If your dog is on any medications, bring enough for the trip. Bring a copy of their health records in case of a vet visit.

Leash, Harness, and Waste Bags

dog with leash in its mouth

These are walking essentials-you’ll need to keep your dog on a leash at all times and clean up after them.

Grooming Supplies

Include a brush and other grooming tools your dog regularly uses to keep them looking their best on the road.


An up-to-date ID tag on your dog’s collar and recent photos of your dog are essential in case you are separated.

Small Bag for the Car Trip

Pack a small doggie bag with road trip essentials. Bring everything to make traveling in the car long distance with your pup as smooth as possible.

Request a Room at the End of the Hall

dog sitting outside of the room

It is vital to mitigate the noise and foot traffic that could agitate your pet. A room at the end of the hall minimizes the number of people and other animals passing by your door.

Contact the hotel directly and explain that this location would be beneficial for your pet’s comfort. This request can’t always be accommodated, especially during busy travel periods, but most hotels will do their best to meet guest needs when possible.

Get Your Dog Acclimated to the Hotel Room

When you arrive, help your dog get used to the new environment. Let them sniff around the room and explore at their own pace.

Set up their bed, food, water bowls, and toys as you would at home to reinforce familiarity. Spend some quality time with your dog in the room, playing or cuddling, so they associate the new space with positive experiences and your presence.

Do not leave your dog alone in the room immediately upon arrival. Giving them time to adjust while you’re present can ease separation anxiety when you need to step out later.

Practical Tips for Navigating the Hotel Environment

dog and owner

Here are some best practices to ensure a safe and happy hotel stay:

  • Walk them regularly in designated areas to provide stimulation that can ward off anxiety and pent-up energy.
  • Be respectful of other guests’ space and comfort levels. Ask for permission from other pet owners before allowing sniffs or playtime.
  • Consider a dog crate to ensure your pet’s safety and comfort even when you’re away.
  • Keep your dog engaged and quiet in the room. If your dog tends to bark or whine, consider covering their crate with a familiar blanket for a calming environment.
  • Turn the TV on low or play soft music to alleviate separation anxiety and muffle noises from the hallway or neighboring rooms.
  • Hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign to prevent unexpected entries that might startle or upset your dog or jeopardize their safety.

Remember, a smooth and enjoyable hotel stay with your dog comes down to thoughtful preparation and close attention to their needs.

Safe travels and happy stays!


General how to prepare your dog for a hotel stay

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I am a full-time mum of two kids and a beautiful golden retriever. Writing is my passion: from food journalism to pets, parenting tips, etc. I can write on just about everything under the sun. I have been writing for the past 7 years and during that time, I have been a regular contributor to several blogs and pet magazines. I have also written feature articles, POV pieces, and dabbled in a few different formats of writing over the years.