12 October 2013

Travel Accomidations: Hotels and Motels

There comes a time when you may be faced with the decision to travel with your dog(s).  You can take them with you or leave them at home.  If you are going for a skijoring race, then you will of course need to bring them with you! 

If you are going for pleasure, then you have your choices.  For some reasons to not take your dog, check out the excellent blog post on Paws and Pedals

If you want to bring your dog, here are some things to think about ...

Call Ahead

Call First, and make sure your dog is allowed.  Pet friendly sports book up fast in peak seasons, and only hippies sleep in the car.  So don't be stuck without somewhere to stay!


For dogs with a sensitive stomach, consider packing their own water.   The water they have from home, and that they are used to. If your dog is already stressed by the new environment, the less things you change, the better. 


Keep the Stomach Happy

Before you travel with your dog, test them for their reaction to pumpkin. You can buy canned pumpkin at the grocery store, and most pet stores. Pumpkin will help to soothe an upset stomach, which can be a nightmare on the road. 

Before long trips where a dog may become motion sick, it is also advised to feel them about half of their regular meal.  Your dog will be less active in transit, and won't need all the extra food anyways.  Plus, if your dog is a picky eater, he will show up more hungry at your destination and be more likely to eat at the end of a day of traveling. 

Bring your own travel kennel

A little piece of home.  A travel kennel allows your dog the comfort of home, anywhere!  a pet secured in the travel kennel is also not able to bolt out of the door in a strange place and become lost.  Our dogs know we have arrived, no matter where we may be, as soon as we pop open their kennels.  They often all try to cram into one, until we have set up a kennel for everyone.  


Where will you stay?

You have many options for accommodations with your pet.  Below are some of our experiences and tips.



Starting at the top of the budget list, are hotels.  If roughing it, or ruffing it, is not your style, then a hotel may be the option that affords you the best sleep.  Advantages of hotels, they tend to be close to the centre of action, if that's what you are looking for.

If your hotel has a kitchenette, you have a great place to store the dog's food.  Do not leave your pet unattended in a hotel room.  Your happy dog at home, might be stressed when you leave him in a strange place.  

Order in room service, or walk to a restraint with take out options, and walk back to the hotel with your dog.  The hotel staff can point you in the right direction. 

Book early, and ask if the room is a non-smoking pet friendly room, as some places put pets in the smoking rooms. 


Motels have the great advantage of often offering rooms with outside corridors, which is easier to for getting dogs into and out of rooms, and for pee breaks.  The disadvantage of motels, is they are often on major routes, with doors that are very close to traffic.  Ensure your dog his on a leash, or secure in a kennel whenever you must open to the door to bring things in or load the car.  With traffic so close, and being in a strange place, there is very little room for error. 

Like hotels, some allow pets in smoking rooms only.  If smoke is bothersome to you, call first and ask to avoid any nasty surprises.  


If you are in North America, you can get the book Travelling with your Pet, from CAA, or AAA.  The book is a directory of member hotels and motels which allow pets.  Your auto-club membership often offsets the pet fee charged per room.   


If your dog is a barker, the strange noises of a hotel or motel might set him off.   Leaving the bathroom exhaust fan on, or the TV may make the dog less likely to bark at the noises in the hotel.  

Doing some obedience work in the room will help your dog relax and stay focused on

Lastly, packing some suitcases against the door or rolling towels along the bottom of the door will help muffle the sounds from the hallway and the other guests. 


Enjoy your travels! 

Where have you taken your dog?  

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