Good Travel Etiquette Is Important for Pets, Too
Pet owners often complain about how difficult it is to find
pet-friendly accommodations. It seems particularly unfair when
our pets are both quiet and better behaved than many human
Unfortunately, some hotels have a reason that they won't
allow pets (or have very strict pet policies that may seem
unreasonable to many pet owners): someone, sometime, even
if it's in the dim, dark past, has allowed their pet to
run amok. Maybe the pet has disturbed or frightened other
guests. Perhaps the pet destroyed the room. Even if this
type of thing happened "only once", it's often
enough to cause them to put a stricter pet policy in place
- or even disallow pets altogether.
You and your visiting pet are ambassadors for all of
"pet-dom" when you travel.
- Choose acccommodation that is suitable for your pet.
If your pet doesn't like other animals, don't vacation at a
ranch or a Bed & Breakfast where resident pets might mingle
with guest pets. If your pet likes to bark at strangers, choose
a private cottage over a busy hotel. There's a wide variety
of pet-friendly accommodations available that should make your
- Your pet should have good house manners. Obviously
he should be reliably housetrained, shouldn't chew or scratch,
should be quiet (or will be quiet on command), and should not
run gleefully around the room, knocking things over or breaking
- Let other guests (including guest pets) enjoy their stay
in peace. Some people are afraid, allergic, or simply don't
enjoy pets the same way we do. If your dog is prone to barking,
don't leave him unattended in the room (even if the hotel's
pet policy allows you to do so). Don't allow your pet jump
on or rush at other guests, or lick them or lean on them unless
you know it's okay with them. People who love pets will often
give you some pretty clear signs!
Don't allow your pet to approach guest pets at will, either.
Some animals don't enjoy meeting "strange" pets. Ask
permission if you want to introduce them. It'll help keep the
- Remember that even the most well-behaved pet can exhibit
behavior they normally would not, when they're in an unfamiliar
place. Barking dogs are one of the biggest concerns since
they disturb other guests. Do not leave your pet unattended
unless you have permission - and even then, notify the front
desk and leave them your cell phone number. If you know
your dog has a tendency to bark then do not leave him
unattended even if you do have permission.
- Keep your pet under control at all times. No
enthusiastic running through the lobby, halls, or the grounds!
If your accommodation allows dogs to run off-leash (and some
do, such as resorts or cottages located in secluded areas),
make sure he comes on recall. Pets can become confused in
unfamiliar surroundings... plus there may be wildlife in
- Take responsibility for any damages your pet does.
Accidents can happen even with the most well-behaved pet.
- Respect the pet policy. One pet owner might
not mind that pets aren't supposed to use the furniture (since
Fido never uses it at home anyways), while another may see that
as unacceptable. If you don't agree with the pet policy, either
come to an agreement with the property manager before
you book your stay -- or find a different accommodation whose
pet policy is more in line with your own.
- Always pick up after your dog. Bring along your own
supply of bags for this purpose.
- Try to keep your lodging free from dirty paw prints,
excessive fur, etc. Bring a towel or two to wipe the pooch off
after a hard day at play.
Remember that both you and your visiting pet are "goodwill
ambassadors" who represent all of the furry and feathered
friends that might want to visit in the future. Let's all do our
part to demonstrate that pets do make good guests, and that
they deserve to be welcome -- just like the rest of the family.
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