Tracking down a dog-friendly hotel that's right for you and your wet-nosed companion requires some advance sniffing around. Among things to consider:
- How much notice does Dottie give when she needs to relieve herself? Is a trip involving hallways, elevators and lobbies realistic, or would you be better served by a first-floor courtyard setup with a room opening directly onto the outdoors?
- Consider your options when chow time rolls around: Will you have a picnic, order in, find a dog-friendly patio eatery, hire a pet sitter? Weather permitting, you can always leave Chief in the car while you dine in a restaurant. The main thing is not to be caught unleashed by rules that prohibit unattended pets in hotel rooms.
- Hotel-provided dog beds are nice amenities in theory, but be prepared to pay top dollar for one that gets shredded by an anxious pet. Fido will likely be more comfortable (and sleep better) with familiar bedding brought from home.
- "Leave no trace" principles are not just for camping. If you allow your dog on beds and furniture, avoid raising housekeeping's hackles (and incurring extra fees) by requesting sheets to cover the furnishings in your hotel room. Or, bring your own from home.
- If considering temporary care for your dog (while you visit tourist attraction, for example), ask the hotel staff to provide a list of recommend pet-sitters or doggie daycare providers. Be aware that a temperament evaluation as well as vaccination records may be required before placing your dog in another person's care, and that pets not spayed or neutered may be turned away. If traveling during holiday periods, it's best to reserve weeks in advance.
- Make sure Buffy's ID tag has your cell-phone number on it, just in case she should sneak out to go exploring on her own.