The 17 Best Dog-Friendly Hotel Chains

Pet Travel By Kate Brunotts 26 min read January 18, 2024 2 Comments

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Hotels that allow dogs

The worst part of any vacation is having to leave your pup behind. And it’s not just a drag for you — being separated from mom or dad is hard on your pooch too! 

Luckily, there are a couple of dog-friendly hotel chains that will welcome you and your canine with open arms. And this includes modest, budget-friendly motels, as well as upscale hotels that provide all of the bells and whistles you could want. 

We’ll explain some of the best dog-friendly hotels below, but first, let’s talk about the basics of staying in a hotel with your pooch, so you can prepare properly for your trip. 

Best Dog-Friendly Hotel & Motel Chains: Quick Picks

  • Motel 6 [#1 Budget Choice – Always Free] Motel 6 definitely leads the pack when it comes to dog-friendly budget motels. Not only do dogs always stay free, but they are welcome at all Motel 6s, so you never have to worry about you and Fido being turned away.
  • Red Roof Inn: [Budget]. Red Roof Inn is a popular budget pet-friendly option because pets are always free! Red Roof Inns vary in quality – some are quite nice, but others can be pretty rundown. Pets aren’t allowed at all Red Roof Inns, but they are allowed at 550 locations.
  • La Quinta Inn [Mid-Tier] The vast majority of locations are pet-friendly and let pets stay for free or for a low daily rate.
  • Courtyard by Marriott [Mid-Tier] Courtyard lets pets stay at over 1,500 of their locations, so chances are you’ll be able to find a dog-friendly spot! Pet fee varies depending on location.
  • Westin [High-End]. At Westin, pets are welcome at over 165 locations and stay for free! Dogs under 50 lbs are allowed at all pet-friendly locations, while only certain spots allow larger dogs. Your pooch will get his or her own Heavenly Dog Bed when they stay at the Westin!
  • Doubletree by Hilton [High-End] Dogs are welcome at 120 Doubletree hotels, and owners only need to pay a flat fee (between $50-$75) per stay, so it’s a great option for longer stays.
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Does It Cost More to Stay in a Hotel with Your Pet?

Most hotels do charge additional fees for pets, but others allow four-footers to stay with their people free of charge

Many of the ones that charge these fees offer a more comfortable experience for pets and their owners. But, if money is tight, you can just try to limit your choices to fee-free establishments.

Also, note that hotels who do impose pet fees do so in different ways

  • Daily Fee (Most Common). Most hotels impose a set daily fee for your pet, meaning that a long stay will cost you more than a short stay. That being said, most hotels with a daily fee do have some kind of weekly or monthly cap, so you won’t have to pay that daily fee each and every day if you’re staying for more than a handful of day. Usually the cap is in the $100-$200 range.
  • Flat Rate. Some hotels charge a flat pet-fee rate. In other words, you may pay $50 additional dollars, no matter how long or short your stay is.
  • Multi-Pet Fee. Some hotels will charge a rate per pooch, while others will simply make you pay a single standard pet fee. Some hotels may have you pay the pet fee x 2 for two dogs, while other hotels might have a set $30 pet fee, with a +$10 charge for an additional dog. If you have multiple dogs, keep an eye out for how hotels calculate the pet cost.
dog at hotel

Why Pet-Friendly Policies Are Complicated

In our list below of the best dog-friendly hotel chains, you’ll notice a lot of pet policies vary by location. This can be pretty frustrating for traveling owners on the go. Why is this?

Understanding Franchises. The truth is that finding a certain hotel chain that is always pet-friendly is very rare. In almost all cases, pet policy (including weight limits, pet fees, or even if pets are allowed at all) will vary by location. This is because hotels are franchises run by different owners, and location owners are generally the ones who call the shots regarding pet policies.

The lack of any broad policy regarding pets for these hotel chains can be frustrating, which is why it’s always essential to call the individual hotel you are visiting to ask what their location’s specific pet policy is.

We also highly recommend checking out BringFido — a directory for dog owners on the go — when traveling with your pet.

BringFido has an up-to-date directory of over 150,000 lodging that are pet-friendly. Plus, within their hotel location search, you can immediately see whether there is a pet fee or not and whether or not big dogs are allowed.


This added bit of info that appears right within the hotel search results is incredibly helpful and can save you a lot of time (since most other hotel booking sites require you to click through to each hotel’s individual info page to see details concerning pet fees and weight limits.

Take Paws is another site that caters to pet parents — they have tons of dog-friendly vacation homes available!

The 17 Best Pet-Friendly Hotel Chains

Whether you’re looking for a modest motel, a luxurious resort, or something in between, you don’t have to part with man’s best friend – we’ve got a huge compilation right here for you!

To make it easier to find the right hotel for you, your pupper, and your budget, we’ve broken these down into budget-friendly options, mid-tier hotels chains, and high-end options for extra pet pampering .

Cheap Pet-Friendly Motels & Hotels (Budget Options)

Be aware that quality can vary a lot for budget hotels and motels. Be sure to check Google Reviews and Trip Advisor – avoid any hotel with 1-2 star customer ratings and horror stories.

1. Motel 6 

If you’re scouring for a cheap pet-friendly hotel, look no further! Motel 6 is actually the official lodging provider of the American Kennel Club. All locations are pet-friendly, and there is no additional fee for the service. 

You can host two pets per room as long as they are up to date on vaccines. Vaccine requirements vary by state, so make sure your pooch is good to go before setting out on your trip. 

  • Pet-Friendly Locations: All
  • Pet Fee: Free
  • Max Weight: N/A
  • # of Pets Allowed: 2

2. Red Roof Inn

With 580 locations around the world, Red Roof Inn is a familiar sight to most seasoned travelers. But while this affordable chain may appeal to all budget-minded travelers, it’s no-fee pet policy makes it an especially popular option among pet owners.

Red Roof Inns try their best to accommodate four-footers. For example, their rooms are designed to provide plenty of space for your pet’s bed, and the cleaning staff will try to work around your schedule, so they don’t have to clean your room while your pet is present.

Red Roof Inn also offers a 15% discount for first responders, so be sure to ask for your discount if you are a police officer, EMT or firefighter!

  • Pet-Friendly Locations: 550
  • Pet Fee: Free
  • Max Weight: 80 pounds
  • # of Pets Allowed: 1

Note: Some locations allow for larger pets as well as more than one. See Red Roof In’s Pet Policy for more details.

Meg’s Experience at Red Roof Inns

Hey gang, Meg (K9 of Mine Founder) here.

I do a giant road-trip twice a year from Texas to Massachusetts, and Red Roof Inn tends to be my go-to spot. When you’re a solo driver on the road with your dog and don’t have a co-pilot to do research on the pet fees of various hotels, Red Roof is a great option you can always count on since they never have pet fees!

The downside is that Red Roofs can vary quite a bit in terms of quality. As a budget hotel chain, Red Roofs are never exactly glamorous. I’ve found they can range from perfectly adequate to disturbingly disgusting. My general rule is to check Google Reviews and Trip Advisor. Anything under a 3 star user rating I’d avoid. Between 3-3.5 proceed with caution. 3.5 stars and above means you’re probably in good hands!

Of course this is my personal evaluation – your own standards might differ.

3. Super 8

Super 8 operates nearly 2,500 locations all over the world, so chances are, you’ll pass one while traveling cross-country with your canine. Some locations have pretty pet-friendly policies, but others are a little less welcoming, so be sure to contact the specific location in which you intend to stay to get the details.

In addition to being very affordable, Super 8 Hotels provide a few freebies, such as no-cost WiFi and free breakfast each morning. Also, be sure to check out Super 8’s website, before your trip, as they offer a number of discount programs.

  • Pet-Friendly Locations: Unknown
  • Pet Fee: Varies by location (usually $10 – $20 per night)
  • Max Weight: Unknown
  • # of Pets Allowed: Unknown

4. Quality Inn

Quality Inn Hotels are designed to be affordable, while still providing many of the creature comforts travelers appreciate. This includes things like multi-setting shower heads, in-room refrigerators, and lots of free extras, such as WiFi, coffee, tea, and newspapers.

Quality Inn pet policies vary from one location to the next, so be sure to contact the location you have in mind before booking your room.

  • Pet-Friendly Locations: 300
  • Pet Fee: Varies by location
  • Max Weight: Unknown
  • # of Pets Allowed: Unknown

5. Extended Stay America

Do you need a roof over your head for more than a night or two? Then you’ll definitely want to consider staying at an Extended Stay America location. You can certainly stay at this chain for a single night, but they also offer weekly and monthly pricing options for your extended-vacation needs.

Note that Extended Stay America imposes height and length restrictions, rather than weight restrictions. This may be helpful for owners of portly puppers, who are relatively small, yet weigh quite a bit.

  • Pet-Friendly Locations: 680
  • Pet Fee: $25 per day, per pet (max $150 per month)
  • Max Weight: 36 inches long and 36 inches high (bigger pets allowed at manager’s discretion)
  • # of Pets Allowed: 2 (more pets allowed at manager’s discretion)

See Extended Stay America’s pet policy here.

6. Econo Lodge

A member of the Choice Hotels family, Econo Lodge — as the name implies — provides affordable, yet hospitable accommodations for travelers all across the U.S.

As Econo Lodge guests, you will enjoy lots of simple, but helpful amenities, such as bedside electrical outlets, free WiFi, and premium movie channels. And if you stay at one of their pet-friendly locations, you’ll be able to enjoy all of these things while lounging beside your pooch!

  • Pet-Friendly Locations: 380
  • Pet Fee: Varies by location
  • Max Weight: Varies by location
  • # of Pets Allowed: Unknown

See Econo Lodge’s pet policy here.

7. America’s Best Value Inn

A chain that prides itself on simplicity, friendliness, and honesty, America’s Best Value Inn provides pretty affordable accommodations.

They vary significantly from one location to the next, so be sure to check out reviews for the specific location at which you intend to stay before booking.

  • Pet-Friendly Locations: 600
  • Pet Fee: Varies by location (usually $10 – $20)
  • Max Weight: Varies by location
  • # of Pets Allowed: Unknown

Mid-Priced Pet-Friendly Hotel Chains

Looking for a hotel that provides a nice combination of value, price, and creature comforts? Check out these mid-tier options!

8. Best Western 

Best Western motels and hotels offer many pet-friendly locations, which will allow you to check in with up to two animals (they have an 80-pound weight limit). Depending on the location, there may be additional cleaning fees. 

Some sites have dedicated walking areas which can be easily found on the company’s website. With over 1,600 pet-friendly hotels in North America, there’s bound to be one of these wherever you go. 

  • Pet-Friendly Locations: 1,600
  • Pet Fee: $30 (with max $150 fee per week + $150 refundable damage deposit)
  • Max Weight: 80 pounds
  • # of Pets Allowed: 2

9. Hampton Inn 

There are a number of dog-friendly Hampton Inn locations with fees calculated on an individual basis. Weight limits also vary depending on the site, so be sure to call ahead to make sure your pooch is welcome. 

The Hampton Inn promises a hot breakfast with every stay, so you’ll be extra fueled for all your adventures together. In general, Hampton is a nice middleman between a motel and hotel, so you and your pet can stay in a nicer room without breaking the bank. 

  • Pet-Friendly Locations: Unknown
  • Pet Fee: Varies by location
  • Max Weight: Unknown
  • # of Pets Allowed: Unknown

10. Holiday Inn

Even if you aren’t a frequent traveler, you’re undoubtedly familiar with Holiday Inn Hotels. One of the largest chains in the world, there are currently more than 1,100 Holiday Inns open around the world (although pets aren’t allowed at all locations).

Note that there are several different types of hotel in the Holiday Inn lineup, including Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn Resort, and many more. The amenities and policies differ from one type of Holiday Inn to the next, so be sure to research the specific Holiday Inn you intend to stay in.

  • Pet-Friendly Locations: 450
  • Pet Fee: Varies by location
  • Max Weight: Unknown
  • # of Pets Allowed: Unknown

11. Courtyard by Marriott 

Most Marriott Courtyard Hotels welcome pets up to 125lbs, but some locations impose stricter weight limits. Most of the time, Courtyards impose a flat rate fee for the duration of the stay. 

Courtyard concierges are trained to be in-the-know of all local dog-happenings, as Courtyard is the only pet-friendly series by Marriott. You can leave your pooch unattended at these hotels, as long as he is confined to a crate when you’re gone.

See Courtyard by Marriott’s official pet policy & pet-friendly locations.

  • Pet-Friendly Locations: 1,500
  • Pet Fee: Varies by location
  • Max Weight: Unknown
  • # of Pets Allowed: Unknown

12. Comfort Inn

Comfort Inn prides itself on offering a number of minor “bonuses” that help make your stay as comfortable as possible. And they do so while still imposing very reasonable rates.

For example, you don’t have to worry about bringing your favorite travel pillow with you, as you’ll automatically receive a firm pillow and a soft pillow when you check in. You’ll also have the chance to enjoy a free hot breakfast when you wake up in the morning.

  • Pet-Friendly Locations: 550
  • Pet Fee: Varies by location
  • Max Weight: Varies by location
  • # of Pets Allowed: Unknown

See Comfort Inn’s Pet Policy here.

13. La Quinta 

Most La Quinta locations are pet-friendly and allow up to two pets per room

Many La Quinta branches allow pets to stay for free, but starting in 2019 some locations have begun charging $20 per night (with a maximum fee of $40 per stay). The number of rooms they have available is huge and only four locations within the entire chain do not allow pets.

Since La Quinta has a maximum fee of $40 per stay, this is a great hotel option if you’re doing a week-long vacation (and if you don’t have a destination yet, consider checking out our list of the best dog-friendly vacation destination cities in the US).

La Quinta also offers a signature complimentary breakfast, so feel free to grab a muffin on your way out to your early-morning walk. Pets aren’t allowed to be left unattended at some La Quinta Hotels, in which case you’ll need to plan on keeping your pet with you at all times. 

  • Pet-Friendly Locations: (Nearly) All
  • Pet Fee: Free – $20 per night (varies by location)
  • Max Weight: Some locations have pet weight limit
  • # of Pets Allowed: 2

See La Quinta’ official pet policy & pet-friendly locations here.

High-End Pet-Friendly Hotel Chains

Looking for four-star accommodations and plenty of amenities? Check out these swanky places to stay with your pooch!

motels that allow dogs

14. Four Seasons 

If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts allow pets. In fact, they even welcome pets by leaving out personalized water and food bowls. However, weight restrictions may apply, and they vary by location, so this may not be the best choice if your pup is a giant. 

Pets are not allowed in most common areas of the Four Seasons Hotels out of consideration for guests with allergies.

  • Pet-Friendly Locations: Unknown
  • Pet Fee: Varies by location (we’ve seen everything from free to $75 pet fee)
  • Max Weight: Varies by location (most seem to have a max weight limit of 25 to 30 pounds)
  • # of Pets Allowed: 2

15. Westin 

This furball friendly chain welcomes pets under 50 pounds at all locations, and they even allow bigger pets to stay at a few of their locations. Pups can even get their own Westin-provided Heavenly Dog Bed!

The “Element” series by Westin is an extended-stay option, which also allows you to check in with one or two pets. 

Clean-up bags are available upon request and there is no additional fee for bringing along your pooch. Element makes a point to include “green,” eco-friendly design features and practices as a part of their brand, so it’s likely you’ll find plenty of trees on the property for your schnauzer to sniff. 

  • Pet-Friendly Locations: 165
  • Pet Fee: Free
  • Max Weight: 50 pounds (some select locations allow larger)
  • # of Pets Allowed: 2

16. Doubletree by Hilton 

Doubletree is known for its complementary warm chocolate-chip cookies, but that’s not all their good for — the hotel chain welcomes pets up to 75 pounds, and charges a flat rate of $50 per stay. Some locations have an on-site pet relief area.

Pets are not allowed to be left unattended, but certain locations like the Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort have plenty of grassy lounge areas, where you and your pet can relax together. 

  • Pet-Friendly Locations: 120
  • Pet Fee: $50 – $75 (we’ve received conflicting reports)
  • Max Weight: 75 pounds
  • # of Pets Allowed: (not reported)

See Doubletree’s official pet policy here

17. Ritz-Carlton 

Do you and your pup need some pampering? All Ritz-Carlton locations welcome pets 60lbs and under for an additional fee. Your pooch will be treated to brand new food and water bowls, treats, and a dog bed with every booking. As long as your pooch has good manners (and won’t spend all day barking), you are welcome to leave him unattended.

Amenities vary by location, but The Ritz-Carlton of Aruba is a great example of the chain going the extra mile to pamper your pup. Spot can join you at this location’s restaurant for a fine meal of organic duck liver and watermelon ice cubes. 

On the beach, you and your pup can bond by participating in water sports like kayaking, paddle-boarding, and swimming-all adjusted to be pet-safe by the resort staff. 

  • Pet-Friendly Locations: Unknown
  • Pet Fee: Varies by location
  • Max Weight: 60 pounds
  • # of Pets Allowed: Unknown

Should I Sneak My Dog Into a Non-Pet-Friendly Hotel?

Considering some of the costly pet fees, it can be tempting to sneak your pup into a non-dog-friendly hotel (especially if your pup is small enough to hide in a dog carrier purse).

However, this generally isn’t worth the risk.

You can face significant fines of hundreds of dollars if you’re found to be trying to circumvent the hotel’s policies!

Just pay the pet fee and stick to pet-friendly spots.

Picking a Specific Hotel Room for You and Your Pooch

When choosing a room for your stay, make sure you inquire about all of the facility’s pet policies.

Rules and regulations vary from hotel to hotel, so it’s imperative that you check these things out in advance. 

  • Ask to have a room on the ground floor if at all possible. It allows you and your pet easy access to the outdoors and minimizes the likelihood that he’ll disturb your neighbors. This is even more important if you live in a one-story building and your dog hasn’t had much experience with stairs!
  • Consider asking for a room far away from the lobby, elevator, and other common areas.  This is especially important if your pooch is easily startled. Additionally, some hotels prohibit pets from walking through these hotel common areas, so you’ll want to select a room that offers easy access to the outdoors or other places your pet is allowed to go. 
  • Make sure your pup is leashed and remains by your side when roaming through the halls. Remember – dogs make some people extremely uncomfortable, and good dog owners do their best to avoid causing stress to others. Some hotels have a separate entrance and exit for pets, which you’ll be wise to use when possible.
  • Make sure the front desk has your up-to-date contact info — especially if you plan on leaving your dog at the hotel alone. Some hotel chains prohibit this practice entirely, so you might potentially need to hire a pet care professional when you plan on leaving the hotel room. The concierge might even have some recommendations for local sitters to stay with your pup while you’re out. 

Leaving Your Dog Alone at the Hotel

Hotel policies vary quite a bit when it comes to whether or not you can leave your dog alone in the hotel room.

While some hotels don’t allow you to leave your dog alone in the room ever (at least not officially), most are not so strict. Most pet-friendly hotels are fine with you leaving your dog alone in your room, so long as he is quiet, well-behaved, and doesn’t make a racket. Some will allow your pooch to be left alone – but only as long as he is crated.

hotel dog

Keep in mind that some hotels have policies stating that if your dog is disturbing other customers with excessive barking, you’ll be asked to leave. I’ve seen at least one hotel that stated the owner would be responsible for neighbors’ room fees if they complained about barking.

Consider your dog’s past behavior when left alone and prepare ahead of time to make things go smoothly. Some things you can do to make your dog’s alone time (if allowed) in the hotel go smoothly include:

  • Give your dog a shirt or piece of clothing that smells like you.
  • Set up your dog’s crate (if they generally like to hang out in it at home).
  • Provide chews and puzzle toys to stay occupied.
  • Leave the TV or radio on (with low volume). This can also drown out noises outside that may trigger your pooch.
  • Consider giving CBD dog treats to keep your canine calm if he seems nervous (just check with your vet first).

Motel Etiquette: Doggie Dos and Don’ts While Staying in a Hotel

Below, we discuss some of the important dos and don’ts of staying in a hotel or motel with your pooch. While exact rules may vary between establishments, many facilities have similar “Don’ts,” so be sure to pay special attention to that portion of the list. 


  • Try to make sure Fido is on his best behavior. Limited barking and a friendly demeanor will ensure that pets are welcome to return to the hotel. Remember that a poorly behaved dog could potentially ruin the pet-friendly privilege for everyone! If you’re concerned about your dog’s barking while you’re away, consider setting up a dog camera to monitor your pup while you’re away, and provide plenty of chews and treat-dispensing toys that will occupy his attention.
  • Clean up after your pooch. Carry around extra waste bags in case of accidents. It’s a good idea to make sure you tip housekeeping well, as they’ll likely have a lot of extra fur to vacuum up.
  • Keep your pet on a leash whenever exiting the room. This is just common sense, but unfortunately, many people fail to do so. Even if you have a small, friendly pupper, he needs to be on a leash for his safety and the comfort of other guests.  
  • Learn the hotel’s policies ahead of time. Pet rules vary from hotel to hotel, so make sure you’re educated and have clear expectations of what’s expected from you and your pooch. 


  • Don’t bring your pet without proper vaccinations and tags. In order for pets to enter most chains, they need to be up to date on their vaccines and free of fleas. 
  • Don’t leave your pet unattended during housekeeping hours without notifying the staff, and don’t leave your pup alone for more than a few hours at a time. Take your pup with you, and alert the front desk that the room is ready to be cleaned. When your dog will be left unattended in the room, always put the “do not disturb” sign on the door so that housekeeping knows not to enter. If your pet seems particularly anxious in the hotel environment, it’s best that you stay with them at all times. 
  • Don’t try to hide any damages. In the event that your pooch chews up a pillow or has an accident, be upfront with the hotel staff. It’s likely that this is something that they’ve seen before, and they’ll appreciate the transparency. 

Can’t Leave Your Dog Alone at the Hotel? If you don’t trust that your dog will behave when left alone at the hotel, consider seeking out dog-friendly restaurants (the hotel staff can probably give some suggestions) or – if the weather is appropriate – leave your dog in the car for a few hours at a time, if he’s comfortable in the car. Just make sure to check back every couple hours and take Fido for walks.

dog motel

What Hotels Allow Pets For Free?

Due to pet policies that often vary by location, there are very few hotels that always let pets stay for free at all locations across the board. However, there are a couple!

Hotels Where Pets Stay Free (Always):

  • Red Roof Inn
  • Motel 6

Traveling with Your Pet: The Basics 

There’s a lot that goes into planning a successful trip, and traveling with a pet will only increase the number of things you need to do. So, be proactive and try to employ the tips provided below to help ensure you enjoy a relaxing vacation with your floof.

Bring All of the Necessary Supplies for the Car Ride

Before you worry about checking into a dog-friendly hotel with your pooch, you have to get there first!

This will usually involve plenty of riding in a car, so make sure you and your pup are ready for the car ride (even if you fly, you’ll need to take a car from the airport to the hotel). 

  • For starters, make sure that Fido will remain comfortable and enjoy appropriately cool car temperatures during the journey — especially if you’re traveling in the summer (we have an entire guide on how to keep your dog cool during summer in the car). You’ll also want to bring a good travel water bottle for your pooch, so he won’t get parched if the journey is long. 
  • Be sure to bring along a few favorite toys during the actual road trip, or prepare some enticing distractions to help make the experience more pleasant for your pet.
  • You’ll also want to bring your pet’s bed along, so he can sleep well during your vacay. If packing the bulky dog bed is too much of a hassle, there are several travel-friendly bed & car crate options on the market. Just make sure your pet gets to test out their new digs at home before heading out on the road. 
dog in car
  • Your pooch packing list should also include any medications, food, leashes, and other provisions necessary to keep his routine as normal as possible. It’s also a good idea to pack extra cleaning supplies since pups are more likely to have accidents when placed in unfamiliar environments. 

Above all else, make sure your dog has up-to-date ID tags, in case the two of you become separated. It’s hard enough to track down a runaway in your hometown — it’ll be much more difficult to do so in an unfamiliar place, and you need every possible thing working in your favor. 

In fact, it would be even wiser to have your pet microchipped and fit him with a GPS tracking collar, so you can actively track him down. GPS collars are an especially good idea if your trip will involve hiking and exploring wilderness where your dog could easily get lost.

Introduce Your Dog to Traveling Gradually

Car travel (or any other kind of travel, really) can be frightening or overstimulating for some dogs. So, try to set aside some time to prepare him for the trip. Ideally, you’ll want to let him enjoy some time on the open road before heading off on your cross-country adventure. 

For example, if he hasn’t been on a long car ride before, try to visit a park that’s a bit further away than the one you usually hang out at. 

This will also provide a perfect opportunity for your dog to get used to his dog car seat or car harness, which will help ensure a hassle-free experience later. 

The same goes for any other form of travel, including airplane, train, or bus rides — just try to take a short “test trip” if possible, so your pupper will feel a bit more comfortable once your actual vacation begins. 

traveling with a dog

Visit Your Vet before the Trip

It is always a good idea to head in to your vet for a quick checkup before you go on a vacation. You don’t want your pooch to become sick during your trip, and you’ll also want to make sure your vet thinks your dog is healthy enough to travel. 

For that matter, some hotels (and airlines, if you intend on flying) will require that you provide documentation from your vet confirming that your pet is in good health and has all of his necessary vaccinations.  

Picking a Pet-Friendly Hotel: What Kinds of Amenities Are Important for Your Pooch? 

Given the number of dog-friendly hotel chains out there, you have a little leverage when picking out a place to stay. If you don’t mind dishing out big bucks, you can have access to some pretty incredible canine amenities. 

Check out some of these pet-centered amenities to see what could make your furbaby feel a little more at home:

Welcome Baskets 

Many higher-end pet-friendly hotels welcome you and your dog by having designated food and water bowls set up in your room before you arrive – oh la la!

Fancier places even provide things like toys and dog beds, but your pet may prefer using his own stuff, as it’ll remind him of home. 

Dog Friendly Food Options

Dig in with your furry BFF! Some pet resorts include freshly prepared dog food on their room service menu. And some, like the Liberty Hotel in Boston take things even further: They host a weekly happy hour where you can bring your pooch, complete with dog-safe chicken-broth cocktails!

Designated Walking Area

Some hotels offer a designated common dog-walking space equipped with waste bags. Some also employ an in-house dog-walker and have concierge services specifically designed to provide owners with the updated scoop on all local dog-friendly events in the area.

These are of course higher-end features, but even basic hotels and motels will usually have some kind of green space where you can sneak in your dog.


Dogs deserve a vacation too, right? Many chains have upped their game to include luxurious furball amenities including dog massages, photoshoots, pools, and even pet psychics!

dog hotel amenities

Pet-Friendly Hotel Alternatives

Can’t find a pet-friendly hotel? Other options include:

  • RV-ing. While you have to plan ahead of time for this option, traveling with your dog in an RV or taking up van-life with your dog means you never have to worry about pet policies and can save money by circumventing hotel stays altogether.
  • Camping. Many campgrounds are pet-friendly, so those may provide a better avenue for dog-friendly stays, so long as you have some camping gear on hand.
  • AirBnb. While there aren’t tons of Airbnbs that are pet-friendly, every now and then you’ll find a few, so it’s worth taking a look if you’re feeling desperate.
  • Sleep in Your Car. This certainly isn’t an ideal plan, but in a worst-case-scenario, you and your canine could cuddle up in the car. You may even wan to consider bringing an inflatable air mattress or sleeping bag in case you need to snooze in your back seat for the night.


No matter where you go, your trip is bound to be better if you have your pooch by your side. Traveling can bring you both closer, and give your pet a nice change of pace. Plus, with so many dog-friendly options and accompanying amenities, your pooch will feel like royalty.

Have you tried out any of the motels or hotels listed above?  What’s the best dog-friendly hotel for you and your family? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below!

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Written by

Kate Brunotts

Kate is a dog-loving content specialist with over a decade of canine-care experience. She is currently a professional dog walker and pet sitter, with previous experience working at the Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital in Manhattan. When not spending time with four-footers, she can usually be found crafting top-notch dog-care articles that pet parents can trust. Kate loves dogs of all shapes and sizes, but Bernese Mountain Dogs hold a special place in her heart.


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I’ve traveled quite a bit through the midwest and the south with my German Shepherd. In my experience, hotels are fine for one or two night stays, but any longer, and Airbnb and Vrbo are the way to go for traveling with a pet, especially larger dogs. These services offer many pet friendly choices for pet owners, especially in larger cities. I’ve even found nice, pet friendly places in relatively small towns. These places offer you the ability to get exactly what you need for a pet. These accommodations usually offer more freedom to leave your pet unattended and, many times, there is a private yard to use for your pet. Some places even have large fenced in yards for plentiful dog exercise. If renting a whole house, the same cost as a hotel room in many situations, you also have quieter surroundings for your dog, which is good if your dog is a barker or is distressed by lots of people or loud noises. The biggest caveat about Airbnb and Vrbo is that it’s a very good idea to plan several months ahead. If you wait til the last minute, your choices can be severely limited or quite expensive. My other piece of advice is to do a lot of research about the possible places to stay and read the reviews extensively. These give you a good idea about any issues that may present themselves at your rental, as well as the renter’s policies. I’m not associated with Vrbo or Airbnb in any way. I have just stayed in these types of places frequently with a dog and have had great experiences.

Ben Team

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Christina! Airbnb may very well be a better choice for some owners.


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