Staying in a Hotel
Finding a place to stay overnight where your dog will be welcome is luckily not as difficult as it once was. If you plan ahead, you can find a hotel or bed and breakfast that will accommodate you and your poodle. When you stay at the hotel with your dog, remember that you should both be on your best behavior so the hotel has no reason to question its dog-friendly policy.
The Internet can help you locate dog-friendly hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts. The American Automobile Association (AAA) notes in its TourBooks the hotels that are pet-friendly and even periodically publishes a book of pet-friendly accommodations called Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook. Since hotels sometimes change their policies, a telephone call to confirm their pet-friendly status is always in order.
Some hotel companies — like Loews and Starwood, which owns the Westin, Sheraton, and W hotel chains — are bending over backward to accommodate people and their pets. They even offer a special room service menu for dogs, as well as comfy canine beds.
Don't sneak your dog into the hotel. You might be able to smuggle a small dog in unnoticed, but you'll worry about every peep he makes. That's stressful for you and for your poodle. It's much better to call ahead and make a reservation, explaining that you are traveling with your dog.
When you make your reservation, explain that you're traveling with your poodle. Some hotels automatically put pets in smoking rooms. If that is not satisfactory to you (why should nonsmoking pet owners have to stay in smelly rooms, anyway?), explain to the hotel that your poodle shouldn't cause problems with future guests who are allergic to dogs. If the hotel won't budge, and you don't want to stay in a smoking room, just seek out another hotel.
When you stay in a hotel, keep the other guests in mind. Don't leave your poodle alone in the room if she's going to bark. If you know you can leave her alone and she'll remain quiet, it's a good idea to crate her when you're away from the room, in case a hotel employee enters the room. You don't want your poodle to scare the employee, and you don't want the employee accidentally letting your dog out the door.
If your poodle sleeps on the bed, bring along a sheet from home she can lie on. Even though she won't leave behind dog hair, she could mar a spread with dirty paws. Always, always, always clean up after your dog eliminates outdoors, and be sure to find out from hotel personnel where to deposit her poop.