You can find a wide variety of books outlining pet-friendly lodgings all over the country. Some are regional in scope, such as The Dog Lover's Companion to New England, by JoAnna Downey and Christian J. Lau. Plenty of online resources are also available.
The Web site www.dogfriendly.com offers comprehensive guides to hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts throughout the United States and Canada where you and your dog will be welcome, as well as information on dog-friendly places to visit once you get there. At www.pettravel.com, you'll find a list of almost 20,000 pet-friendly accommodations all over the world. The Web site details immigration rules for over ninety countries regarding quarantine requirements, vaccinations needed, and travel regulations for all airlines at home and abroad. The Web site www.petsonthego.com lists 30,000 hotels, motels, and inns that welcome dogs worldwide, including such posh digs as The Four Seasons. You can also check www.takeyourpet. for extensive information on pet-friendly lodgings, but you must pay to become a member. Substantial discounts on accommodations and other pet services are included if you decide to sign up.
Most resorts and hotels have Web sites that detail whether your dog will be welcomed. Florida's Disney World, for example, offers five kennels where your dog can stay while you're touring the park. Most open one hour prior to the park's opening and close one hour after it closes. Some are solely day-care facilities, while others offer overnight stays. At California's Disneyland, kennels are also available for day-care, but there are no overnight accommodations for dogs.
Realizing his own two dogs, a Lab and a Jack Russell terrier, would not be allowed at Starwood Hotels, CEO Barry Sternlicht changed the policy at Sheraton, Westin, and W hotels throughout the United States and Canada. The Starwood “Love that Dog” program now provides canine guests with custom-designed dog beds, oversize dog pillows, special dishes, temporary ID tags, and many other doggie perks and services.
As you travel with your dog, you'll find that some inns have specific pet-friendly rooms, some hotels require a security deposit, and all will require you to read and sign their pet policy. Some have restrictions on the number, type, and size of pets allowed. Other lodgings actively court people with pets. On Cape Cod, the quaint Wingscorton Farm Inn in East Sandwich advertises a private beach where dogs can run free. Not surprisingly, the Cypress Inn in Carmel, California, owned by screen legend and animal activist Doris Day, welcomes pets with open arms.
Ask if your pet-friendly room will be in a smoking area if this is of concern to you. Also find out if your dog must be crated if left unattended in the room. If you are staying in a hotel or motel, a ground-floor room would make nighttime potty runs easier. Make sure you use only designated areas on the grounds, and always be prepared to clean up after your dog before coming back indoors.
If your dog uses a litterbox indoors, place it in the bathroom to make cleanup easier. When you leave your dog in the room, turn on the radio or television to provide comforting background noise. If you expect the housekeeping staff to stop by, crate your dog for its own safety and the workers' peace of mind. When you go out, inform the front desk of your whereabouts, and give them your cell phone number in case they need to reach you. If your dog should damage any property report it immediately and offer to pay for repairs.