Dogs Welcome? Common Pet Policies
While dogs can stay with their families in a wide variety of dogs welcome
accommodation, there are usually restrictions. Each hotel or lodging will have
their own policies about what types of pets can stay in their units.
- Size. Although more dog-friendly hotels are beginning
to allow large dogs, many still restrict doggy guests to those of a certain
size. "Small dogs only" or "Dogs under 30 pounds" are
- Pets per room. It's common for accommodations to limit pets to
a maximum of 1 or 2 pets per room.
- Breed. Dogs owners who have dogs like Rottweilers, Dobermans, or
"pit bulls" (or dogs that look like them) should be aware of
breed-specific legislation (BSL). Municipalities with BSL restrict
some breeds of dogs and dog-friendly accommodation must follow the same
laws. Ontario is an example of this - their BSL currently restricts
"pit bulls" from the province.
- Time of year. Sometimes lodgings are only 'dogs welcome' during
certain times of the year. For example, family resorts that are crowded with
children may not always allow dogs during the busy summer season.
- Many 'dogs welcome' hotels will also require that guests cannot leave
dogs unattended in guest rooms. That means that if you're not able to
bring your dog with you, you will need to instead find a doggy daycare
or pet sitter.
Sometimes pets can stay in rooms unattended, provided they are crated
and an emergency / cell phone number is left at the front desk. But if
your dog is prone to barking or crying, or is anxious in new surroundings,
it's not a good idea to leave him alone in the room even if it's allowed.
A whining or barking dog disturbs other guests, and it's stressful for the
poor dog too.
- Most accommodation will charge an additional pet fee.
Ask whether the fee is per dog or per room, and whether it's
per night or per stay.
Of course, it should go without saying that everyone should immediately
clean up after their dogs. And dogs always need to be leashed and under
control. If we all show hotels and accommodation that our dogs are great
guests, they'll be happy to keep saying, "Dogs Welcome!"
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The Dogs Welcome website
offers travel tips and information specific to people who would like to travel with their dogs,
including links to find find dog-friendly accommodation where pets can stay with their families
in the guestroom!