Dogs welcome! Dog travel tips and dog-friendly accommodations where pets can stay with their families.
Dogs Welcome!
Helping families travel with their dogs

Pets Can Stay With Their Families - But Under What Conditions?

Common Pet Policies and Restrictions

While pets can stay with their families in a wide variety of pets welcome accommodation, there are usually restrictions - especially when it comes to dogs. Dogs vary so widely in size that many dogs welcome hotels will have a pet policy 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 examples.

  • 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. The fee might be applicable for every dog you bring, or it might be charged per room instead... and it might be charged every night, or it might be a one-time charge that covers your entire stay. Ask the accommodation for the details so you aren't shocked by the price when you get the bill.

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. Even though some hotels and accommodation do say pets can stay at their lodging, all of us need to show that our pets deserve to treated as valuable guests. Well-mannered dogs (with equally well-mannered owners!) will encourage hotels to keep saying, "Dogs Welcome!"