Always Call AHEAD!
I think that is the biggest piece of advice I can give you and I cannot stress it enough.
Even if the website says “Pets accepted/allowed”, it’s always safe to call ahead and verify their statements. 9/10 there are restrictions or hidden fees involved when you travel with your furry (or feathery, scally ) pets 🙂 So don’t let yourself be blindsided.
When you call to inquire to about their pet policy, always be sure to ask about breed restrictions and any hidden fees. Be specific! Don’t shy away from asking to many questions, these are your kiddo’s, your companions, and best friends so ask even the smallest questions that come to mind.
I’ve dealt with some places that are very upfront with their pet policy’s, including breed/species restrictions and weight limits. But I’ve also dealt with the more shady sided places who won’t tell you all the fees involved with having your pet stay with them or won’t be as upfront with you about their breed/ species and weight restrictions. And that can mean extra charges that you’re not budgeted for.
And just because the website doesn’t mention a pet policy, it does not mean they don’t have one. So again, Don’t forget to ask.
And that’s something else to be mindful of, independently owned establishments who can set (and change) their own rules at a whim.
Yes, it happens.
I’ve stayed in places that swear up and down a specific breed is not allowed and will fight you about allowing your pet to stay, but when you walk around and look, you’ll see plenty of other owners out walking that very breed. And they don’t always have that service pet stamp of approval. Sometime’s they just drew the long straw when they signed in.
I have even had hotels begin to deny a service pet on grounds that they didn’t want to deal with the room cleaning that “most pets leave when you check out”…. Yup… And boy did I have a lengthy conversation with that owner.
But not all places are out to get you or make it twice as hard for you to travel with your pets.
I’ve stayed in a few places that actually allowed a pet that they would normally deem “restricted” because they saw how obedient and well-mannered they were. And a couple of hotels even allowed me to stay with my pet for no fee do to his smallness and lack of messy behavior. These people are the real MVP’s in my eyes. They don’t judge a book by its cover and they allow for loopholes in their policies so they can better accommodate their guests and renters.
I wish more places would be that way and more open-minded to certain breeds and pets. Some really don’t deserve the bad reputation they have acquired.
Be sure to be polite about you inquiries
When you call up a hotel or an apartments leasing office, don’t jump down their throats the second they start steering you away from bringing your pet. Some of the people you’re talking to are simply doing their job and following the procedures set by their employers.
While I know some places are rude from the moment they answer the phone to the time you check out, you just have to take the higher road and keep a professional tone and outlook for the sake of your pets. Sometimes you just may be catching someone on a bad day, or they may have just spoken to someone before you who screamed and cursed them when they were denied permission to keep a loose pet snake in one of their rooms.
I’ve listened to this phone call, it happens lol
So keep it cool and collect. And remember the old phrase ” You catch more fly’s with honey than you do with vinegar“.
Be honest about your pet
The second most important thing I can stress while you look at traveling with your pets.
Don’t tell them spike is well potty trained if in fact, he messes on the floor when he’s left alone. Or he has separation anxiety and may tear up the furniture or chew chair legs when you run out to get groceries or have dinner.
Don’t promise them that the pet stays in his cage unless supervised, when your normal is letting them have free run of the bathroom while you’re at work.
Be honest about their vaccine history. Like taking your pet to a daycare, you want him/her to be protected from anything they may come in contact with. So be sure to keep up to date on your vaccines , flea/tick prevention and heartworm medications.
And it doesn’t hurt ( I recommend it actually) to check out the area you will be in and talk with your Vet about any issues that may be more common in that region VS your home town. A city pet may not need to worry about ticks as much as a country pet would. So keep that in some cases your pet may need a little extra protection.
I could go into so much more detail, but I think this a good start.
I’m all for traveling and being able to take your pets with you, I don’t know how some people can go without the comfort of a pet.? For me, its truly a challenge. And I would much rather pay a little extra or look a little harder to find the right place for me and my kiddo’s 🙂