And then… There were three
(Dalmatians to travel with, that is)
I have always travelled with dogs. Most recently it’s been with Random, my magical Dalmatian. We travel together enough that I made her an Instagram and Facebook page (@random’s travels) to document her travel adventures (be sure to follow along).
There are three main hotel pet policies that you need to consider when booking ‘pet-friendly‘ accommodations. These considerations are weight restrictions, additional fees per pet, and the maximum number of dogs.
Hotel Pet Weight Policies
From time to time, I would run into a hotel with pet policies that include weight limits that she exceeds. Occasionally I would simply play dumb and say: “Oh, I thought that was 30 kg, not 30lb, I’m Canadian” and I never had any issues.
When we added the best boy, Hazzard, I had to be a bit more cognizant of size ranges in hotel pet policies. Random is a petit 43 lb, Hazzard is a solid, muscled 57 lb. Making it harder to pretend he’s a “small” dog. The hotels with listed weight limits were rare, and only once did we change plans after a hotel reached out and underscored their strict limit. If they go out of their way to contact you to reinforce their pet policy, it is not worth the hassle. Otherwise, it’s been super easy to travel with the two of them.
Hotel Pet Fees Policies
We have paid a range of pet fees, from free to $100 when I was determined we “must” stay at the hotel I wanted. I did notice, though, when booking that I’d regularly see a two-dog limit. When Danger puppy joined our pack, I wondered if i would start to have more trouble finding places to stay. We’ve done a fair bit of travel in the three months she’s lived with us, including one of my favourite boutique hotels that definitely and very clearly posted a two dog per room limit. They have always been VERY welcoming of the dogs, so I decided we’d just risk it and showed up with 3. The staff literally came out from behind the desk to greet them, and not a comment was made about the volume of spots.
Hotel Policies on Number of dogs
I just wrapped up a road trip from Ontario to PEI, with several hotels along the way. On this trip, I was able to stay at another favourite boutique hotel (one of the old railway hotels) with no pet fees, and no one batted an eye at me walking in with 3 Dalmatians. I steered clear of any place listing a maximum of 2, as well as any hotel saying “$x per dog”. I already do not believe that there is any additional cleaning done after my dogs stay, so a charge per dog seems extra punitive. In each electronic booking, I wrote in “travelling with three well-travelled, well-behaved dogs” and had only positive responses in messages.
Travel Tip: What to pack for a road trip with your dog, click here
We understand the need for policies to be in place. However, many hotels have pet policies in place only as guidelines. Not all dogs are the same. While my dogs may exceed weight restrictions, or I may travel with more dogs than the average person – my dogs are better hotel guests than many people.
I travel a lot for work and always bring my dogs. My dogs are performance and sport dogs that know they have to be on their best behaviour in their various sports. Their strong discipline ensures they are quiet in the rooms, comfortable in a hotel room, and they are not destructive. As a responsible pet owner, I always pick up after my pet and make sure my dogs are not an inconvenience or disruptive to other hotels guests. They are amazing travellers, and I really appreciate it when hotel staff judge my dogs on their character, and not on their size.
So, I guess our travelling ways won’t be cramped by the addition of a third friend, beyond my new dreams of a transit van for more space!
Travel tip: Selecting a Pet-Friendly Hotel
There is no breed of dog that attracts attention quite like a Dalmatian. Beloved from Disney fame, and firehall traditions, the Spots bring smiles to faces wherever they go. Consummate travellers, The Dalmatian Trio always embrace adventure, whether on a road trip or at one of their many sports and events.
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