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Traveling with your dog Blog #1… Hotel Policies

Traveling with your dog is fun!  And is so much easier today than it was even just a few years ago. But there are still a lot of factors to consider in order to ensure the trip goes well for you, your pet and those around you.   This is the first in a series of blog posts we plan to do which will hopefully help as you prepare for your next trip with Fido.  In the next blogs we’ll talk about the fun stuff, but in this one, let’s get the nuts and bolts out of the way.

Pet Friendly?   First check to see if the hotel you are staying in accepts pets*.  Most hotels will share this information on their website, but if you’re not sure – call!  There are also a lot of good websites to help you find pet friendly hotels pretty much anywhere in the world.

Pet Policy?  Hotels have a wide variety of pet-policies and it’s important not to assume that because you’ve read one, you know them all.  Read your hotel’s policy carefully and pay attention to the fine print.  We at Mountain Top Inn & Resort love dogs and we’re thrilled to be able to offer dog friendly accommodations, however these are in limited supply.  All four of our King Cabins are dog friendly, as well as a selection of our Guest Houses.  We regret that none of our Lodge rooms are dog friendly.   It’s important to book early in order to secure one of our dog friendly rooms.  Our pet policy can be found here.

*Regardless of whether a hotel is pet-friendly, under II & III of the ADA, service dogs MUST be allowed to accompany their humans while visiting any property in the United States.  Service dogs are those that are trained to perform tasks for people living with disabilities.  Service dogs are working dogs and are not pets.  A common misperception is that therapy or emotional support dogs are covered under the ADA. Unfortunately, they are not.  Those traveling with emotional support or therapy dogs should seek lodging with pet friendly accommodations and their stay will be subject to the pet-friendly policy enforced by the individual property.

Before traveling, you should ensure that your pet is up-to-date on all vaccines and shots and not traveling with any communicable illnesses such as kennel cough.  That said, knowing the location of the Vet office (or kennel) that is closest to your hotel can be important information to have in case of emergency.

Pet Fees?  There are many factors that influence pet fees.  Fees will vary by property, number of pets, size of pets, length of stay, etc.   If you have questions about the pet fee at a property, call and speak to a property representative so that you can budget accordingly and there are no surprises.   If your options are to kennel your pet or bring them with you, compare the cost of kenneling to the hotel pet fee.  Many times the cost is similar and the joy of having your pet with you outweighs any additional costs that are incurred.

What’s included in the fee?  Additional cleaning is first-and-foremost the role of the pet fee.  Housekeeping must ensure that pet friendly accommodations meet the same quality & cleanliness standards as the non-pet friendly rooms.   In addition, many hotels offer amenities as a part of the pet fee.  At Mountain Top Inn & Resort, your room will be prepared with a complimentary dog bed and bowls as well as a welcome cookie – baked right here in Vermont!

Damages and Penalties.  Most properties will have strict policies on managing your pet during your stay and costs associated with damages or neighboring guest complaints.  Pets are generally not to be left alone in your hotel room, and if allowed, it is generally required that they be crated (for their safety and that of hotel staff) and an emergency number at which you can be reached must be supplied. Even the best behaved pet can become anxious in an unfamiliar space, especially with outside/hallway noises and voices which can provoke crying or barking or worse the destruction of hotel property.  This can also be disruptive for other hotel guests and pet owners should be conscious of the responsibility they bear in managing their pet’s behavior during their visit.

Know where you can go.   Be sure to identify the locations on property which your dog will be welcome.   Even pet-friendly hotels have rules about where you can take Fido.  You will find that restaurants, bars, eateries of any kind, pools, sporting areas, etc. will likely be off-limits for your dog.  Most properties will also require that your dog is leashed at all times to ensure his/her safety and that of other guests and staff.

We hope this information was helpful.
Now that we’ve gotten the basics out of the way, we’re excited about upcoming blogs about traveling with your pet – such as  How To Pack For Your Pet  :  Fun Things To Do In Vermont With Your Pet  :   Some Of Our Favorite Pet Friendly Hotels In New England  :  The Best Pet Friendly Travel Products On The Market  :  And More!

If you have questions about traveling to Mountain Top with your pet, please give us a call 802.483.2311.

(photo credit: Gary Hall)