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  • Writer's picturebertandernietheberners

Our tips for a dog friendly hotel stay

Updated: Dec 4, 2022

Woohoo - you're heading off on an adventure with your pup! Whether you're staying in a hotel, an Airbnb, a resort rental, or just a friend's place, there are a couple of things you can do and bring to help set your dog up for success so you both have a great trip.

Ernie greeting guests in the lobby of Jasper Hotel (Fargo, ND)

The Basics

Some of the items on this list may seem obvious, but they can be easy to forget! You'll need to bring along:

  • Food

  • Dog dishes

  • A leash

  • Poop bags

Your dog dishes at home probably stay in the same place all the time - so much so that they become almost like furniture! While it's not likely that you'll overlook food, the vessel is equally important. Luckily, most any bowl works as a dog dish in a pinch. If you forget to bring your dog's puzzle bowl/slow feeder along, you can use an upside down cup or a few tennis balls in the dish to give your pup some obstacles to navigate instead of chowing down too fast.

Some hotels will provide doggy guests with bowls on arrival

Because we have a fenced backyard at home, we're used to just opening the door to let Bert and Ernie outside to go potty. Chances are, that won't be an option at the place you're visiting, so be sure to bring along a leash and poop bags for potty walks! When you arrive, scope out a convenient outdoor trash can for disposal. More and more dog friendly spaces have all-in-one potty stations now, but it's best to be prepared with your own supplies.

On a potty walk at Justin Trails Resort (Sparta, WI)

Next Level

A few additional things you might want to throw in your pup's travel bag are:

  • A blanket or beach towel

  • A favorite toy or two

  • Treats!

The blanket or towel can serve a couple of purposes. First, it can act as a packable dog bed and give your dog a cozy place to sleep. A blanket is also handy to have when traveling if your pet is used to being on furniture. Always check if the place you're staying allows pets to be on couches/beds. If you get the green light, it's courteous to lay out your own towel before your dog gets comfortable to help control the fur and avoid potentially dirty paws.

Bert (mostly) on top of the blanket at Lutsen Sea Villas (Lutsen, MN)

A toy or two may help your dog settle in, but don't bring so many that you have a hard time keeping track of them all! It's nice to bring along some treats to help reward calm behavior and settling (or practice some tricks to burn off energy!), but be sure that they're tried and tested foods that you know your pet will tolerate well. It's no fun for anyone to have a pup with an upset tummy in a strange place!

Genius Mode

If you really want to be prepared while traveling with your pup, bring along:

  • A white noise app

  • Brain games

  • A lint roller

The white noise app (we like RainRain - it's free!) can help drown out any hallway or outside noise that you and your pet may find distracting. It can be tough to settle down and sleep in any new place, even more so if there are suitcases rolling down hallways or unfamiliar people walking and talking outside. White noise provides a steady, calming background to help minimize some of those distractions.

We like to pack a brain game or two to help Bert and Ernie focus and relax when we're in new places. Some of our favorites are: Lickimats (affiliate link) with frozen greek yogurt, Kongs with frozen peanut butter, and snuffle mats with kibble. All of these toys help the dogs engage in natural behaviors that also tire them out! As they say, a tired dog is a good dog.

At home with a couple favorite toys

A lint roller will help you clean up any egregious amounts of fur that your pals leave behind. At many hotels, you'll pay a pet fee that helps to cover extra cleaning associated with pet friendly units, but don't abuse it and assume that you can make a mess. If you own a shedding dog, chances are you already have a lint roller in your car - bring it inside on the morning of your departure for a few quick courtesy swipes!

What else is in your dog's travel kit? Let us know!

Dogs allowed on the bed at Jasper Hotel (Fargo, ND)!

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