We are a nation of pet lovers. An unprecedented number of American households -- about 70 percent -- have at least one pet. The role and status of pets has changed, as well. Americans consider them to be family members rather than just companions. Accordingly, pet parents are including their furry loved ones on their trips -- whether on short drives across town, extended vacations, quick weekend getaways, business trips, or cross country moves.
Fortunately for these travelers, hotels are increasingly opening their doors for pet guests. Unfortunately, most pet-friendly hotels only allow one or two pets, and most have weight and/or breed restrictions. This means that those pet parents with three or more pets in tow and those traveling with larger-size breeds may struggle a bit more in their attempts to find pet-friendly accommodations.
The demand for hotels, vacation rentals, and bed and breakfasts to consider expanding their pet policies is real, and increasingly relevant. Twenty-five percent of American households have multiple pets (i.e. dogs and cats), and 36% of dog-owning households have pooches weighing more than 40 lbs.
“We frequently get requests from pet parents with three or more pets, and those with larger breeds and bully breeds,” says Kim Salerno, CEO/Founder of TripsWithPets.com, a website that provides online reservations at pet-friendly accommodations across the U.S. and Canada. “They want to find a place to stay with their pets, but they’re not having any luck. I have three large dogs, and I know it can sometimes be tricky. There aren’t a lot of hotels that have policies stating they allow more than two pets, and don’t have weight restrictions.”
Securing lodging for a bigger crowd may be a bit more of a challenge for pet parents, but there are steps that they can take to ensure that they and all furry companions find somewhere safe and comfortable for everyone to stay.
Carefully peruse pet policies
It’s important to research pet policies when it comes to looking for accommodations that take multiple or larger pets. TripsWithPets is a great place to start. You'll comprehensive pet policy details for all of its pet-friendly properties, including the number of pets allowed and pet weight limits. It should be noted that finding accommodations for larger pets is easier than finding accommodations for three or more pets.
Divide and conquer
If you can’t find a hotel that will welcome all of your two and four-legged travelers, consider booking two rooms. Hotel pet policies operate on a per-room basis. So, if a hotel allows two pets per room, and you have three or four pets and two human travelers, you can book two rooms, and everyone will have the accommodations they need.
Enlist outside help
If you still require a bit of added assistance finding accommodations, you can always contact TripsWithPets directly. “We can personally help you find some options,” says Salerno. “If need be, we can reach out to some of our more flexible hotel and vacation rental partners on your behalf. We have a great relationship with them, and they are often willing to make exceptions. We’ve helped many pet parents find the right accommodations in this way. Once, we even helped a couple driving across the country with four dogs and two cats find hotels all along their entire route.”
Don’t dodge the rules
No matter what lodging plans you decide on, resist the temptation to smuggle unwelcome pets into any accommodation. Not only is it the wrong thing to do, it’s a plan that will most likely fail, especially if you’re attempting to sneak in a posse of pups or a pony-sized pooch. If you do get caught, you’ll be asked to leave, and forced to find other options at a moment’s notice. Flouting the rules can also give pet parents a bad reputation, which could result in more pet restrictions in the future.
When all’s said and done, while it may require a bit more effort and ingenuity to take your entire furry tribe with you on your trip, it’s very doable. “I travel successfully with all three of my large dogs, and one of mine is a bully breed,” says Salerno. “You just have to do a bit more digging…and we can help.”
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