This past week I spent three days at the Toller National show. Whenever I am at hotels with dogs I’m always amazed by the good and the bad that I see at big dog events like this one.
First off we must be reminded that more and more hotels are not allowing dogs to stay at their facilities. Then for the ones that do allow dogs the pet fees are on the rise! Every time you stay at a hotel with a dog you are an ambassador for all people traveling with their dogs. This is a big responsibility, please take it seriously.
Your dog should be your priority when traveling. Make sure that they are fed, have fresh water, and walked properly. These needs need to be taken care of before your own needs. Be aware of your dog’s stress levels and adjust your schedule accordingly. The less stress they are under the easier it will be for you to take care of them.
Please, only take dogs who are comfortable with strangers to hotels. The other guests and hotel staff do not want to feel threatened by your dog walking in the halls. Even if your dog is normally great with strangers, be aware that the stress of being in a hotel might make them on edge and act differently. When walking the halls and the lobby keep your dog on a short leash. Have treats with you to reward good behavior, or to use to distract a nervous dog.
Do not leave dogs unattended and loose in your room. If you have to leave your dog in your room here are some tips of the trade. The dog should be crated in a sturdy crate (with no chance of escape). Make sure to hang the Do Not Disturb sign on your door. You do not want the house keeping staff or your dog to be startled by each other. Leave your dog listening to Through Dog’s Ear music playing on either your iPad, computer or the portable iCalm system. This will help them relax and drown out other noises from the hallway. If you don’t have Through The Dog’s Ear then leaving the TV on a calm channel can help. I would suggest Food Network or Golf channel, you want minimal yelling and odd noises.
When using the elevator do not stand right in front of the doors. Make sure there is room for the people exiting the elevator. Once on the elevator step to the side and back. Give your dog space from other dogs and people. Remember elevators can be quite scary to dogs. If you ask your dog to sit and the don’t, don’t force it! Most likely the lack of listening is due to stress/nervousness about the elevator. Lastly, if you have a tailed dog, be aware of where their tail is at all times. You don’t want it caught in the doors or accidentally stepped on.
Finally, remember you are a guest, as is your dog! It is critical that you clean up any and all messes. Accidents happen, but don’t ignore them. Tell the staff, ask for clean up supplies if you need them, and clean up the mess yourself. Remember to leave your room tidy and to pick up after your dog inside and out. It is not the staff’s job to clean up after your dog.
I hope these tips make your next trip with your dog easier! Thanks for being a great ambassador for all the dog traveling public!