Bringing fuzzy family members along makes any trip better for any pet owner. But to ensure the whole pack enjoys the travel experience, we need to brush up on pet etiquette.

This article covers choosing the right pet-friendly hotels, prepping pets beforehand, respecting public spaces, and integrating dogs or cats seamlessly overall.

Choosing a Pet-Friendly Hotel: A Guide for Paws and Claws

Pet-friendly location: Seeking hotels near parks and amenities

When researching hotels, look at the neighborhood first. Are there grassy areas nearby for your pets to sniff and stroll? What about pet boutiques or stores to grab forgotten items?

Hotels nestled near green spaces and pet businesses make travel more fun for animal companions.

For example, Hotel Chicago West Loop positions guests near Chicago’s vibrant West Loop. The abundance of shops and eateries welcome leashed dogs on patios. Mary Bartelme Park offers a playground, walking paths, and a fenced dog park to enjoy.

Reviewing pet policies and fees upfront

As you compare hotel options, clarify pet policies upfront. Size limits, number allowed per room and designated pet areas vary greatly. Top-rated pet hotels charge little to no fees but you may incur additional fees for mandated weight restrictions by the local Medical District. In the state of Illinois, one pet up to 25 lbs is allowed.

Check out this in-depth guide to finding the right hotel for your pet-friendly stay.

Consulting guest reviews for recommendations

Lastly, scour guest reviews for tips from fellow pet parents. People share first-hand experience with cleanliness, handling of accidents, unique amenities, or special treats offered at check-in.

For easy reference, you can check out the reviews for the hotels you’re considering online.

Tips for ensuring your pet is ready for a hotel stay

Familiarizing pets with travel gear in advance

The key to smooth travel is practice. Early exposure to car rides, leashes, carriers, and handling by strangers preps pets for new environments.

Use favorite toys and treats to reward cooperation building up to the trip. The more they enjoy car travel and gear ahead of time, the better.

Getting veterinary approval to travel

Schedule a vet visit for about 30 days for domestic and at least 3 months for international travel, before confirming all preventatives and vaccines are current.

  • Review flea/tick meds, and heartworm schedules, and ask about motion sickness if cars upset your pet’s tummy.
  • Make sure microchip contact info is updated so you can reunite if they wander off en route.

Packing toys, beds, and other comforts from home

  • Carry familiar items emitting home scents to aid adjustment once you’re at the hotel.
  • Pack puzzled treats and food puzzles for mental stimulation.
  • You can also try free-feeding anxious pets to prevent hunger pangs in new surroundings.

If traveling overseas, don’t forget their health certificates showing all vaccine records.

Smooth Check-in upon Hotel Arrival with Pets

Calling ahead about pet policies and arrival plans

Phone the hotel before arriving to verify room type, pet locations and confirm policies haven’t recently changed.

Provide details like breed, name, weight, and age so staff expect you. Discuss where to enter, if check-in is outdoors versus lobby, and when evening walks typically occur.

Using leashes and carriers for low-stress check-in

Transport dogs using leashes and cats in carriers. This keeps pets comfortable while allowing staff to assist other guests simultaneously.

Have your confirmation number handy, credit card pre-auth form pre-filled and government ID ready to show. The faster you can complete registration, the sooner pets can relax.

Asking about on-site pet amenities

Inquire with front desk staff or hospitality about amenities offered. Where are pet relief areas? Does the hotel provide bowls, beds, or clean-up bags if you forgot some? Are pets welcome in certain restaurants or the lobby bar? The information prepares you both to enjoy the hotel’s features.

Pet-Proofing Your Hotel Room

Removing hazards and securing access to balconies

Walk each room to remove toxic plants, secure cords and block balcony access before letting your pet roam free.

Keep toilet lids closed and hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign when stepping out so housekeeping doesn’t accidentally open the door to an unattended pet.

Bringing familiar pet beds and toys

Place pet beds, bowls, and favorite toys in living areas to comfort your companion.If crating pets, position them near your bed to assure them they have not been abandoned.

Following hotel rules about unattended pets

Most hotels prohibit leaving pets unattended to prevent nuisance barking or accidents. Review guidelines to know policies on monitoring requirements.

Schedule dog walks for reasonable durations unless you’ve confirmed arrangements for midday potty breaks.

Navigating Common Areas: Etiquette in Hotel Spaces

Keeping pets leashed and under control

Hotels allow pets in designated zones but typically require leashing when in public areas.

  • Practice loose leash walking so your dog stays near despite distractions.
  • Use close control handles for cats or small pets so they don’t dart underfoot.
  • Carry dogs where hard floors could cause slipping.

Packing waste bags and cleaning up after pets

We all have to go but be sure to curb the mess!

  • Dispose of all pet waste appropriately in designated bins.
  • Avoid letting dogs sniff landscaping beds where urine burns grass.
  • Bring extra waste bags for quick scoop-up.

Respecting designated pet-free zones

Adhere to all posted pet restrictions for pools, spas, fitness centers, or restaurants. Even extremely well-behaved pets should steer clear so guests with allergies can also enjoy amenities without reaction.

Tips for dining in hotel restaurants with pets

Choosing pet-friendly dining options

Call ahead to see which on-site eateries welcome pets on patios or in designated sections.

Focus training for good floor behavior before restaurant visits. For high-energy dogs, schedule mealtimes before peak times.

Training pets for well-behaved restaurant behavior

Teach pets to settle on floor beds without begging, excessive barking, or approaching other tables. Carry tasty treats to reward silence and stillness. If dining alone with your pet, request patio seating for easier monitoring over multi-course meals.

Communicating with restaurant staff about your pet

Notify host staff you have a pet dining with you and where it will be positioned. Assure them you’ll handle accidents or disruptions discreetly if needed. Servers will appreciate the heads-up so they can navigate floor spaces unimpeded.

Smooth Hotel Check-out Procedures for Pet Owners

Settling any outstanding pet-related fees

Review your bill for pet deposits, cleaning fees, or damages related to your furry guest. Provide payment details for any incidentals like chewing, accidents, or excessive shedding noted by housekeeping.

Providing feedback on the hotel's pet-friendly services

Inform management or front desk staff of exemplary service from bellmen, servers, or housekeepers. Share suggestions to help elevate their pet amenities even more.

The more pet owners guide hotels, the better they become for pet-satisfied travelers.

Planning for future pet-friendly travels

Before departing, grab business cards, pet policy info, and other collateral to assist in booking your next pet-friendly adventure. Jot down notes from this trip regarding wins, lessons learned, or preparation techniques that worked particularly well.

Bon voyage

Booking a hotel stay with pets requires extra planning and responsibility. In return, you get to enjoy precious time together without cage or kennel anxiety. If fur parents lead the way in thoughtful pet travel, it will catch on.

When you’re ready for your next getaway with pets, consider us at Hotel Chicago West Loop. All of our rooms offer pet-friendly options, so you have everything you need for traveling with pets in style. And the location can’t be beaten for exploring Chicago’s exciting West Loop neighborhood.

Just be sure to book your pets as your guests so they receive the red carpet treatment too.

Here’s to many more great adventures with furry family members!