According to the 2012 edition of the American Veterinary Medical Association U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, there are 70 million pet dogs and 74.1 million pet cats in America. Since 63.2% of pet owners consider their pets to be family members, it should probably come as no surprise that many pet parents bring Fido or Fluffy along when traveling—doing so may even be cheaper than boarding a pet in some instances. Accordingly, thousands of hotels across the country are now pet-friendly.

Pet-friendly doesn't mean that pets stay free

There are many hotel chains whose doors are open to your four-legged family member, but fees apply and vary considerably. Loews Hotels' $25 per-stay fee is easy on your wallet whereas W Hotels' $100 non-refundable cleaning fee plus $25 daily rate supplement is anything but. Look for hotels with reasonable fees or that require only a deposit at check-in and that's fully refundable at check-out—providing your room is damage-free. Petswelcome has a search feature to help you locate pet-friendly accommodations. It’s always advisable to contact the specific hotel directly to verify their pet policy, applicable fees, and the availability of rooms designated for guests with pets.

  • Best Western has over 1,600 locations that accept pets.
  • Intercontinental Hotels Group features many pet-friendly hotels in the U.S. and worldwide.
  • 1,266 hotels across 13 Marriott brands allow pets.
  • Choice Hotels offers more than 2,500 pet-friendly locations.
  • Several Hyatt brands welcome dogs and many Hyatt House extended stay hotels also welcome cats.
  • Loews Hotels' Loews Loves Pets program rolls out the red carpet for your pet.

Hotel chains that welcome pets for free

Pet-friendliness varies widely

  • Some hotels accept pets but offer no pet-specific amenities.
  • Some pet-friendly hotels go all out and provide pet beds, food bowls, name tags, litter boxes, treats and other accessories.
  • Sometimes pet-friendly means dogs only.
  • Breed and weight restrictions may apply as well as limits on the number of pets allowed per room.
  • Some hotels require proof of up to date vaccinations.
  • At some hotels pets are allowed to stay in any room, and at others, specific rooms or floors are designated for guests with pets.

Friendly reminders

  • Pet owners are financially responsible for any damage to property regardless of whether or not the hotel charges routine fees for pets.
  • Be considerate to other guests and staff by keeping your pet well behaved and as quiet as possible and by picking up after your pet. One bad experience with a pet could prompt a hotel manager to permanently yank the welcome mat out from under any future four-legged guests.
 This is a guest post by Deidre from Dania Beach, FL.
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