No one wants to be that person … the one whose dog is barking in a hotel. But we’ve all heard it. Someone leaves their pup alone in a hotel room and returns later to find that the poor dog barked the whole time.
Not only is it heartbreaking to think of your dog being that upset, it’s embarrassing to know that you’re responsible for disturbing other guests. And it could be expensive if the hotel asks you and your dog to leave!
Barking Might Lead to Higher Pet Fees
The real cost, though, could affect the entire pet travel community. Some accommodations have chosen to stop welcoming canine guests due to problems with dogs barking in the hotel.
The reimbursements required to satisfy disgruntled guests are undoubtedly being spread across all pet travelers in the form of higher pet fees. Or the hotel may decide to stop welcoming pets altogether!
So, what can we, as responsible pet travelers, do to keep from spoiling the fun for everyone else? The tips below will help ensure you’re not the one whose dog is barking in a hotel.
Consider Whether a Hotel the Best Choice
Before you travel together, you’ll need to understand your dog’s tendencies and limitations. It’s your job to keep your pup out of situations he’s not ready to handle. So, if your dog barks a lot at home, a hotel is probably not the right accommodation choice for you.
Dogs that bark a lot may be more comfortable staying in a pet-friendly rental property, bed and breakfast, cabin, or with family or friends. Any of these option will be quieter than a hotel, and staying with friends or family might mean there are people around to keep him company.
Strategies to Avoid Dog Barking in a Hotel
If your dog has the skills to stay quietly in a hotel, you can avoid any chance that he’ll disturb others by not leaving him alone. Sitting by himself in a unfamiliar place that smells like strangers and has unusual noises wouldn’t be fun for any dog.
Instead, plan activities that include your pup, use room service or take-out for your meals, and have friends gather at your hotel rather than going out to meet them. You can also try a bark collar for your large dog.
Another alternative would be to hire a pet sitter to stay with your pet while you’re out. The front desk may even have a list of local pet sitters they recommend.
Set Your Pet Up for Success
If you must leave your pet alone in a hotel for a short period of time, these steps will help you and your dog avoid problems:
- Be sure the hotel’s pet policy allows you to leave pets unattended. Note any limitations on the length of time pets may be alone.
- Do not leave your pets alone until they’ve acclimated to the hotel room. Take time to establish the hotel room as “home” in your dog’s mind, so he understands that when you leave, you’ll be right back.
- If available, upgrade to a suite. Having a living and bedroom, for example, allows you to settle your dog in the one furthest from the hallway. The room in between becomes a buffer, giving your dog space from activity outside your door.
- Keep the time you’re away as short as possible. Do what you have to do and get back to your dog as quickly as possible.
- Bring the things that make your dog comfortable, like his bed or blanket. For dogs that are used to sleeping in a crate, consider covering the crate with a blanket from home to help keep him calm.
- Tired dogs create less ruckus. Be sure your dog has a long walk with plenty of opportunities to relieve himself before you go out.
- Pack something extra-special to keep him busy while he’s alone. Whether it’s a tasty chew, a toy stuffed with food, or a dog puzzle that requires work to get the treats out. If his mouth is busy, your dog will be less likely to bark!
- Help your dog relax by tuning in a classical music station on the radio or television. Or get music specifically composed to reduce anxiety in pets from Through A Dog’s Ear, and leave it playing quietly to cover any noises that might trigger barking.
- Stop by the front desk every time you leave your pet to verify that the staff on duty has your cell phone number. If you need to turn your ringer off, leave your phone on vibrate so you can always be reached.
- Every dog can have a bad day. If the hotel notifies you that your pup is missing you loudly, apologize and return to the hotel immediately. Then don’t leave your dog alone again for the rest of your stay.