Pet-friendly hotels ensure a positive experience for guests and help to make a hotel feel like home.
Animal-friendly hotels are on the rise, with brands such as India-based hospitality chain GRT Hotels and Resorts which recently opened its GReaT Trails properties for pets in South India.
Other pet-friendly hotel chains include Best Western, Travelodge, Marriott Hotels and Holiday Inn.
However, there are considerations that both the hotel and the guest need to take into account to make the stay a smooth one for human and animal alike.
The American Veterinary Medical Association has offered guidance on bringing pets to hotels.
What should guests and hoteliers do for pets?
Although pet-friendly hotels are becoming more relaxed, before booking always check if dogs are allowed, the hotel’s policy on animal size and other pet restrictions. In turn, hotel staff should be trained in pet management to ensure the best care upon the guest’s arrival and throughout the stay.
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Pack a travel kit for pets, including food, medications, leash, waste bags and other essential items. Make sure to bring along familiar items such as their favourite bedding and toys. Hotels should also offer to provide amenities for guests’ pets, treating the animal with the same care as the human guest.
Make sure animals are healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations and ask whether additional vaccines or parasite prevention are recommended due to different exposure risks at your vacation destination. Have your veterinarian’s contact information handy and know the location of the closest emergency service. Hotels should also have this information on hand to provide to guests if needed.
Try to incorporate a normal routine as much as possible. This could be feeding and taking the pet outside at similar times of day, and taking walks. Consistency goes a long way in keeping pets comfortable in new surroundings.
Consider your pet’s personality and state of health before deciding to bring them. If the trip will involve activities in which they can’t participate, or if the pet is unlikely to enjoy the journey, it may be best to hire a pet sitter or use a boarding service.
For the pet’s safety and the sake of others, always keep pets on a leash in public areas. Never leave them unattended in the hotel rooms for long periods and ensure they don’t disturb other guests.
If guests are prepared to look after their pet in new surroundings and the hotel staff are on hand to deal with any emergencies or requests, then the experience can result in longstanding guest satisfaction and loyalty.