Pet Friendly Canada Offers Pet Travel Etiquette Tips

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The selection of pet-friendly accommodations is more varied and numerous than ever before. Pet Friendly Canada offers travelers with pets a few simple "etiquette" tips to show hotels and other lodgings that pets should continue to be welcomed as guests.

But even one bad experience with pets can make accommodations think twice about continuing to allow pets. A few simple courtesies can go a long way in demonstrating that pets can be good guests that deserve to be welcomed as part of the family.

Couples and families vacationing with their pets is a fairly common sight these days. Although many accommodations now accept pets, good "pet travel etiquette" helps to ensure that both pet owners and guests without pets can enjoy a fun and relaxing holiday. Pet Friendly Canada suggests that pet-toting travelers follow a few "pet-related courtesies", since a good experience with pets encourages accommodations to maintain their pet-friendly policies.

"Well-mannered pets and responsible pet owners help to show that pets deserve to be welcomed at hotels and other accommodations, just like the rest of the family," comments Angela Lynch, founder of the Pet Friendly accommodations directory and owner of four pets.

The first thing travelers with pets should do is verify an accommodation's pet policy. Pet policies change from time to time, and checking in advance will ensure that pets are still welcome. Sneaking in a pet is never a good idea - not only does it give lodgings a bad impression of guests with pets, it can also cause stress for the pet, the traveler, and other guests too.

Travelers should mention their pets at the time of booking since many lodgings have only a limited number of pet-friendly rooms available. Ask about any restrictions and rules as well, which can include restrictions on the type of pets allowed, the size of the pet, and the maximum number allowed in a guest room.

Lodgings may also have additional rules, such as a restriction from pets using the furniture. Discuss the pet policy so that the rules are clear. Pet-friendly accommodations all have their own set of rules for guests with pets, and travelers can shop around until they find a place whose pet policies are acceptable to them. Lynch suggests considering smaller accommodations such as B&Bs and private cottages as well, since their small size may allow them greater flexibility when it comes to pets.

Dogs should always be leashed and under control, especially in public areas such as the hallways and hotel grounds. Do not permit pets to approach other guests unless they are invited to do so. For the safety of the staff, travelers should also kennel pets or keep them by their sides and under control when the housekeeping staff is present.

One of the biggest pet peeves in the hospitality industry are guests who leave their dogs unattended in the room, only to have the dog become distressed and begin barking. "Even a dog who's perfectly calm and relaxed at home can feel stressed out in an unfamiliar place like a hotel room," remarks Lynch. "It's not good for anyone when a dog is barking continuously. It disturbs other guests, it puts the hotel in the situation of dealing with complaints, and it's upsetting for the dog too."

In some cases, lodgings do allow pets to be left alone in guestrooms for short periods of time (normally crated or kenneled). However it's always a good idea to advise the front desk that there is a pet alone in the room, and provide a cell phone number in case of emergency. A better solution might be to use the services of a local dog daycare or pet-sitter.

Travelers should also be prepared to clean up after their dogs and should carry a supply of bags for this purpose. As a courtesy, travelers should try to take the dog for his bathroom break in an area that is out of view of the other guests. Bring towels for wiping off muddy paws, and notify the hotel staff immediately if the pet has an accident.

Finally, travelers should consider the type of lodgings that best suit their pets. For example, a dog that is nervous around lots of noise or activity may do better in a private cottage than in a busy hotel.

"Our member accommodations report that most travelers with pets are very responsible," Lynch says. "But even one bad experience with pets can make accommodations think twice about continuing to allow pets. A few simple courtesies can go a long way in demonstrating that pets can be good guests that deserve to be welcomed as part of the family."

For further information, please contact Angela Lynch or visit Pet Friendly(tm) is a trademark of Pet Friendly Canada.

About Pet Friendly Canada:
The Pet Friendly Canada website offers a free, searchable list of hotels, motels, resorts, cottages, and other vacation accommodations throughout Canada that allow pets. Pet travel tips and checklists are also available. Pet Friendly also provides an online forum and community for pet owners which includes a section for Pet Travel Deals.

Angela Lynch
Pet Friendly Canada


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