We are a country that loves our pets. Nearly 70 percent of U.S. households have at least one pet. More Americans have pets than ever before, and more consider them to be family members than ever before. As a result, more pet parents are bringing their furry loved ones along with them when they travel – whether on a vacation, a weekend getaway, a move, or even a business trip.
Fortunately, more hotels are allowing pets. However, that welcome typically extends to one or two pets, and there are weight restrictions to contend with. This means that those traveling with three or more pets, larger-size pets, or both, find it a bit more challenging to find pet-friendly accommodations than those traveling with only one small pet.
Almost 25% of American households have multiple pets (i.e. dogs and cats) and 36% of dog owning households have pups larger than 40 lbs. So, there is indeed a demand for hotels, vacation rentals, B&Bs, etc. to consider broadening their pet policies.
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“We frequently get requests from pet parents with three or more pets, and those with larger dogs,” says Kim Salerno, CEO/Founder of TripsWithPets, a website that provides online reservations at pet-friendly accommodations across the U.S. and Canada. “They want to find a place to stay with their pets, but they’re not having any luck. I have three large dogs, and I know it can sometimes be tricky. There aren’t a lot of hotels that have policies stating they allow more than two pets, and don’t have weight restrictions.”
It may be a bit more challenging, but there are steps that pet parents can take if they want to bring multiple pets or large breeds along with them when they travel.
Do your homework
A visit to TripsWithPets.com is a great starting point. The site features comprehensive pet policy details for all of its pet-friendly properties, including the number of pets allowed and pet weight limits. Keep in mind that it is easier to find accommodations for larger pets than it is for more than 2 pets.
Divide and conquer
If you can’t find a hotel that can accommodate your whole crew, consider booking two rooms. Hotel pet policies work on a per-room basis. So, if the hotel allows 2 pets per room, and you have 3 or 4 pets and two human travelers, you can book two rooms, and everyone will be welcome.
Enlist extra assistance
If you still need some extra help finding accommodations, you can contact TripsWithPets directly. “We can personally help you find some options,” says Salerno. “If need be, we can reach out to some of our more flexible hotel and vacation rental partners on your behalf. We have a great relationship with them, and they are often willing to make exceptions. We’ve helped many pet parents find the right accommodations in this way. Once, we even helped a couple driving across the country with four dogs and two cats find hotels all along their entire route.”
Whatever you decide, don’t be tempted to try to sneak unwelcome pets into any accommodation. In addition to being wrong, it’s unlikely to work, especially if you’re attempting to smuggle in a crowd of canines or a giant pooch. If you get caught you’ll be asked to leave. Further, it can give pet parents a bad rap which could result in more pet restrictions.
In the end, while it may be a bit more effort to take the whole furry gang with you on your travels, it’s very doable. “I travel successfully with all three of my large dogs, and one of mine is a bully breed,” says Salerno. “You just have to do a bit more digging…and we can help.”