As we all know, a "back-to-school" checklist isn’t just for kids; it’s for our furry family members, too. Just as you wouldn't send your child to school unprepared, you shouldn't embark on a staycation without equipping your dog for success.
In collaboration with Dog Furiendly, we're here to share tips that will not only make your dog the ultimate staycation guest but also help you earn some extra credit with your hosts.
Dig Deeper into Pet Policies
Before you "Book Now," take some time to dig into the fine print of your chosen dog friendly accommodation. "dog friendly" can encompass a wide range of amenities and restrictions. Will your Great Dane be greeted with open arms or frowned upon? Are multiple pooches a party or a problem? And let's not forget the VIP (Very Important Pet) treatment: are we talking about a simple water bowl or does your pup get a doggy welcome hamper worthy of a rockstar?
It’s also worth enquiring about ground-floor rooms near exits; because when nature calls at midnight, you and your pup shouldn't have to navigate a labyrinth. And speaking of rooms, does this home-away-from-home come with a cushy dog bed? If so, what size? Are dogs allowed on the furniture?
Are there specific areas where dogs are allowed to relieve themselves, complete with pick-up bags and disposal bins? Be clear on any additional pet fees or deposits, and check the proximity of the nearest vet for emergencies.
We also recommend scanning the customer reviews focusing on their dog-related experiences, as these often offer invaluable insights into the property’s true level of dog-friendliness. Comb through all these aspects to ensure a comfortable and delightful staycation for both you and your furry friend.
Right after you've checked in and introduced your pet to the accommodation staff, it's an excellent idea to take a walk around the property. This initial exploration serves a few important functions. Firstly, it allows your dog to become accustomed to their new surroundings. The more familiar a space becomes, the more comfortable your pet will feel, which can reduce stress and anxious behaviours.
Additionally, this walk gives you the opportunity to double-check the areas where pets are permitted or restricted. Most places have specific zones that are dog friendly, and knowing these can save you from uncomfortable situations later on. If you're unsure, don't hesitate to ask a staff member during your stroll. Being proactive about understanding the policy can make your stay more enjoyable and stress-free for both you and your canine companion.
During Your Stay
If staying in a hotel, take a moment to introduce your pet to the staff. It's not just polite; it familiarises the people who will interact with your furry friend throughout your stay. In the unfortunate case that your pet causes some trouble, already having established a personal connection can smooth over many issues.
One significant concern for dog parents and staff alike is noise management. If you know that your dog gets anxious and barks when you’re away, consider bringing a white noise machine. This simple device can help to mask outside noises that might trigger your dog, making their stay—and yours—more peaceful. It’s also worth popping a worn t-shirt with your scent near your dog's bed. This could offer additional comfort, helping them relax which will minimise any disruptive barking.
Your dog's comfort is essential for a happy stay. Bringing their own bed provides a familiar space and protects the accommodation’s furniture from fur and potential accidents. On the other hand, if they already provide a dog bed then that saves plenty of hassle (particularly for bigger dogs). We would recommend calling ahead to check the size of the bed, and if you think it’s suitable, take a blanket to provide some familiarity for your dog.
While away, try to stick to your pet's usual feeding and walking schedule. Consistency helps mitigate stress and creates a semblance of normality in an otherwise unfamiliar environment. Also, use feeding mats and always clean up any mess to maintain the cleanliness of the room.
Being Courteous to Other Guests
Remember that not everyone may be as enthusiastic about dogs as you are. Some guests may have allergies or phobias, while others might simply prefer to keep their distance from pets. It's important to be mindful of other guests and maintain a respectful distance in shared spaces.
Common Areas: When in common areas like lounges, lifts, or hallways, keep your dog on a short lead and under control. Avoid allowing your pet to approach or jump on other guests, even if your dog is ‘friendly’.
Etiquette In The Lift: When using the lift, be prepared to step out if it gets crowded. Not all guests may be comfortable sharing tight spaces with a dog, so always be considerate and accommodating.
Dining Areas: If there is a dining area or restaurant on-site, ask about their pet policy. Some places may allow dogs in designated seating areas at the bar, or outdoors. Always ensure your dog is well-behaved, settled and doesn't disturb other diners.
- Pet-Free Zones: Be aware of any pet-free zones within the accommodation and respect these boundaries. It's essential to adhere to the policies to maintain a welcoming atmosphere for all guests.
Before you check out, take a few extra minutes to perform a final sweep of the room. Ensure that you haven’t left any pet toys, accessories, or scattered kibble behind. It’s a small step that demonstrates your respect for the property and its staff.
If your pet has caused any damage, it’s important to be upfront during checkout. Offering to cover the costs not only shows your integrity but also encourages the accommodation to continue its dog friendly policies.
Lastly, consider leaving a detailed review praising the dog friendly amenities and staff. It's a mutually beneficial gesture: your insights help other dog owners, and positive feedback encourages the accommodation to maintain or even enhance their dog friendly features.
So, as we venture out to explore the world with our furry companions, let's pledge to be the guests that places are eager to welcome back. After all, good manners open doors—quite literally!