A huge 14 per cent of Americans travel with their pets, that’s 36 million households, so hotels and inns are creating pet-friendly rooms or floors to make traveling with Fido or Muffy easier, and safer.
Some Westins, a brand of Starwood Hotels it clear they want your pet to feel as welcomed as you, their human guest.
They offer pet toys, treats and even a turn-down treat on the pet’s bed.
While select Four Seasons hotels occasionally have a “Bring Fido” program, that include such culinary specialties as Rin Tare Tare for hungry dogs, and a salmon specialty for cats.
There is more to the Welcome Fido program than a love of pets. Market studies have consistently shown that guests who come with their pets become repeat customers.
Obviously, pet owners see their pets as part of the family and are likely to be fiercely loyal to any establishment that welcomes a guest’s pet.
But traveling with your pet requires definite canine or feline etiquette.
www.bringyourpet.com provides information on pet-friendly accommodations, but also stresses these tips and behavior codes for Fido and Fluffy:
• Never show up unannounced with a pet without checking the pet policies where you’ll be staying
• Leaving a pet alone in a room is not good or acceptable. If absolutely necessary, Be sure to keep them crated since maids will likely service the room. And leave the television or radio on to keep the pet company
• Bring covers for furniture or beds, keeping shedding to a minimum.
• Consider feeding a pet in the bathroom and avoid carpets , minimizing messes
• Travel with two gallons of extra drinking water from home. If the pet is especially sensitive, use distilled water
• For cats, experts advise a full litter pan with extra litter, liners, and newspaper to place underneath for cats
• Old towels, carpet cleaner, disinfectant spray, and trash bags are important for accidents
• And carry a flashlight for those nighttime walks
Above all, be sure to keep identification on your pet as well as recent photos and vet records in your luggage.
According to the ASPCA, about 5 to 7 million companion animals enter shelters every year. But, the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy reports that fewer than 2 percent of cats and only 15 to 20 percent of dogs are returned to their owners. Most of these pets were found with tags, a tattoo or microchips.
Enter a newer pet-locating technology called SecurePal (Pet Automated Locator) that sends a text message and email if a pet escapes its yard or home.
The device is a small, lightweight GPS that attaches to the pet’s collar, and an interactive web platform that allows monitoring the pet’s location from a smartphone or computer.