Before we became dog parents, my husband and I spent our summers road tripping throughout New Zealand. When Jessie, our first dog, joined our family we expected the tradition to continue. However, we encountered many road blocks before we left the front gate because finding places to stay that allowed dogs was challenging. Some of the challenges included:
- While directories of dog friendly accommodations exist, they do not allow you to make bookings, which became a time-consuming process for us.
- Accommodation providers do not specify their dog policy, which lead to us making many phone calls and emails requesting information.
- There were accommodation providers that allowed dogs, but their dog policy did not align with how Jessie fit into our family. For example, Jessie sleeps inside, so any place that only allowed dogs to stay outside or in our vehicle was struck off the list.
To help fellow dog owners that want to holiday with their dogs we have a few tips and questions to ask that will save you time and get you on your holiday with your dog much faster.
- Begin your search early - You may be surprised at how long it takes to find a dog friendly provider. We have spent close to two hours searching, phoning and emailing for each holiday.
- Know your dog's requirements - be sure that your "must-have" requirements match the policy of the accommodation provider. If you want to be able to leave them in the room, while you go out to dinner and the policy states no, then that provider is not the right one for you.
- Know the type of accommodation you want - In New Zealand, motels and campgrounds tend to be more dog friendly, then hotels, baches/holiday houses. Whereas, in the US it is more common for all types of accommodation providers to be dog friendly, even your 5-star luxury hotels.
- Filter your search by "dogs allowed" - While you will more than likely still need to contact the accommodation directly to make specific arrangements and discuss guidelines it will at least shorten your list.
Questions to Ask
When you find the accommodation provider(s) that allows dogs ask them the following questions:
- Can my dog be left by themselves?
- Is there an extra charge for bringing my dog? If so, what?
- Is there a safe and secure place on the property where I can let my dog off the lead?
- Where is my dog allowed to sleep? I.e. inside (crate only), inside (floor only), inside (anywhere), outside, vehicle only?
- Will there be other guests with dogs during my stay?
- What happens if my dog has an accident in the room/house?
- Do they need to be kept in a crate?
- What dog ammenities, if any, do you provide? I.e. dog food, treats, toys, beds
Overall the hunt for dog friendly accommodation can be long and tedious, but is well worth it when you see your dogs smiling faces. What tips have you found useful in your search for dog friendly accommodation? Please share them in the comments below.