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Friday Focus: Pet Travel Peeves

Most of the people who read this blog have either traveled with their dogs or considered it. And those who travel often have definite opinions on what they do and don’t like about restaurant, hotel, and airline policies — to name just a few basic categories.

So this week’s question is less academic and theoretical, more experiential (standard dog-in-glasses photo notwithstanding).  I want to know: What’s your top pet-travel peeve?

Me? I’m irritated that many hotels — especially nicer ones —  slap on automatic “cleaning fees” for dogs, most of them pretty hefty.

Humans can trash a hotel room a lot more quickly than any canine, and I’m not talking just Keith Richards types. Consider your average slob who uses white hotel towels instead of tissues to wipe off their mascara or shine their shoes, vacationers (both kids and grown-ups) who overindulge and throw up on the rug — or stick their gum under the furniture.

Room rates take such standard wear and tear — and vacuuming of hair, if you want to bring up shedding — into account.

Sure, if your dog trashes the room, you should be expected to pay — just like Keith Richards would be. But don’t slap on a big automatic fee before the fact.

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  1. Posted August 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Edie, I couldn’t agree more. If Cleo would travel with me, she is so well behaved and quiet that as a hotel guest, I’d pay to have her as my personal security guard at night. Truthfully she and I both shed about the same amount of hair, mine is just longer.

  2. Posted August 1, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    1. Not cleaning up after your dog.
    2. Not obeying the local leash law.
    3. Not restraining your pet in the car while driving.

    And I wrote a blog post about it all!

    • Edie Jarolim
      Posted August 1, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      And here I thought you were going to post your big dog petition!

    • Posted August 2, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      I have to agree with Rod. And all those things apply whether I’m traveling with my dog or just driving and walking about town.

  3. Posted August 2, 2010 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    I understand an additional fee for having a dog in the room. I don’t understand a charge that is a considerable percentage of the room bill. They could effect enough protection for the hotel by holding over a charge of “x” on your credit card if you are one of the bad actors Rod refers to. Housekeeping should have a box added to their checklists for each room that says “signs of damage by dog”. We should all be able to settle bills knowing that the credit amount held over on the card has been released. Beyond what must be this most common gripe, I haven’t traveled enough with Tashi to speak with authority, but I’ll be interested to hear what others reveal.

  4. Posted August 2, 2010 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Not being allowed to leave your dog in the room even if she’s in her crate- what can she possibly do besides bark? At clicker expo where you are expected to leave your dog in the room for portions of the day to allow her to rest, I’ve simply knocked on my neighbor’s door and gave them my cell phone number in case my dog starts barking uncontrollably or something . I also tell the front desk that my dog is in her crate alone in the room and give them my cell phone number for the same reason.

    There is a responsible way of doing this and it doesn’t have to be not go anywhere at all while you are out of town because dogs aren’t allowed anywhere and the hotel wont let you keep the dog in the hotel room in her crate while you go out alone!!!!

  5. Posted August 2, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Discrimination against big dogs.

    Some of these pet-friendly places are only pet friendly to dogs under a certain size limit. It could be under 20 pounds or under 40 pounds. Whatever. A beautiful greyhound doesn’t fit into that poundage.

    You’re either dog friendly or not.

  6. Posted August 2, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Edie! I’m vexed by exorbitant hotel fees and by the outrageous fees airlines charge for in-cabin pets, but I don’t feel that pet travel is mainstream enough yet really to rant about those irritants. Hotels and airlines charge that much because they can — there’s not enough competition yet (though Southwest is doing its part by choosing a fee on the low end of the spectrum~it’s suggestive that when Frontier started allowing in-cabin pets on its flight, they chose a rate competitive with Southwest’s) — and I’m resigned to waiting until the marketplace catches up.

    What gets right UP MY NOSE is the debate over whether dogs should be allowed in-cabin at all — no one actually has any scientific data about the effect pets on planes cause allergy sufferers, so the objections you hear (and they’re often really hateful) are based solely on individual anecdotes, or on the writer’s instinctive belief that pets on planes will cause them, or their mother, or their aunt, terrible trouble. How I wish that someone would fund a real study about the risks (or not) to allergy sufferers posed by in-cabin pets, including a look at measures that could be taken to alleviate any ill effects, like seating a sufferer elsewhere in the cabin.

    • Posted August 2, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      Mary and Mary-Alice … If only someone would publish an easily accessible pet policy so you would know, before you book your room, what the pet fee is. Oh … wait a minute … GoPetFriendly does that! LOL

      Mary-Alice … When I was researching dog friendly restaurants and pet friendly hotels I found out that percentage of people who suffer from pet (dog and cat) allergies is smaller than the number of people who own pets! And if you only look at people who are allergic to dogs, the number is MUCH smaller.

  7. Posted August 3, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    While Raja and I don’t have too many peeves, I guess the extra fees for rooms for good dogs might be one of them. Last month we stayed in a room in Oakland, CA and, if you can believe it, the room smelled of skunk. Maybe they should have paid us!

  8. Susan
    Posted August 4, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    My 20 lb. dog, not large by any stretch of the imagination, is too big to travel in a plane. Even if I were to buy her a seat, I cannot take her with me. Sigh!

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  1. By Friday Focus: Pet travel – the new frontier on August 6, 2010 at 8:04 am

    […] asked on Sunday for people’s pet pet-travel peeves, my own being excessive fees for dogs staying in hotel […]

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