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Feature Article: September 2002

Bringing Your Well-Behaved Pooch
to a Bed and Breakfast Inn

Maybe you are tired of an ordinary motel or hotel room, or perhaps you are looking for a romantic getaway. You might consider staying at a bed and breakfast inn. Sounds like a plan. Except for one minor detail. You insist on bringing your dog with you. After all, you spend most of your time at work, and when you finally go on a vacation, you want to bring your best friend along. Dog-friendly bed and breakfast inns can be few and far between. But assuming you finally find one that welcomes you and your pooch in one of their rooms, what should you expect and what pet rules are normally practiced at bed and breakfast inns? We found some advice from the experts, bed and breakfast innkeepers and owners.

Most of the innkeepers we contacted have been allowing pets in their establishments for at least 8 years. And most, if not all of them, are pet lovers who have dogs of their own or just plain like having dogs around. But in order to achieve harmony amongst all guests, innkeepers usually have certain pet rules. The pet policies at many inns are pretty much the same: pets must be leashed when outside the room, pets must be quiet in the rooms, pets must be attended at all times, and owners should pick up after their pets. A few inns also require that your dog be on some kind of flea protection, like Advantage or a flea collar.

We also asked the innkeepers what some of their "pet peeves" are when allowing dogs. The overwhelming pet peeve was dog owners that leave their dogs alone in the rooms when they should not. Some inns have policies against this, and occasionally guests still leave their pets alone. If you are going to bring your pet with you on vacation, please be a responsible pet owner and do not leave your dog alone if it is against the policy. Try to find activities to do with your dog. And if you are dining out and cannot find a dog-friendly outdoor restaurant, try bringing the food back to the room or inn.

Innkeepers do not like having dogs left alone in the rooms for several reasons. Many innkeepers told us that even though guests told them the dog would be quiet, the dog barked constantly. Another problem was that some dogs (even normally well-behaved dogs) got scared and were destructive to the room, like chewing or scratching on the door.

Keep in mind that these problems are typically uncommon for innkeepers. The overwhelming majority of pet owners are very responsible and abide by the pet policies. In fact, the innkeepers and owners we contacted had some great things to say about dogs and dog owners that have been their guests.

"We love dogs and cats and really enjoy having them. We also understand the frustration people have in this area (Chincoteague Virginia area) with finding a really nice place that allows pets. We really have stepped up our promotions of being pet-friendly over the years." -- Tom and Sara Baker, Owners, The Garden and Sea Inn, New Church, Virginia, 800-824-0672

"I love animals. I have a dog of my own and she enjoys the animals. And people who own pets are usually terrific people!!" -- Nancy Hinchliff, Owner/Innkeeper, Aleksander House Bed and Breakfast, Louisville, Kentucky, 502-637-4985

When asked what they like about allowing dogs, "The guest's appreciation for allowing what has become a part of their family to be with them while traveling." -- Nick Jacques, Owner/Manager, Barrister Bed and Breakfast, Helena, Montana, 406-443-7330

When asked why they decided to allow dogs, "We have owned The Carriage House for 5 years, have our own dog and cat, plus the previous owners accepted pets." -- Andrew and Lesley Kettley, Owners, The Carriage House Inn, Laguna Beach, California, 949-494-8945

It is also important to note that some bed and breakfast inns charge an additional pet fee or deposit. If you decide to stay at a dog-friendly bed and breakfast, be sure to ask about their pet policy when making a reservation. If you know the policies ahead of time, you will most likely have a more pleasant stay.





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Before you visit an establishment or place, please contact them and verify that they are still dog-friendly and available, as policies and management change frequently. All places listed on require your dog to be leashed and under your direct control unless specified  otherwise by an establishments (including parks and beaches) management. Please be aware of local Breed-Specific Laws that may be in place where you are visiting. The information on this site is not a recommendation., Inc. makes no warranties or representations of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation of the site or the information, content, materials, or products included on this site. If you find an establishment that no longer allows dogs, please let us know so we can remove them from our list. For full Rules and Regulations for Use of This Site, including the legal disclaimer and copyright notices,  click here before using the site
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