Traveling with your dog is much easier now that many major hotel chains are rolling out the welcome mat for pets. Whether you're looking for a late-night pit stop or you're hitting the big city for a fun weekend away, there's a hotel for just about every pet owner -- and pup -- in need of some shut-eye.
Best Canine Check-In: Kimpton
Does your dog give you an over-the-top greeting whenever you come home? Kimpton prides itself on saying hello to your dog with the same enthusiasm: Pet names are displayed on a guest board by reception, and many hotels have in-house canine "directors of pet relations," like Romeo the terrier mix at San Francisco's Hotel Triton.
Best for Road Trips:Red Roof Inn
Although they don't offer any special dog amenities, Red Roof Inns are popular with the hardcore dog traveler set. When you're out in the parking lot late at night walking your pet, you'll have plenty of company. The chain's 345 hotels don't charge a pet fee -- but you are officially limited to one pup per room.
Best for Big Dogs: Sheraton
Many Sheratons will take dogs who weigh up to 80 pounds -- and individual managers can choose to allow even bigger pets to spend the night. At check-in, dogs receive a welcome kit packed with treats and instructions for where to walk your friend.
Best for Extended Stays:Marriot Residence Inn
Designed for people who take longer business trips, Marriot Residence Inn rooms have living rooms and kitchens, giving you plenty of space to play and relax with your dog. There's a one-time pet fee per stay -- from $75 to $200 -- so you don't have to worry about racking up daily fees.
Best for Pampered Pups: Loews
Thanks to the Loews Loves Pets program, four-legged guests get the royal treatment: In-room canine perks include memory foam pet beds, bowls, treats (catnip for cats), ID tags and the option to order from doggy room-service menus. Owners pay a one-time $25 pet fee per stay.
Best for Hipsters: W Hotel
This urbane chain has a P.A.W. (Pets Are Welcome) program that caters to cats and dogs. Pets get plush beds, bowls and food mats, toys, ID tags, cleanup bags or litterboxes and turndown treats -- for pups, that means W-shaped biscuits. The chain's 26 U.S. locales tend to be situated in upscale parts of town, like Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood. Most hotels charge a $100 cleaning fee, plus a $25 per day pet fee.
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I love all pets. I wouldn’t be a veterinarian if I didn’t, and I celebrate the human-animal bond every day. I do look forward, though, to the day when these five breeds aren’t as popular. The reasons vary, but in many cases the problems are health-related, and overbreeding by puppy mills and other less-than-ideal operations has a lot to do with that. What would help these breeds is for there to be a lot less of them. A couple of them need many more adopters and far less breeding, and all would benefit from people who are well-prepared for the challenges of owning a dog, and who make sure to look to rescue, shelters and reputable breeders for their pets. As always, whatever pet you choose, we veterinarians are here to help you make healthy choices for life.
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