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Planning the 'pawfect' getaway: More hotels are welcoming pets as guests

More pet owners are opting to get away with their animals in tow, and the travel industry is expanding to meet their needs.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Spring break is upon us, and if you hate leaving your dog or cat behind, more hotels are making it easier for you to bring them along. 

Pet-friendly lodging was hit or miss a decade ago, but the industry has changed its strategy. 

One reason? It makes perfect business sense. It generates additional revenue and is an additional amenity that increases search demand. 

Today there is a long list of hotels, from major chains to boutique inns welcoming pets. And more are coming on board each year. 

Chains include, but are not limited to, La Quinta, Motel 6, Red Roof Inn, Candlewood Suites and recently some of the Hilton Brands have joined the party, too. 

One hotel chain that consistently ranks as a favorite among globetrotting pet owners is Kimpton. It helps that when founder Bill Kimpton created the hotel chain in 1981 he was known for bringing his dog, Chianti, to work with him. 

Kimpton's motto is "if your pet fits through the door, we'll welcome them in," with no limits on size, weight or breed at no extra charge and no pet deposit required. 

"With nearly 70% of American households having at least one pet, the demand is there. They needed to be more welcoming to four-legged guests," said Kim Salerno, CEO and Founder of Trips with Pets, a website that helps you book your hotel directly, choosing from more than 50,000 "pet friendly" accommodations across the U.S. and Canada. 

But "pet friendly" means different things at different properties, and this is where you really need to do your homework. 

"Just because a hotel allows pets, you really want to dig in to will they accept you and your entire pack if that's the case," Salerno cautioned. 

Check the fine print for nightly fees, pet weight limits, number of pets allowed, restrictions on certain dog breeds and whether pets are allowed to be left in the room unattended. 

Bring Fido is a pet travel and lifestyle brand website and mobile app connecting pet owners worldwide with more than 500,000 pet-friendly places. It allows users to compare and book thousands of pet-friendly hotels and vacation rentals through its app. And if a staycation is in your plans, check out their Best of Ohio list.

Once you've got your room booked, it's time to think about packing. On its list of must-have travel items for dogs, the AKC recommends a comfortable blanket or item that "smells like home" tops the list. A favorite toy, collapsible bowl are great ideas too. And don't forget the leash. 

Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous Ready Pet GO! story on Jan. 25, 2023.

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