Tips for Helping Your Dog Adjust to Hotel Stays
September 11, 2017 • Travel •
Hotel rooms can be stress inducing for your dog. They are full of unfamiliar sights, scents and sounds as well as lacking many of the amenities of home.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to help your pet relax in a hotel is to look for opportunities to make it a positive experience. Here are some suggestions to help your dog appreciate staying in hotels:
Crate Training: Home Away from Home
There are many benefits to crate training your dog, however, if you are someone that travels often perhaps the biggest benefit is the comfort it brings to your furry travel companion.
Most crates fold flat so they are easy to pack. Bedding from home will carry a familiar scent which has a reassuring effect on your dog.
Crates also keep your pet from getting into trouble when you leave them alone in the room. Make sure to do a few practice runs leaving your dog in the crate for short periods of time before you try longer outings.
Give your dog access to extra treats such as chews, stuffed toys, and food rewards at the hotel. This will help them to associate this new environment with things they enjoy. Make sure that you are dispensing rewards when your dog is exhibiting calm behavior to reinforce that state of mind.
Think beyond food rewards to other kinds of positive experiences you know your pal already enjoys. Extra walks, a game of tug, or long belly rubs can go a long way to helping your dog look forward to hotel stays.
Traveling often comes with changes to your normal daily schedule. Some dogs can find this stressful. Keeping up with regular wake up and meal time routines can significantly reassure your dog.
Build some K9 centered adventure into your travel. Not only does this give your dog one more positive association with hotel stays, it will also help to wear them out. This means more naps at the hotel, which in turn helps to associate the room with relaxation.
Check Your Stress Levels
Are you stressed out when you travel? Chances are your dog will pick up those vibes and mirror your angst. In fact, left unchecked, such stress can become a negative feedback loop. Make sure you take care of your own needs so that you can relax and be a calm leader for your buddy.
If you regularly have training sessions with your dog at home, be sure to include them on your next vacation as well. Short but regular positive training opportunities go a long way to helping your dog feel bonded with you in a new environment.
If you are planning a trip soon, be sure to also check out this travel checklist before hitting the road.
Mat Coulton has worked with dogs for just under a decade and is the founder of WileyPup.com, a doggy lover’s website that provides great tips and advice for pet parents everywhere.