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Automotive Traveler Magazine: 2011 11 Dog-Friendly Lodgings Page 1

Go Dogs Go!: Good Guest!

How to help keep the welcome mat out for Fido at dog-friendly lodgings.

By Robyn Larson McCarthy

Photographs: Dog-friendly historic Hotel Congress in downtown Tucson, Arizona (above and following page). Chaucer enjoys the dog-friendly Red Roof Inn (right).

Pet policies vary widely from one dog-friendly hotel, inn, or bed and breakfast to another. And at even the pet-friendliest of lodgings, there's plenty you can do to ensure a pleasant stay and spread a little canine good will. Read on for our tips about researching your options, making reservations, and staying overnight:

Tip #1: Check the hotel's policy on the number of dogs per room and any restrictions as to their weight and breed type.

This is especially important in cities such as New York, where many of the fancier hotels that permit dogs (and are thus listed as "dog-friendly" online and in guidebooks) limit the dog's weight to 10 or 15 pounds. Chaucer couldn't even stay at these places!

Tip #2: Verify if the establishment requires a non-refundable fee or refundable deposit.

Many hotels and even some fancy inns and B&Bs have no extra charge for dogs. Some hotels charge non-refundable fees (usually in the $10-$25 range, although I have seen stated policies of $50 and more), and others take a refundable deposit.On random occasion during our road-trip travels, we have been pleasantly surprised upon check-in to find a friendly employee who offers to waive the fee or deposit--but it's not something we ever request.