Sneaking puppy through the alley?
July 1, 2010 12:33 PM   Subscribe

Can my husband sneak the dog into a motel, or is that just a recipe for disaster?

My husband is travelling across the country with our adorable Springer Spaniel, Orion. He will need places to stay where he can lodge the dog without too much trouble. Mostly looking at cheap motels along the major highways.

Are there chains that are known for their pet-inclusiveness? Do they charge extra for a doggle?

What ramifications could he face should he attempt to sneak the dog into a motel and get caught? Do they even check for things like that?
posted by nursegracer to Pets & Animals (37 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Motel 6 allows pets! I stayed there exclusively during a cross country road trip with my cats and was always impressed with the condition and cleanliness of the rooms. I don't remember if they charged extra, but the prices are very low to begin with.
posted by something something at 12:35 PM on July 1, 2010

Best answer: We've stayed at a La Quinta several times with our dog with no fee and their website says pets are welcome. They're not the cheapest but at least the ones I've been too were very nice for the price.
posted by ghharr at 12:36 PM on July 1, 2010

Best answer: Please consider the people with pet allergies who might get the room after you thinking it was pet-dander free.
posted by BeerFilter at 12:37 PM on July 1, 2010 [14 favorites]

Don't do it. There are sufficient inexpensive (Motel 6), and expensive (Westin) chains that accept pets that it's unnecessary.
posted by micawber at 12:38 PM on July 1, 2010

Best answer: Best Westerns often allow dogs for a small additional fee.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:38 PM on July 1, 2010

There are plenty of places that do allow pets. I wouldn't sneak one in because a lot of folks have incredibly serious allergies to pet-dander and specifically choose pet-free hotels/motels for that reason.
posted by anya32 at 12:38 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]

What ramifications could he face should he attempt to sneak the dog into a motel and get caught? Do they even check for things like that?

People sneak pets into hotels all the time.
Generally, the worst that happens if your dog is discovered is that you get charged some sort of "cleaning fee".
I suppose they could toss him out but, while I'm sure it has happened to someone somewhere, that's really unlikely.
posted by madajb at 12:39 PM on July 1, 2010

Most Motel 6 locations let pets stay for free.
posted by zombiedance at 12:39 PM on July 1, 2010

There is a website that shows the pet-friendly motels.

My family used to sneak a dog in everywhere they would stay. They carried it in small back-pack, and mostly got away with it.
posted by chocolatetiara at 12:40 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Quality Inn is also a good pick. When we moved cross-country, we stayed at Quality Inns. Free internet, too!
posted by Fleebnork at 12:43 PM on July 1, 2010

Generally, the worst that happens if your dog is discovered is that you get charged some sort of "cleaning fee".

This happened to me. They said they found dog crap in the room, which is false, but I admitted to having the dog in there. They said they were charging me an extra $50 or whatever to have the room sanitized. My tantrum in the lobby did not change their mind. If you get busted, respond with dignity.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 12:53 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Drury Inn allows pets and offers free food in the evening and an excellent breakfast! Their site isn't clear that there is no fee for pets but I had a manager tell me "We love pets!" I have stayed in several with my cat and my dog.
posted by rachums at 12:56 PM on July 1, 2010

Best answer: When traveling from Seattle to St. Louis with our cats last year, we found that Best Westerns allowed pets (one charged a fee, the other did not). After the movers came and took all our stuff away, we stayed at the Red Lion in Seattle for a couple days, so I know those are pet-friendly.

I'd agree not to sneak them in, though - you could be charged a large cleaning fee (like the price of the room for a night kind of large) if you get caught, and if you don't, you would be doing a disservice to those who stay after you who are allergic to pets.
posted by mysterpigg at 12:57 PM on July 1, 2010

Don't sneak the dog in a motel. It's flat-out wrong to do so if the hotel explicitly says they don't want customers to do so.

I like dogs but I like honesty even more.
posted by codswallop at 1:02 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

I drove cross country last summer with my two cats. We stayed at Motel 6 one night because they allow pets without an extra fee. The rest of the trip we stayed at Best Westerns, which charge $10 extra. One time they didn't even charge us. Best Western is slightly more expensive (like $10-$15 more) than Motel 6, but the amenities--such as free coffee and breakfast in the morning, free wifi, much nicer showers and towels, etc--were well worth it. When you're driving cross country with a pet it's nice to have little luxuries when you stop for the night.

Also, the $10 is way less expensive than a "cleaning fee" would probably be if you get caught, plus you get to be honest and not have the stress of sneaking around.
posted by apricot at 1:09 PM on July 1, 2010

Best answer: Super 8s also routinely accept dogs, as do Ramada Inn Limiteds and Red Roof Inns.

Frankly, I expect that among cheap-but-okay interstate motels, accepting pets is the default. As long as he takes the minimal care not to drive until 11 and he's miserably tired, and stops at exits with a few motels, he won't have a problem.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:39 PM on July 1, 2010

I work for a hotel, though I don't belong to either Housekeeping or Front Desk/Office. So take this for what it's worth.

Two main reasons why you should avoid sneaking a pet into a hotel/motel:

- hair/allergy (this was mentioned many times in the thread already)
- Your pet may be the kindest, cutest companion at home, but when it is in a new, strange environment there is no saying how it will act. It may try to mark its territory, (seemingly) randomly bark for no reason, etc.

The hotel has a responsibility to protect its guests, that include you and other guests. Please check with the hotels/motels your husband plan to stay in and find out what their policy regarding pets are. It may very well save everyone a lot of headaches and money.
posted by jstarlee at 1:39 PM on July 1, 2010

Please consider the people with pet allergies who might get the room after you thinking it was pet-dander free.

Please, please, please. Sorry to bring this up yet again, but as one of those people with allergies, I beg of all you pet owners to have mercy on us and keep your pets out of the pet-free rooms. Former/current hotel employees, feel free to correct me, but I thought that housekeeping didn't do a deep clean every time they turned a room. For example, that comforter doesn't get swapped out and washed every time someone checks out, right? And I doubt the staff is vigorously wiping down upholstered chairs with a damp cloth or lint roller. At least when I stay with friends and family who have pets, I know and can therefore do things to prevent having my eyes and sinuses swell shut, like obsessively washing my hands, avoiding the chair the cat likes to nap on, and taking some antihistamines as soon as I walk in the door.
posted by thewrongparty at 1:54 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Nthing the Motel 6 option! I moved down the east coast with a cat and being able to stay there with her without having to sneak around made things much less stressful. They didn't charge an extra fee and didn't require an extra fee or a room inspection or anything. Go for it!
posted by Fui Non Sum at 2:11 PM on July 1, 2010

Re: sneaking a pet in.

We stayed at a very nice Best Western whose website said they allowed pets in all rooms. I didn't notice anything about there being an extra charge, but maybe I missed the fine print. We didn't declare the pet since I thought there was no extra charge. Anyway, we had a room where the access was from the back of the hotel, i.e., we never took our pet through the lobby. It sounds like we were being sneaky, but really, this was unintentional. Well, when we looked at our bill just prior to checkout (automated on the TV, you've seen those?), there was a pet fee tacked on.

Lesson: They know if you have a pet. Cameras in the hall? Cameras in the elevator? Housekeeping workers hear suspicious noises? They are not dumb, and they deal with this all the time.
posted by Knowyournuts at 2:31 PM on July 1, 2010

For a cross country drive, the AAA tour books are really helpful, and one of the things they list in the hotel descriptions is whether they allow pets.
posted by leahwrenn at 2:40 PM on July 1, 2010

Response by poster: Okay, okay, let's just leave it as a given that no one will try to sneak the dog in anywhere, okay? Jeez. Can we leave the "omgz allergies and i will DIE" histrionics be at this point?

Beyond that, thank you for all these wonderfully helpful answers. I'm sure my love will find them useful when selecting his lodging for the evening and for the next few evenings to come.
posted by nursegracer at 2:41 PM on July 1, 2010

Most Travelodge locations seem to allow pets. I have traveled across a large part of the country with a dog and had no trouble finding places to stay.
posted by purpleclover at 2:43 PM on July 1, 2010

Okay, okay, let's just leave it as a given that no one will try to sneak the dog in anywhere, okay? Jeez. Can we leave the "omgz allergies and i will DIE" histrionics be at this point?

Excuse me? Your original question specifically asks:

"Can my husband sneak the dog into a motel"

Sorry you appear offended with the responses so far, but I think every one of them are 100% valid.
posted by walleeguy at 3:13 PM on July 1, 2010 [15 favorites]

Let me add a few more tips when traveling with a dog and using a hotel (as I have probably stayed in Motel 6s with my dog dozens of times).

* Request a room on the first floor (so you can easily go in and out to let the dog out for bathroom breaks).

* Request a room in the back of the motel where there's typically less noise, less guests, and sometimes a grassy area specifically for pets.

* Don't ever leave the dog alone in the room. He may bark incessantly in your absence or have accidents that sit around for hours.

* Bring his dog bed. He'll sleep better (and so will you) when he's sleeping in his own bed.
posted by HeyAllie at 3:17 PM on July 1, 2010

Hampton Inns are usually ok with them too, FYI.
posted by jwells at 3:24 PM on July 1, 2010

Get a copy of the AAA travel guide Traveling With Your Pet. It has saved my travel sanity many, many times. I have never known it not to yield at least one budget place to stay on my direct route. I update my copy each year. Well worth $12.21!
posted by Susurration at 3:37 PM on July 1, 2010

Last time I stayed in a Red Lion, they allowed pets (we had a hamster. Yes, we bring the freaking hamster on a road trip).
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:39 PM on July 1, 2010

We had good luck with Travelodge when driving cross-country with two cats. Not all of their locations are pet-friendly, but many are.
posted by platinum at 9:10 PM on July 1, 2010

Reward good behavior, pick a pet hotel!
posted by cowmix at 9:17 PM on July 1, 2010

I stayed almost solely in La Quinta hotels when traveling across the country with my 45 pound dog last year. They were one of the few chains I found that would regularly take a dog over 25-30 pounds, and there was no extra fee. Not sure if that's a concern for you or not. Also, if you book online beforehand, you seemed to get a cheaper rate than the walk-in rate there.

Also, as mentioned above, was very helpful in finding non-chain places to stop.
posted by wending my way at 10:12 PM on July 1, 2010

Okay, okay, let's just leave it as a given that no one will try to sneak the dog in anywhere, okay? Jeez. Can we leave the "omgz allergies and i will DIE" histrionics be at this point?

I didn't see any histrionics in the comments above, and unanticipated exposure to animal allergens can have serious health consequences for some. I'm happy that this is not the case for you, but it's a reality for some of us. I had a roommate hide a cat in her room and I went from constant sneezing/sniffling within a day to an ER visit due to asthma complications within a week.
posted by smirkette at 10:22 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

This is the husband in question.

I'm happily ensconced for my first night at a Motel 6 outside Butte, MT. I'll be looking for Motel 6 and Quality Inn for the rest of my journey.

Thanks for everybody's suggestions.
posted by Netzapper at 1:00 AM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

Hey Netzapper: One more word to the wise -- when selecting your evening motel, look around in the parking lot and see who your hotel-mates will be.

We used to regularly stay at this one particular EconoLodge when driving to my mom's house, because it was cheap, allowed our 80-pound Lab with no extra fee, and had awesome belgian waffles in the morning. Then, there was the evening that we rolled up at 11 PM only to find that a crew of roustabouts (oil-shale drillers, most likely) was also in the Econolodge. They didn't bother the human contingent of our caravan, but my dog was terrified the entire night because he could hear their drunken shenanigans much better than we could (and there were definitely shenanigans -- the entire parking lot was spattered in vomit the next day). He spent the entire night literally blocking the door in a defensive stance, hackles up and growling. Poor guy. Dogs are way more sensitive to sketchy behavior than people, and they don't understand that the drunk guy next door is probably not a threat to your room.
posted by kataclysm at 7:48 AM on July 2, 2010

To pile on & reiterate what everyone said above, Drury, Red Lion, La Quinta all do not charge extra for pets. There are many more pet-friendly hotels, but some will charge anywhere from 10 to 75 (nightly or one-time fee, depending). I think the Hilton claims to be pet-friendly, but I don't feel like $75 extra a night is very pet-friendly. :D We've found is good about listing what the pet fees/policies for hotels are.

I HIGHLY recommend the Drury if he passes any on the way. They have esaver rates that are a little cheaper & you can book online. Nightly "snacks" that can make a meal (3 free alcoholic drinks, wooha) and hot breakfast. So you can save a little money on breakfast/dinner if you can brave the wild packs of family kids and aren't too picky. ;) We've stayed at Drurys all over the country with our cat and they are almost creepily consistent--friendly, clean, secure/free parking, indoor/outdoor pools, Kitty-allowed, FAST Internet. I really feel like they're the Southwest airlines of lodging. Having stayed in my fair share of both, I would pick a Drury over a Marriott any day of the week.
posted by jenh at 8:27 AM on July 2, 2010

Argh! Please disregard my previous post. I meant Comfort Inn, not Quality Inn!

posted by Fleebnork at 8:58 AM on July 2, 2010

Dude, allergies are no joke, and people without them have NO idea, and often think people with them are exaggerating. It can be horribly uncomfortable and actually dangerous. I'm glad you're no longer considering the sneaking course of action - I don't think you still get the ramifications. Children with pet allergies in particular face a scary risk. You don't want to be responsible for that.
posted by agregoli at 6:29 PM on July 5, 2010

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