Pet-Free Hotels (go to petfreehotels.com)

Y’all may love your pets, and that’s fine.  However, for some folks (including my spouse), pet allergies are a real pain when it comes to booking hotel rooms.  Here’s the problem: so‑called “pet-friendly” hotels will proudly advertise that fact, whereas hotels that don’t allow pets tend to bury that info in their policies page.  Seems that, in the hotel business, the dictum “never tell the customer no” is always in force — even when certain customers (again my spouse) would benefit by being told so up front.

A brief aside.  By law, service dogs have free access to hotels, and hotels cannot ask guests with service dogs to pay room-cleaning fees.  So, when one is searching for a hotel room, neither the absence of a pet-friendly badge nor the presence of a service-dog-only policy means much to an allergy sufferer.  Nothing guarantees the searcher that any given room was not most-recently occupied by Fur-Flying Fido, shedding whatever bio-bits that Fido had a federally-protected right to shed and the hotel has no federal obligation to clean up.

And the designation “pet-friendly” is itself ambiguous.  Does it mean the hotel not only welcomes pets but charges a low cleaning fee (or none at all) when pets stay in your room?  Or does it mean the hotel has no designated pet-free rooms?  Or that the hotel makes no extra effort to clean rooms where pets have stayed?

I have a sneaking suspicion (aren’t all suspicions of that kind?) that the extent to which a hotel room is cleaned has zero correlation with either the presence/absence of a pet or the pet-friendliness of the hotel or the size of any room-cleaning fee.  Those who know better may correct me if I’m wrong, but my guess is, you get what you get.  And what you will get if the hotel has a no-pet policy or charges more than a nominal cleaning fee are guests who sneak their dogs and cats into their rooms anyway and then lie about it.

So what can one do?  My spouse and I were discussing this a while back when I was searching for (you guessed it) a pet-free hotel in Ohio.  To make things easier in my searches, I had been bookmarking pet-free hotels in a folder named No Pet Hotels and — so I didn’t waste time on them — pet-friendly hotels in a folder named Pet Hotels XXX.  (Which is not the name of an adult film, shame on you.)

Wouldn’t it be easier, we said to each other, if there were a way to filter searches so that only pet-free hotels pop up?  Inspired, I did a Google search for “pet free hotels” and while I got lots of results for hotels where pets stay free, I found no results for no-pet hotels.

That got us to thinking (always a dangerous thing) that some website needs to fill the void.  We could call it petfreehotels.com.  So, in a giddy, anything-is-possible-on-the-internet moment, we decided to buy the petfreehotels.com domain and start building a database of hotels that publish a no-pets-allowed policy on their sites.

The site is up and running now — and there are over 2000 hotels on the list.  I add hotels to the list every month — I also receive suggestions from readers on hotels to add and/or remove from the list.  There are maps too!  It’s been an interesting hobby, and hope some of you may find it valuable.  Pet-Free Hotels.

Read 8 comments below | Read other posts in Life

8 responses to Pet-Free Hotels (go to petfreehotels.com)

  1. Gavin Larsen says:

    Sounds like you’re sitting on a great get-rich-quick scheme, Craig! 🙂 I like it!

  2. Jim says:

    People don’t understand that FIDO does not want to go to a damn hotel!

  3. Sue says:

    I was a travel agent for 30 years. I’m very allergic to animals. I would very much like this website to exist. At the very least, you could set up a data base for people to add pet free hotels to your list… organized by country and city..
    In the past, I’ve done hotel searches on expedia, parsed and downloaded the available hotels into an excel sheet, then repeated the same search using ‘allows pets’. then whatever hotel was not on the allows pets list, is probably a hotel that doesnt take pets.

  4. Dana says:

    I wish I found this before I booked my trip to Indianapolis. It looked like every decent hotel there was pet friendly, but then I found your website. Next time. Thank you for doing this!

    • Craig says:

      Thank you Dana. I am still working on “SEO” (or how to be seen on the internet when you don’t pay for advertising). I’d be grateful if you let me know how you landed on petfreehotels.com.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just had to switch rooms twice because of allergies. I thought I was alone on this battle. Thanks.

  6. Greta says:

    Thank you, thank you. I am good with dogs, BUT- I stop breathing around cats, or cat “leftovers”. Would be very helpful to me to also delineate hotels thatARE dogs only (IE NO CATS) hotels for my travels. We have a dog we might take on occasion. My cat allergy causes Anti-phylactic shock IE NOT BREATHING so it is very important for me to know if dogs only, or if pet hotel includes CATS. I am sure I am NOT ALONE. Thanks again for doing this. Would appreciate this site of yours to include even more getailed info as requested above. Thanks.

  7. Mary says:

    Thank you! I’m forwarding this to my husband (he does the hotels for our travels). I have an anaphylactic allergy to cats and also allergic to dogs but not as severely. The hotels we used to use went “pet friendly” and we’ve struggled since then, even being yelled at by a couple of managers. I’m so glad I’m not alone!

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