If the thought of leaving Mr. Furry Pants at home may seem un-fun, you’re not alone. Traveling with pets is one of the biggest trends right now. The American Pet Products Association says hitting the road with Fido is twice as popular as it was just a decade ago.
Here are five Best Westerns for travelers who not only have wanderlust, but also pet love:
- Best Western Wesley Inn & Suites; Gig Harbor, WA
This property had a Shih Tzu named Parker who was their “Customer Relations Ambassador.” He even had business cards with his name and title that the front desk would give to guests, especially the young ones. To help support Homestead Community, a local charity helping foster kids, the hotel had stuffed Parkers available for sale with 100% of the proceeds going to the non-profit.
Sadly, the property saw that Parker was aging, but felt it was important to have an ambassador, so they got a Shih Tzu puppy named Wesley to train under Parker. After 14 years at the hotel, Parker has gone off to play in fields of breakfast sausages and miniature sliders, but Wesley has taken over as Customer Relations Ambassador and can be found at the hotel from 6 a.m. to around 5 p.m. to greet guests. He hasn’t reached business card status yet, but the staff feels it’s close. Every canine guest is welcomed with a goodie bag that has Parker’s paw print on it and a gift from him containing a dog chew and doggie bags.
Parker and Wesley are both heavily featured on the hotel’s Facebook page.
- Best Western Plus Bainbridge Island Suites; Bainbridge Island, WA
This hotel greets their doggie guests with blankets featuring a paw print and tied with raffia (all made from recycled textiles). Pet treat bags are also available. If you forget anything from home, like treats, balls, and dog waste bags, the front desk has your back.
- Best Western Plus Richmond Inn & Suites; Baton Rouge, LA
Southern hospitality extends toward four-legged friends at this Baton Rouge hotel, where dogs and cats are offered toys at check-in. According to the manager, “We understand that pets can get just as stressed out about traveling as the people, and we want them to feel like we are their home away from home, just like their owners.” They are also given a blanket to use during their stay. When available, this hotel also offers pet packages that include food, toys, and treats. The Hotel Market offers toys for dogs or cats, leashes, clothing, and treats.
- Best Western Plus Chocolate Lake Hotel ; Halifax, Nova Scotia CA
Aero is this hotel’s brand new Welcome Ambassador. The hotel staff didn’t think they would ever be ready for a new puppy, after losing longtime hotel dog, Cocoa. However, Aero is already a favorite of employees and guests alike.
He lives at the hotel full-time, and his feeding schedule is posted so that he doesn’t miss any meals. When the Conference Services Manager leaves for the day, he takes over her office as his own personal den. His bed is in there, and he can get a good night sleep, away from the hustle and bustle of the typical busy hotel night. He is exercised by the staff and is introduced to every four -legged guest that checks in. He gets along great with his furry friends and he loves kids. He is currently enrolled in Puppy Socialization Class, with the hotel’s Guest Services Manager. This super pet-friendly hotel offers a welcome gift from Aero to your pet, which includes a treat and a roll of poopy bags. He has proven a worthy successor to Cocoa after all. Check out their Facebook page to see Cocoa in action.
- The Cartwright Hotel Union Square, BW Premier Collection; San Francisco, CA
You might think of the “San Francisco treat” as Rice-a-Roni, but at this swanky Union Square hotel, the treat is an actual treat, offered to pets in a fancy glass jar in the lobby. If your dog wants to mingle with the canine sophisticates of this bustling city by the bay, he will certainly feel welcome at this spot. Moreover, the lobby’s fireplace will prove a nice spot to warm up after a day spent shopping or sightseeing in the bluster of Union Square. According to a sign displayed near the front desk, “We never had a dog that smoked in bed and set fire to the blankets. We never had a dog that stole our towels or played the television too loudly … So, if your dog can vouch for you, you’re welcome, too.”