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What are Pet Hotels?

Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen
Updated Mar 05, 2024
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Pet hotels are a type of pet boarding service that provides care for animals while the animal's owners are either out of town or temporarily unable to provide suitable care for the animal. The services and accommodations available at pet hotels can vary considerably by pet hotel, though basic care such as feeding, regular exercise runs, and administering medication is almost always included in their services. In many cases, pet owners have the option of choosing from a menu of services that may include additional playtime with a pet hotel staff member, dog walking, and grooming services.

Like hotels for humans, more expensive pet hotels typically offer a greater range of services, though there may be a range of accommodations even within a single pet hotel. Pets may be housed in traditional kennels, or they may be assigned more spacious living areas that may even be attached to outdoor runs. In some pet hotels, pets are also provided with television sets, which may make the pet feel more at home and reduce the possibility of boredom.

Some pet hotels provide group activities for social pets, such as dogs. This may include taking dogs out for runs in local parks or by local beaches or simply permitting group playtime in specially designed rooms at the pet hotel. Some pet hotels even have attached spas at which dogs and other pets can enjoy a range of grooming services, including the traditional teeth cleaning, nail clipping, and shampooing. These spas may also offer additional options, including pet massage. In addition to these grooming services, the pet hotel may also provide an indoor or outdoor swimming pool for aquatic activities.

Some pet hotels offer services other than overnight pet boarding. For example, a pet hotel may also provide doggie daycare for pets whose owners must be out of their home for long periods of time. As pet hotels are well equipped to offer comprehensive pet care services, many people choose them over hiring a pet sitter to visit a pet on a regular basis.

In addition to pet hotels, there are now some hotels for humans that cater to those who wish to take their pets with them when they travel. Typically, travelers are expected to pay an additional deposit and may be required to use specific rooms in the hotel while traveling with their pets. These hotels may offer pet-friendly amenities such as dog runs, food dishes, and information about local pet-friendly establishments.

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is a pet hotel?

A pet hotel is a specialized boarding facility that provides temporary accommodation for pets. Unlike traditional kennels, pet hotels often offer a more luxurious experience, including private rooms, comfortable bedding, and a variety of services such as grooming, playtime, and even spa treatments. They cater to pet owners who want premium care for their animals while they're away.

How do pet hotels ensure the safety and comfort of my pet?

Pet hotels prioritize safety with measures like 24/7 supervision, secure enclosures, and vet access for emergencies. Comfort is ensured through climate-controlled environments, regular exercise, and attention to dietary needs. Many pet hotels also provide personalized care and affection to make pets feel at home, reducing stress and anxiety during their stay.

What kind of amenities can I expect at a pet hotel?

High-end pet hotels may offer amenities such as private suites, webcams for owners to check in on their pets, on-site veterinary services, and a variety of recreational activities. Some even have swimming pools, agility courses, and gourmet meal options. These amenities are designed to provide mental and physical stimulation, ensuring pets are happy and healthy during their stay.

Are pet hotels suitable for all types of pets?

While many pet hotels cater primarily to dogs and cats, some facilities accommodate a wider range of animals, including birds, reptiles, and small mammals. It's important to check with the pet hotel in advance to ensure they have the expertise and resources to care for your specific type of pet appropriately.

How do I choose the right pet hotel for my animal?

Choosing the right pet hotel involves researching and considering factors such as staff qualifications, facility cleanliness, available services, and customer reviews. It's also crucial to visit the hotel beforehand, if possible, to assess the environment and ask about their emergency protocols. Select a pet hotel that aligns with your pet's needs and your own comfort level.

What is the typical cost of a stay at a pet hotel, and what factors influence the price?

The cost of a pet hotel stay can vary widely, depending on location, type of accommodation, and additional services. Basic boarding might start at $25-$50 per night, while luxury options can exceed $100 per night. Factors influencing price include the length of stay, size of the pet, and any special care or premium services requested.

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Discussion Comments

By burcidi — On Mar 22, 2011

I think that each pet is different and some adjust to new environments better than others.

At one point, I had a parakeet, a dog and a cat at home. But each reacted differently when I left them at a pet hotel. My parakeet was basically fine everywhere. He just wanted to be somewhere where there was chatter and friendly noises, so he would do just fine at the hotel. My dog did pretty well too. I think he was worried at first because he thought I was going to leave him there permanently. But the second time around, he got the point and was comfortable.

My cat did not adjust too well though. I don't know if it was because cats become attached to houses and feel out of place in new places or whether she was reminded of her days at the veterinarian after we got her spayed, but she just didn't do well. Most hotels allow dogs to move around freely but cats remain in kennels or restricted spaces. I think that made her anxious as well. I also think that she just doesn't like change in general because she reacted the same way in a pet allowed hotel as well.

I leave a pet at a pet hotel if I know that they are going to be all right there psychologically. It doesn't have anything to do with the people who work there because I know that they do their job well. But animals are just like us in some ways, they worry, become afraid and even get depressed.

I also think that pets are better off staying at a pet hotel rather than traveling with their owners. Traveling can be much more traumatic and scary for pets. I've noticed that if you leave them at the same pet hotel every time, that also helps them adjust and they recognize the hotel and start feeling at home.

By turquoise — On Mar 20, 2011

I used to leave my cat with friends or family when I needed to travel. It's nice to leave your pets with people you know but at the same time, it's not a great feeling to keep asking people for a favor.

My cat was diagnosed with high blood pressure last year, which meant that she needs to be given her medicine at the same time everyday or she might get sick, even die. It became difficult to ask anyone to keep her when I needed to travel for work. Taking care of pets is not easy, especially if it is a pet with health problems. Rightly so, my friends were scared of taking on the responsibility of caring for her, even if it was for several days.

So I did some research and found a nice pet hotel for her. The people who work there are true animal lovers and when I leave my cat with them, I know she is going to be taken care of while I'm gone. They even have a veterinarian at all times in case something goes wrong. It's a different thing to have professionals looking after your pets. They have also given me advice and tips on how I can better care for my cat and interact with her at home. I'm really happy with their service, they really came to my rescue.

By discographer — On Mar 19, 2011

What I look for in a pet hotel is a spacious living area and a daily walk, in addition to basic needs services. Anything more than this is unnecessary and too expensive I think.

I don't think that my dog needs a message or an aquatic pool while I am out of town for three days. My pet's comfort and happiness is very important for me but I also have a budget. I don't understand pet hotels who provide so many extra services. I suppose some people do prefer them. My dog just needs a nice walk and an area where he can move around. He is also really friendly so if there is an option of being with other dogs and playing with them or the caregivers, it's definitely a plus.

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