Considering how many people in the UK have dogs (estimated to be around 54 million as of 2017) it’s surprising how many hotels aren’t dog friendly. And many hotels that claim they are, clearly don’t really want four paws on their grounds.
For dog owners, finding a dog friendly hotel can be quite frustrating. There certainly aren’t as many canine friendly hotels as there should be. But it’s not all bad news. Estimates suggest that hotels that open their doors to dogs increase their revenue by an average of 30 per cent. Now there’s a tempting incentive if we ever did see one.
There are a select few hotels who recognise the benefits of allowing Fido to put his paws up in their rooms. For example, the Park Hyatt hotel in Vienna offers a service where they take dogs out to the theatre. Some hotels have amazing welcome packs for dogs and even doggy spa treatments.
We don’t always need to go that far. Many of us just want to be able to bring our dog to a hotel without having to worry. Or not have to narrow down our hotel choice quite so much. It does mean that when you travel with your pooch you have less options of where to stay.
And there often are less luxurious hotels to choose from – can’t you stay somewhere plush with your pooch? Well, the quality of dog friendly hotels really does depend on where you go in the UK, and also abroad. Some countries like Austria and Germany have more choice, whereas others are lacking.
Last year Brits spent £4.6 million on their pets, and may owners really want to bring Fido along when they travel. It’s likely that more pet friendly hotels will open to cater to this demand, especially when they realise they can get more bookings and make more money.
In 2016 the BBC wrote an article about the rise in pet friendly hotels.
‘While most pet-friendly hotels don’t go to quite the levels of the Park Hyatt Vienna, it is in fact indicative of the big growth in recent years in the number of hotels that allow people to check in with their dogs, cats or other animals.’
Other travel sites have reported a rise in demand for dog friendly hotels. Hotels.com says:
‘We have witnessed a huge increase in demand for pet-friendly hotels, and guests wanting to travel with their animals. Demand is growing year-on-year, with a large proportion of hotels across the globe now not only accommodating for pets, but also advertising this key feature.’
And TripAdvisor has noted a change too. They reported that a recent survey of 1,100 travelers found that 53 percent of respondents travel with their pets, and 52 percent will only stay at pet-friendly properties.
It seems there is certainly more interest around dog friendly accommodation. However, in many instances, it’s still more complicated than it really needs to be. Hotels need to welcome dogs with open arms rather than simply ‘allow’ them.
And perhaps they also need to be more flexible when it comes to rules. For example, some hotels only allow one dog, whilst others will add on a substantial extra charge per night per dog. We’re certainly making progress, but it needs to continue and evolve in a way that makes dog owners feel more comfortable.