The Negative Side of Pet Friendly Motels and Hotels

Although “pet friendly” motels and hotels are a boon to many travellers, there is a negative side for others. I am allergic to dogs and cats, and Joan is also sensitive during a longer exposure.

I cannot over night in a room that pets have occupied, even if I take an antihistamine. After a few hours in a room that pets have occupied, my allergies act out. My eyes get red and runny and puff up, my sinuses plug up and breathing becomes a chore. I slept in a room a pet had occupied some weeks before, and by morning I was in significant distress. It took me several days to recover. I’m not in a hurry to repeat that experience! This, unfortunately, is the negative side of pet friendly motels and hotels.

Dander is Persistent

Needless to say, we are forced to seek travel accommodations that have not been visited by pets. The big negative of pet friendly hotels and motels is that it matters not how well the room may have been cleaned! Dander, etc. remains in the rungs and furnishings for up to six months after a pet no longer occupies the space.

Some motels and hotels allocate certain rooms for travellers with pets, and that is great. Others however, just charge an extra fee and keep no record of rooms occupied recently by pets. This has created quite a problem for us as we try to book accommodations for our travel to Arizona next month.

Our Problem

We drive only about six hours a day, and will stay in a couple of places for two nights, so we will need accommodations at six separate establishments. I started two weeks ago emailing places along our route. I was seeking assurance that we could receive a room unused by pets in the last six months. So far I have been able to confirm reservations at only two of the required six stops.

Since email is taking so long, I will start phoning hotels and motels along our route to see if that will speed up the process. I’ll let you know how that works out.


It seems that most Best Westerns block specific rooms for pets. So, although we like a variety of hotels on a trip, I booked mostly Best Westerns. Knowing that will surely make it easier going home.


Just in the final throes of cleanup/packup before we go. We want to use only a carry on style bag each to get us through the first week. This will be somewhat difficult as we need to wear our winter garb to start as it is quite chilly here (hovering at zero Fahrenheit).

As I survey our stuff, it looks like we have done that. We will put one large suitcase in the vehicle to hold our extra, warm weather clothing.