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Hotels have recently jumped on the trend of accommodating pets
in hotel stays. However, pet-friendly hotels are still limited
across the country and so the next time that you travel for
business or pleasure you may need to leave your pet behind. On the
other hand a new trend adopted by hotels may allow for a pet to be
waiting for you.
Hotels around the nation have slowly adopted rescued dogs, cats,
and fish to ease travelers' minds. Hotel visitors can schedule
walks, sit down appointments, and hikes with these hotel companions
while they stay at the hotels.
Dr. M. A. Crist, clinical assistant professor at the Texas
A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences,
is familiar with the positive effects animals can have on people
and she sees this trend lasting.
"Studies have been provided that interactions with animals can
be calming and even lower blood pressure for humans," notes Crist.
"A. Beck and N. Meyers studied that ordinary interactions with
animals can reduce blood pressure. Pets may also enhance the
physiological and psychological well-being of many people. This
opportunity to interact with the animals may provide some travelers
with the opportunity to meet others or for other travelers to be
alone without being lonely."
The use of companion animals to aid in relaxation and to provide
additional opportunities for exercise is healthy for the travelers.
This is healthy for the pets as well, because the pets receive
exceptional care from the hotel. Hotels chose pets who are very
socialized and extremely people friendly.
"Most of the chosen pets are temperament tested and enjoy
meeting people and the activities that they provide," Crist says.
"The hotel pets are bathed regularly and are current on healthy
veterinary wellness examinations and vaccinations protocols. I
believe that the hotel would not support or place an animal in
harm's way. The resident hotel pets are very well taken care of and
usually have an endless list of people waiting to share their
friendship with them."
Aside from the beneficial health factor this may have on both
parties, it is important to note the pros and cons of this
According to Crist there are several positives through this
experience. A rescued animal is provided a healthy home spent with
people who will give it attention. Hotels are also very aware and
give particular instructions so that their resident animal is not
harmed while in the company of travelers. Any extra fees that may
be charged are usually donated to a pet charity or a rescue
According to Crist there are also some drawbacks to this
operation. Some travelers may have allergies to animals and they
can not be around them. Some travelers may have no desire to be
around animals. While other travelers may have an actual fear of
animals and they will choose to stay away from them at all costs.
Hotels provide specific instructions in the care of the resident
pet so that a hotel guest or traveler does not cause unintentional
harm to the pet.
Outweighing the good with the bad, Crist does see this trend
lasting because of the positive effects it has.
"This trend may be long lasting, because if promoted in the
sense that the hotel is giving a rescued pet a place to live and an
opportunity to have interactions with people who are pet friendly,
who would not want to support that trend," explains Crist. "Some
travelers are on the road so much that they cannot have a pet
because they are not home long enough to take care of a pet
properly and this can give them a chance to interact with a pet
without the ownership responsibility. Other travelers may live in a
place that does not allow pets and this gives them an opportunity
to interact with a pet."
Currently Fairmont, Kimpton, and the Ritz-Carlton hotel chains
across the United States are staffing rescued pets for traveler
companionship. In the very near future we may see a rise in this as
it may be a trend longing to stay.
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