General Question

livelaughlove21's avatar

Traveling with a puppy - hotel stay?

Asked by livelaughlove21 (15703points) March 12th, 2013

My husband and I have to travel four hours away on Thursday to an appointment at Duke University. We made a reservation with the La Quinta for that night, and we plan on driving home on Friday morning.

We had a dog sitter lined up, but she is pregnant and currently having contractions. My sister also said she can do it, but she recently had ACL surgery and I’m worried that she won’t be able to keep up with a 4 month old puppy – picking her up to put her in the crate, cleaning up if she accidentally pees in the house, keeping the food and water bowls full, etc.

The La Quinta is pet friendly, so we are considering taking the puppy with us on the trip. The problem is that our appointment is at 1PM, before check-in. I can’t leave her in the car for 3 hours worth of testing while we’re at the hospital. Also, we’re worried about her crying in the crate inside the room and having other people staying there complain about us. I’ve never stayed at a hotel that allowed pets before, so I’m not sure how this works.

Any advice would be great. We’re out of our element here – first puppy! The cat is so much easier…

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44 Answers

Judi's avatar

Can you leave him overnight at your vet? That’s what I do when it’s a short trip like this.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Only one of you is being tested. The other can either stay with the dog in the room or can return to the car every 30 minutes or less (where the dog will stay crated). The puppy can not be left alone for four hours especially in a car. A doggy daycare will look after the puppy during your appointment for a modest fee.

JLeslie's avatar

I would leave him at your vet, or a puppy hotel where you live, or hire a dog sitter to come in twice a day to feed and walk him. You would have to pay extra at your hotel anyway for the pet.

What DrL suggested about checking on the puuppy in the car is also possible. But, I know when I walk by a car with an unattended dog, I am pretty worried about the dog, especially if the weather is hot, I don’t know the temps expected in Durham when you will be there. I seem to remember I parked in a parking garage at Duke, but I might be confusing it with another facility. Remember if the car is out in the sun you have to add 20 degrees if it is sunny. The greenhouse effect increases interior car temps fast.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I should have mentioned – we can’t afford the vet fee or a puppy hotel. That’s why we need to take her.

marinelife's avatar

Leave her at your vet’s or a boarding facility that you trust.

You cannot leave her alone at a hotel. Try another friend that is trustworthy.

JLeslie's avatar

If she damages the hotel it will be much more expensive. Do you have a friend that will help you? A neighbor?

Ask your vet if you can pay $10 a month if that is all you can afford, to pay off the debt. Tell him your situation.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@marinelife I can’t or I shouldn’t?

@JLeslie She’d be in a crate. And no, we don’t. The only 2 people available fell through.

JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Does she tend to sleep during the time you will be at the doctor? It might be ok then. Maybe be up front with the hotel that it is a new puppy and you will leave her in a crate, but you don’t know how she will react to the new environment. During the day few people should actually be in the hotel. Maybe they can make sure you are at the end of the hall. Tell them you will be at Duke for a specialist appointment for your husband. Let their mind wander with how scary the appointment might be.

Adagio's avatar

Do you have a friend that could go with you, someone who might enjoy strolling around a local park while you are at your appointment?

thorninmud's avatar

La Quinta says they will try to accommodate early check-in requests

If you put the puppy in the crate and in the bathroom (so it’s dark), that wouldn’t really be any different than crating here for the night at home. She might make some noise, but it’s the middle of the day, so there probably won’t be many guests to disturb.

Not ideal, but…

JLeslie's avatar

Are you checking in the night before? At oeast she will have a whole night with you to become familiar with the surroundings if that is the case.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@thorninmud We called about early check in and she said she can’t guarantee anything, and that we would have to call 2 hours prior to see if a room was available. Thanks for the bathroom idea.

@JLeslie No, we would have to leave her almost immediately after getting there. That’s why I’m worried about the noise issue.

I looked up a local doggy hotel and one of them only charges $18/night. Seems a little cheap – is that typical? I couldn’t find many reviews, but the few I read were good.

They let you bring your own food, bed, toys, etc and they have “runs” with a doggy door, they exercise and feed them twice daily, and they provide food bowls and constant water. This would be great for socialization with other dogs, but I don’t want to leave her in some strange place that I don’t know much about. I don’t know, the price seems too low. What do you all think? Am I just being paranoid?

Here’s their website:

JLeslie's avatar

I feel for you. This is part of the reason I don’t have a pet. We travel quite a bit and I would worry about their happiness and well being. Is the doggy hote nearby? Can you go and meet the people who work there and see how you feel?

If you don’t get early check in what happens? You have to take the dog in the car with you? The weather looks like it will be very moderate on Friday, so I don’t think you need to be concerned about her getting overheated in the car. Is your husband procedure long? While he is having the procedure done you can be with the puppy, walk her around. Give the staff your cell phone number.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, the doggy hotel is close, but I won’t be able to go up there before Thursday. His procedure will take 3–4 hours. She hates car rides, so I’d rather leave her at the doggy hotel, but I won’t be sure if they even have an opening until tomorrow. If I have to, I’ll take her and keep an eye on her in the car, but I’m hoping we can get if resolved before Thursday morning.

chyna's avatar

Make sure you can pick her up during the weekend. Our doggie hotel is only open on limited hours on the weekend.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@chyna We’ll be picking her up Friday. They’re open from 7:30AM-6:00PM.

JLeslie's avatar

Keep in mind your husband’s procedure might run long, they might take him i to the procedure late, or if there is a recovery that might run long. I don’t know what time his appointment is, but just keep it in kind for picking up your puppy.

I hope nothing is very wrong with your husband? Should he be all better after this? Or, is it a diagnostic procedure?

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie Oh, we won’t be picking her up until the day after the appointment. His appointment is at 1PM on Thursday, the day we’re traveling. We’re staying that night to avoid another 4 hour drive home at 5PM, and coming home to get the puppy on Friday. So she’d be at the doggy hotel from 8AM Thursday until 1PM Friday.

It’s a diagnostic procedure with a retina specialist. He has an unidentified degenerative retinal disease. We’re hoping that there will be treatment one day, before he loses his sight, but getting a specific diagnosis is just a start.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m sorry to hear this. I hope there is a way to slow the progress of the disease. You must be very stressed. A lot of crap going on right now for you both :(.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie You can say that again! Thank you, I hope so too.

YARNLADY's avatar

Early check in or make arrangements to leave the dog in the crate in the facility you are visiting. We have traveled with dogs frequently, and stayed at La Quinta. You can leave your dog IN THE CRATE in the room with a note on the door to let people know there is a dog there.

Edit to add: You can also take the dog to a local groomer for the grooming fee. Drop the dog off at your convenience and pick up when you are ready.

rooeytoo's avatar

The safest place for a pet when you have to go away is a good kennel. They are attended 24 hours a day (usually). They have staff who recognise when a dog needs vet attention. They will not let the dog escape when they open the door. They are trained to do the job. Unless you are very familiar with the visit at home pet sitter, they are not as reliable as a good kennel. The link looks like a very nice place.

Leaving a dog alone in a hotel room is a recipe for disaster, especially a puppy. In a crate it will probably bark, darkness or not, and let loose, prepare for the worst. I would not leave a pup in a car that long. If it doesn’t eat the interior of your car it might suffocate and again howl its head off. At least until some well meaning animal lover comes by, calls the cops or breaks a window to save it.

Raid your piggy bank and spend the 18 bucks, best for you and the pup.

By the way I am a qualified dog expert, have been in the dog business in one facet or another for almost 40 years now.

deni's avatar

I believe that for most hotels you literally are not allowed to leave your pet there alone even if it is a pet friendly hotel. For obvious reasons. If I were you I wouldn’t even waste money on a hotel. A four hour drive really is not that long with two of you driving….why not just get it over with and save a good, what, 50 bucks at least? Just sayin if you’re looking to crunch money a hotel stay is unnecessary.

JLeslie's avatar

@deni He is having an eye procedure. If the procedure runs long it could get to be very late at night. Plus, I think probably it is best he rests.

deni's avatar

@JLeslie Ooh. I got the impression it was more of a “consultation”.

JLeslie's avatar

The OP wrote “procedure” so I am assuming it is not a simple exam and discussion.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@deni We’re leaving at 8 for the appointment, the testing will last 3–4 hours, then another car ride would put us home at 9 or 10PM. That’s over 12 hours of sitting either in a car or in a chair at the medical center. They haven’t told us what the testing entails, whether or not it’ll be painful, etc., but we know that he can’t drive there or back, so it’s all on me. Yeah, we’re getting the hotel room. Four hours is long enough.

@rooeytoo We’ll definitely spend the extra $20 for her to be boarded if it works out with this doggy hotel when I call in the morning. If not, I’ll have to spend most of the time in the car with her during his appointment.

On a side note, I’m not sure how well-meaning someone is if they break a car window to “save” a dog that is barking inside. Barking and howling is not a sign of impending death via suffocation. And we in America like to call that vandalism. :)

JLeslie's avatar

It won’t suffocate in the car. All cars are vented to the outside. The risk is overheating in hot weather or freezing if it is extremely cold, and possible stress if the dog feels unsettled.

rooeytoo's avatar

@livelaughlove21 – I am pretty sure that is legal in most states in the USA. It depends upon the temperature and the temperment of the attending cops! And yes @JLeslie I used the incorrect term when I said suffocate, overheating is the problem, even with windows partially open a dog (or child) can die from the heat in a very short period of time. Actually a young woman just was sentenced to 18 months in jail for leaving her baby in the car. It was sleeping when she arrived home and she didn’t want to wake it so she went in the house and fell asleep herself. When she awakened and went outside the baby was dead. Idiots are always leaving dogs and kids in cars and good citizens are always breaking windows!

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo I agree they can die. Die from the heat or cold. I would absolutely call 911 or even break a window if I was concerned for an animal or baby. But, they don’t suffocate. Air flows into the car. Imagine how many teenagers would be found partially clothed on lookout hill dead on a cold night if one could suffocate in a car. It used to be trunks were pretty air tight, but now newer cars (at least the last 20 years) require even some ventilation there and a way to pop the trunk from the inside.

marinelife's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Most hotels have rules that say you cannot leave a dog alone in the room. The puppy will thunk you have abandoned her and she will get very upset=noisy.

livelaughlove21's avatar

We’ll be boarding her.

Thanks for all the input.

JLeslie's avatar

It does sound like the best least stressful choice. I hope everything goes ok at Duke.

bkcunningham's avatar

How did the trip and the doctor’s exam go, @livelaughlove21? What did you do with the dog? I hope your husband got good news from the doctors at Duke?

livelaughlove21's avatar

@bkcunningham We boarded the puppy for the night. Other than peeing on our carpet as soon as she came in, she did fine.

Unfortunately the appointment didn’t go so well. It took five hours, they did the same exact tests as they did at home, and the answer was exactly the same. I can’t wait to see the bill for that complete waste of time.

He has a rod and cone dystrophy. He is colorblind, has night blindness, and is slowly losing his central vision. It is a retinal regeneration, a bit like macular degeneration in older folks, but he’s only 23. He’ll probably be blind before he reaches retirement age.

They want us to make another 4 hour trip there to see a “special optometrist” to “make sure he’s legal to drive.” I don’t think we’re going. We were very unimpressed with their facility, the staff, and the outdated equipment they use. We feel his doctor here is more competent, and found out the same information in ⅓ of the time. We aren’t going to risk them trying to take his license away when his corrected vision is 20/50. There’s no reason he can’t drive or go to work. All they managed to do was scare him.

Fortunately, his vision hasn’t changed much in recent years. He hopes he’ll be able to see our children grow before he loses his sight. All we can do is hope it remains slow and that they find a treatment eventually.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’m so sorry, @livelaughlove21. I was so very much hoping for happy news from you. I know you were hoping for wonderful news too. I’m surprised you weren’t satisfied with Duke’s facilities. Their ophthalmology department is ranked in the top ten nationally.

Is it a inherited condition?

Anyway, I sincerely hope there are rapid and amazing breakthroughs for his condition. I know you must be out of your mind with worry about everything going on in your lives right now. Find something positive and happy to focus on for today. (((HUGS))) to you both.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@bkcunningham They say it is hereditary, but the only person in his family that had vision problems was his great grandfather, who had macular degeneration in old age and went blind before he died at 90.

The frustrating part is that there is different information on every website I look at. Some say complete blindness occurs only in a small percentage of patients over 60 and some say complete blindness occurs before 50.

I’m worried about how we would support ourselves if he lost his sight, but I’m more worried about how he’d take it. He’s always been a hard worker and hates sitting at home. His job requires sight, so I’m concerned that it’ll alter his personality. I’m trying to stay positive, but our moms are freaking out and the “what ifs” aren’t helping.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’ve known several people without vision who worked their entire lives and raised families, @livelaughlove21. I’ve known people born without sight and others who lost their sight later in life. My former mother-in-law’s brother lost his sight as a teenager and raised a family. He was a farmer believe it or not. He used twine on posts outside in the fields so he could walk where he needed to go. He was an amazing person.

I have a friend who was born without sight and is an accomplished musician.

I met Bill Irwin, a blind man, who hiked the Appalachian Trail alone with only his dog. I cleaned house for a couple, years ago, he was totally blind from something similar to your husband’s condition. He worked in the electronics field until he retired. He was the most independent person I’ve ever met in my life. He took the bus and traveled about the city and did what he wanted to do by himself.

I can only imagine the emotional turmoil it is taking on you all though with the uncertainty. I wish the visit to Duke would have answered the “what ifs” for you guys.

Have you connected with any resources, for yourself as much as for your husband, for the blind and the visually impaired? Don’t give up hope.

Judi's avatar

My hubby’s best friend has this. Just to let you know, he’s now in his late 40’s and owns a super successful plumbing company. He can still see with his glasses and he’s a multi millionaire. This doesn’t have to stop him from living and succeeding.

JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I know how awful it is when a doctor’s appointment is a complete waste of time and money. I have been through a lot of those. I’m sorry it turned out that way for you regarding this. Hopefully the disease progresses slowly or halts for a while.

Color blind and night blind are easy to get around, except those prohibit the individual from certain professions, but I’m sure those are not your main concern.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@JLeslie No, we aren’t too concerned about the color blindness, and not so much about the night blindness either, except that he drives to work when it’s still dark. It’s the loss of central vision that concerns us most.

He assembles power tools for a living; his job title is Assembler I. In order to be an Assembler II, he needs to be able to read complicated blueprints, which will probably keep him from getting that position. After I graduate, he plans on going back to school (well, online) so he can get a degree and hopefully move to an office job eventually, skipping Assembler II altogether. If he can get there, a large computer screen with a high resolution setting will keep him from not being able to work there for quite awhile. He loves his job, so we want to keep him there as long as we can.

JLeslie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Sounds like a good plan. I assume he has known he is colorblind since childhood? My dad is colorblind, so is zensky and a few other jellies here. It is fairly common. I kind of like having to help my dad with color sometimes, it’s not that I would not wish him to see full color, of course I would. The only time it’s stressful is when traffic lights are sideways in cities rather than vertical, he doesn’t remember which light is on the left and which is on the right at first, but you quickly figure it out. He has red/green colorblindness obviously.

rooeytoo's avatar

@livelaughlove21 – sorry about your dilemma. Life sucks sometimes.

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