Traveling with your service dog can be a nerve-wracking process, and it’s important to be aware of your rights as you travel with your companion. When checking into hotels and making reservations at accommodations around the United States, you may be required to provide information about your service dog to access accommodations. Our article gives you more details on what hotels are allowed to ask for when it comes to identifying your service dog.
Can I Stay at a Hotel with My Service Dog?
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, your service dog is allowed to accompany you into any hotel, motel, or other accommodation like an Airbnb. This federally protected right makes it much easier for individuals with disabilities to bring their companion animal with them while traveling and works to prevent discrimination against those who need to travel with their service dog.
Before making a reservation or checking into a hotel, you will need to inform staff that you will be bringing your service dog. Every hotel has a different process for ensuring you and your service dog are fairly accommodated, and you will most likely be required to inform your chosen accommodation that you will be traveling with a service dog to avoid issues.
What Do I Need to Show to Verify My Service Dog?
As you check into your hotel, you should keep in mind what hotel staff are allowed to ask you and the kind of information that you are required to provide when traveling with your service dog. Hotel staff are not allowed to ask you for any of the following:
- Service dog papers, registration documents, ID cards, or certifications
- Proof that your dog is a service dog through demonstration of their tasks
- Questions about your disability or why you might need a service dog
The only questions that hotel staff, and any other individuals, can ask of you and your service dog are as follows:
- Is this dog a service dog?
- What work or task has this dog been trained to perform?
You can respond that your dog is a service dog and give a simple explanation of their training. If you have questions about what you are required to say or what individuals can ask of you, you can consult the Americans with Disabilities Act for more specific details.
Can a Hotel Turn My Service Dog Away?
A hotel cannot turn your service dog away except in very specific circumstances. If your service dog is out of control, aggressive, dangerous, or destructive, you may not be allowed to bring them into the hotel or other accommodation. Any damage or destruction that your dog causes to a hotel or your hotel room must be paid for by you.
That being said, a hotel cannot turn your service dog away for failure to produce papers, certifications, registrations, or demonstrate tasks at the staff’s request. Requiring these items is a violation of your federally protected disability rights. However, service animal registration with a respected company can help quickly calm a dispute with a hotel or another business, so it’s still worth considering.
Do I Have to Pay to Have My Service Dog in a Hotel?
Part of your protected rights for traveling with your service dog include being exempted from breed restrictions, pet or animal restrictions, and any fees that your service dog may incur. This means that hotels cannot charge you extra pet deposits or an extra fee for staying with your service dog, as keeping your companion by your side is necessary for your well-being.
Keep in mind that if your service dog damages anything in the hotel, you will be held accountable to pay for it.
Smooth Traveling With Your Service Dog
Traveling with your service dog doesn’t need to be as overwhelming as you might expect. You have federally protected rights to travel and stay with your service dog in hotels, and as long as you follow rules about informing staff of your service dog, you can easily check them into your room with you. Always keep in mind your rights when it comes to your service dog and know what staff are or aren’t allowed to ask you to ensure your traveling experience goes smoothly.