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Questions to Ask Before Booking: pt 6 – Fido Wants a Vacation Too

March 11, 2011

So far in our multi-part series about questions to ask and consider, we have discussed the topics of breakfastcheck-inparkinglocationdeposits, and cancellations. This week, we’d like to take a few minutes to continue to help you become a more proactive and educated bed and breakfast / inn guest by tackling the subject of dog-friendly accommodations.

While reading over countless books, websites, and brochures to create a perfect getaway vacation, you may have noticed that Fido keeps “giving you the eyes.” He may have just been asking to be let out (or for a bite of your sandwich), but he may have also been telling you “I go too? I’ll be good. I want to see Savannah. Daisy down the street said it was one of the most dog friendly cities she’s smelt.”

Below is a set of questions to ask dog-friendly accommodations when making a reservation. Consider the answers you are given to these questions before booking your stay.


Are you dog-friendly?

Some B&Bs or inns are dog-friendly, some are not. It is best for all parties involved if you can establish if a potential accommodation will welcome your favorite pooch from the beginning.

Dog-friendly accommodations may be completely dog-friendly, permitting dogs in all of their guest rooms, others may only allow dogs in specific guest rooms. Know what rooms permit dogs before booking.

At the Catherine Ward House Inn, we do allow well-behaved dogs in two of our guest rooms – Jessica’s Room and the Hibernian Room (as long as they bring their human(s) along). These guest rooms were selected based on their location in the main house and carriage house, as both rooms have direct access to the outdoors.


Do you have any breed or weight restrictions? Why?


Please ask this question. And then please get back to us about it. We’d love to know why other B&Bs / inns feel it necessary to arbitrarily limit dogs based on weight. For those with bigger dogs (anything over 25 pounds) you may hear from other accommodations that “bigger dogs do more damage” – frankly, we’ve found that the amount of “damage” a dog can do has little to do with its weight and much more to do with how well trained the dog is.

***If you’re at all concerned about your dog’s potential for damage, please, consider their stress level and either leave them at home or bring their travel kennel with you when you go on vacation.***

At the Catherine Ward House Inn, we do not have a weight limit on dogs. We also do not impose any breed restrictions. We trust that all dogs that stay here will be well behaved and not disturb any guest or member of our staff.

Do you charge a “pet fee?” How much is it? What is the purpose for this fee?


Pet fees are typically used to cover the added costs associated with preparing for and cleaning after guests with dogs. These costs are variable based on the cost of labor, room furnishings, and other touches the accommodation may provide. B&Bs / inns will often do deep cleaning after guests with dogs leave to remove any potential allergens from the room as to not potentially bother a future guest who may have allergies.

At the Catherine Ward House Inn we have a pet fee that is currently only $25. This fee covers your entire stay, whether it is one night or a whole week. We do not charge additional fees for multiple dogs. This fee covers the additional labor required to deep clean after guest dogs check out as well. For all of our guests’ comfort, we do use separate bedding (quilts, shams, mattress pads, etc) for our guests with dogs than the bedding used for guests without dogs. This bedding is laundered after every checkout.


What are your expectations for visiting dogs?

All dog-friendly accommodations will have their own set of “house rules.” Know what they are so you can make sure everyone is comfortable and enjoys their stay.

The doggie “house rules” at the Catherine Ward House Inn are fairly simple and straight forward:

  1. All dogs must be well behaved. They must not disturb any of our other guests or members of our staff (no excessive barking).
  2. Dogs are permitted in the designated guest rooms and on the associating porches. Leashed dogs are permitted in the courtyard, and on the front porch. For the comfort of all of our guests, we do not allow dogs in the interior common areas – the parlor, dining room, or kitchen.
  3. You are welcome to leave your dog in your guest room when you go out. If you do this, please leave us a cell phone number should we need to reach you.  Remember, Savannah is a very dog-friendly city – many tours, shops, and restaurants will happily welcome your dog, so you can take him/her with you if you’d like. For a resource of dog-friendly activities, visit:
  4. At the Catherine Ward House Inn, we have built a relationship with a neighboring property owner so that our guests with dogs may use our “side yard.” This relationship has a built in understanding that our guests will help to keep the yard clean by picking up after their pets. Please help us maintain our relationship by doing so. Should you need extra bags, we have plenty that we can provide you with – just ask.
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