Did you know that more than two million pets and other live animals are carried by airlines in the United States annually? Many of these animals will be traveling to holiday destinations with their owners.
Data shows that the number of pet owners taking their pets on holiday has almost doubled compared to 10 years ago.
Many mountain town hotels and snow resorts respond to the increasing numbers of pet owners traveling with their pets by introducing special measures to welcome these owners and their furry friends.
This article presents the top 10 pet-friendly ski resorts in North America. It starts by looking at the features that make a hotel or ski resort pet-friendly. We also look at how bringing a pet can affect a ski vacation before presenting our list of the top 10 ski resorts you can book into when traveling with your furry family members.
What Makes a Resort or Hotel Pet-friendly?
What exactly does a ski resort that promises to be pet-friendly look like? You certainly don’t want to book into a resort, only to realize that your pet is only half welcome. The travel website, TripSavvy.com, provides an idea of what a genuinely pet-friendly hotel or resort should be like.
Allows a variety of pets: Whether you arrive with cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, or dogs, a truly pet-friendly ski resort should have room for you if it’s not fully booked. However, our research shows that many ski resorts and hotels only allow pet owners to bring dogs.
Reasonable restrictions: No one wants to take a pet to a ski resort that says it is pet-friendly, only to have the animal locked away in an enclosure all day because it is not allowed anywhere in the facility except your room. You can expect light restrictions, such as that you cannot leave the pet alone in a room, you have to place it in a crate when in public areas, or have it on a leash.
Reasonable fees: Pet-friendly ski resorts and hotels don’t punish you for bringing your pet by asking you to pay a hefty daily pet fee. Of course, you can expect to pay a certain amount for bringing your pet. Some resorts will not charge you for bringing your pet.
Truly accommodate pets: A resort can’t call itself pet-friendly and then not be fully prepared for people arriving with their pets. Pet-friendly hotels have features ranging from leashes, water and food bowls, beds for your pet, and shampoo. Some hotels have dog parks, pet sitting, a concierge, and an entire spa day for pets.
How to Find Out if a Resort is Pet-friendly
Writing for the internationally-distributed American daily newspaper, USAToday.com, Tracy Morris says that the first step to finding out if a resort is pet-friendly is to “check the amenities of any hotel you are considering staying in.” You can get this information from the hotel’s website, its brochures, or review sites.
Morris also advises pet owners to ask booking agents what the hotel’s policies are regarding people arriving with pets. Even though resorts may say that they are pet-friendly, they still have different policies.
Directories like PetsWelcome.com can also provide valuable information about pet-friendly ski resorts in different areas.
Tips for Staying in a Pet-friendly Resort With Your Pet
The manufacturer of pet food, treats, and cat litter, Nestlé Purina Petcare, provides some tips for ensuring that your stay in a pet-friendly resort is an excellent one:
Do your homework: This ensures that you know that when a resort says it’s pet-friendly, it is genuinely suitable for your pet. For instance, is there space to take the pet out on walks? Will there be services nearby, such as a pet daycare or a vet to attend to the animal if it were to get sick?
Have a crate: Depending on the size of the pet you are traveling with, some resorts may request that you have a crate. This can ensure that the pet does not rush out of the room unnoticed.
Organize the room: To ensure that your pet does not get hurt or consume harmful stuff, start by doing an audit of the room so that you can remove all hazards.
Observe decorum: A pet-friendly resort will still expect you to follow the rules when traveling with your pet. Therefore, you need to ensure that your pet behaves well at all times. Make sure that it doesn’t destroy hotel furniture or cause a mess everywhere it goes.
Ask for a ground floor room: This makes it easy to take your pet for toilet breaks.
What Can You Expect When You Bring Your Pet on a Ski Vacation?
When taking your pet on a ski vacation, you will have several options. Some pet owners will go with their pets but still leave them in the hotel when they go skiing. For instance, it may not be a good idea to take your dog skiing if you cannot guarantee that it will behave properly.
Even if your pet is well behaved, you may not know what to expect when you take it to an alien environment like a ski vacation. Therefore, you can expect the pet to be distressed, especially if you are taking it on vacation for the first time. To prepare for this, you may want to ensure that the hotel has a holding facility for animals.
You can also expect different ski resorts to have different rules about what you can do and what you cannot do with your pet. For example, you may discover that dogs are not usually allowed on the piste (marked ski run or path). Some ski resorts may also have specific paths where owners and their pets can ski.
On a ski vacation, the pet may be in a different latitude from what it’s used to. Because of this, it may eat more or drink more water than it usually does. The animal will also likely use more energy running on the snow and up and down mountains. Therefore, you may want to watch the animal for any signs of hunger or thirst when you travel.
The Top 10 Pet-friendly Ski Resorts
We checked out the top 10 ski resorts in North America. How did we come up with the list? We identify the resorts that editors of travel and pet care websites link to most.
Of course, this is not a definitive list because what could be an incredible pet-friendly ski resort for one person will not always be the best for the next. We list these to assist pet owners with an idea of the factors to look out for when looking for a pet-friendly ski resort.
“We realize how important and special it is to bring your pet on vacation, and we’ve got the perfect backyard for your furry friends on which to run and play,” says the Mountain Lodge website.
This resort, located in Telluride, Colorado, accommodates two pets per unit. For each night you stay with your pets at the lodge, you’ll pay $50. However, if you stay for a week, you will only pay $150 for the whole week.
The owners of Mountain Lodge Telluride will have a bag of local treats and a pet water bottle for your pets, ready for when you arrive.
The owners of Justin Trails Resort call this place the “pet’s paradise!” This Wisconsin resort charges $39 per pet/day.
The resort places no limits on the size and breed of pets, as long as they behave well. It promises, “We have plenty of space for your dog to run free and play away from the compound where they need to be on a leash.”
The Snow King Resort in Jackson, Wyoming, says that it wants to ensure that “you no longer have to leave behind your furry friend when you go on vacation.” However, a notice on the resort’s website says that you will only be able to bring a dog.
If you come with one dog, you can expect to pay $25 a day. Owners traveling with two dogs, which is the maximum allowed, will only pay $35. You are expected to have your dog on a leash all the time when you are on the property.
This resort has an arrangement with Dogjax, a doggy day-care facility near the resort. Dogjax also provides supplies that pet owners may need for their pets while staying at Snow King Resort.
To show that pets are indeed welcome, Viceroy Snowmass’s managers will allow well-behaved pets to be left alone in the room. All you have to do is inform the management. If you wish to have someone take care of your pet, the resort will gladly have someone ready at a reasonable fee.
This resort has designated pet-friendly rooms. When you arrive at the Big White Ski Resort, in Kelowna British Columbia, Canada, you will find a ski school and a schedule packed full of events and activities for both pets and guests. Pet owners are required to come with a pet bowl, leash, and bed for the pet. The resort offers pet sitting services for pets that can’t be taken on ski trails.
The Bartlett Inn invites all “those who seek rejuvenation in the timeless serenity of the White Mountains, a fun-filled family getaway near numerous area attractions, or a vigorous outdoor activity such as hiking, skiing, or swimming.”
The facility, located in Bartlett, New Hampshire, informs dog-loving guests that specific cottages and cottage rooms are pet-friendly.
To ensure that pet owners have everything they need for their pets, the inn’s owners have partnered with Four Your Paws Only, which offers weekend doggie playgroups and a pet bakery.
The Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa promises that “your dog will have a great time on Stoweflake’s extensive dog trails located on our 60 acres of wide-open space.”
According to the facility, in Stowe, Vermont, the dog owners’ accommodation is “conveniently located close to outside entrances and walking paths.” The dogs are to be always leashed when outside. Each room takes a maximum of two dogs, and the pet fee is $40 per day.
Dogs have been welcome at Stowe Mountain Lodge since the facility opened its doors in 2008. A dog walking space is situated a few minutes’ walk from the lodge. For a one-time $125 cleaning fee, you get amenities like a dog bed, bag of treats, and bowls for each dog. Dogs can be left in the care of sitters for about $15/hour.
This lodge is in Stowe, Vermont.
The Beech Mountain Resort believes that “pets are family too, and we want your entire family to enjoy the Beech Mountain Resort experience.” This resort is located in Beech Mountain, North Carolina.
Pets must be quiet and non-aggressive and leashed, or always in a cage when in the resort premises. They are not permitted in indoor public facilities. The resort informs pet owners that “pets are not allowed in any place where skiing, snowboarding or mountain biking occurs during operating hours.”
The Killington Resort informs pet owners that it welcomes quiet, non-aggressive pets that are well-groomed and up-to-date on shots and vaccinations. This resort places several rules regarding pets, which you can check out here.
Killington Resort is located near the town of Killington in Rutland County, Vermont.