Traveling with a service dog can be a life-changing experience for individuals with disabilities. However, there are times when you may need to leave your furry friend alone in a hotel room for a few hours.

If you’re wondering whether a service dog can be left alone in a hotel room, the answer is not as straightforward as you might think. It depends on several factors, including the hotel’s policies, your dog’s behavior, and your dog’s training.

In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about leaving your service dog alone in a hotel room. We’ll cover hotel policies, legal considerations, and tips for preparing your dog for being left alone. So, whether you’re planning a vacation or a business trip, read on to learn more!

Hotel Policies

Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Under the ADA, service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities. These tasks can include guiding individuals who are blind, alerting individuals who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, or providing assistance with daily living activities. Service dogs are not considered pets and are protected by the ADA. This means that service dogs must be allowed in hotels, restaurants, and other public places.

Hotel Pet Policies

Hotels typically have pet policies that outline the rules and regulations for guests who bring their pets. These policies often include restrictions on the number of pets allowed per room, weight limits, and additional fees. It is important to note that service dogs are not considered pets and cannot be subject to these policies. However, hotels may require documentation, such as a doctor’s note or a certificate of training, to verify that a dog is a service animal.

Service Dog Policies

While service dogs are allowed in hotels, it is important to understand the policies that are in place for these animals. Some hotels may require that service dogs are not left alone in hotel rooms. This is because service dogs are trained to assist their owners and leaving them alone may cause them to become anxious or agitated. However, there is no federal law that prohibits service dogs from being left alone in hotel rooms. It is important to check with the hotel before booking a room to understand their policies regarding service dogs.

Legal Considerations

As a service dog owner, you have certain rights under federal law, but state and local laws may also come into play. Before traveling with your service dog and leaving them alone in a hotel room, it’s important to do your research and understand the legal landscape.

State and Local Laws

State and local laws can vary widely when it comes to service dogs. Some states have laws that provide additional protections for service dogs and their owners, while others may have stricter requirements for where service dogs can go. It’s important to check the laws in the state and city where you’ll be traveling to ensure that you’re in compliance.

  • For example, in New York State, it is illegal to deny access to a service dog in any public place or accommodation. This includes hotels and motels.
  • On the other hand, in Hawaii, service dogs are only allowed in certain areas of hotels and other accommodations. It’s important to check with the specific hotel to see what their policies are.

Liability Issues

Another consideration when leaving your service dog alone in a hotel room is liability. If your dog were to cause damage to the room or injure someone, who would be responsible?

While many hotels have policies in place to protect themselves from liability, it’s still important to understand your own liability as a service dog owner. In general, service dogs are considered medical equipment, and as such, their owners are responsible for any damage or harm they may cause.

It’s important to talk to the hotel staff and make sure they understand that your dog is a service dog and not a pet. This can help avoid any misunderstandings or confusion that could lead to liability issues.

Preparing Your Dog for Being Left Alone

When traveling with a service dog, it is important to prepare them for being left alone in a hotel room. This can be a stressful situation for both the dog and the owner, but with the proper training and equipment, it can be made easier.

Training and Socialization

The first step in preparing your service dog for being left alone is to ensure they have received proper training and socialization. This includes basic obedience training, as well as exposure to new environments, people, and animals. It is important to gradually introduce your dog to being left alone for short periods of time, slowly building up to longer durations.

Some helpful training tips include:

  • Practice leaving your dog alone in a safe and comfortable environment, such as a designated room in your home.
  • Provide your dog with a special treat or toy that they only receive when you leave.
  • Start with short periods of time and gradually increase the duration.
  • Make sure to praise and reward your dog for good behavior.


Having the right equipment can also make a big difference in preparing your service dog for being left alone. Some useful items include:

  • A comfortable and secure crate or carrier.
  • A favorite blanket or toy for comfort.
  • A water bottle and food dish for longer periods of time.
  • An identification tag with your contact information in case of emergency.

Creating a Safe and Comfortable Environment

Finally, it is important to create a safe and comfortable environment for your service dog when they are left alone. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety and make the experience more enjoyable for both the dog and the owner.

Some things to consider when creating a safe and comfortable environment include:

  • Ensure the room is free of any potential hazards, such as loose electrical cords or toxic plants.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water and food, if necessary.
  • Leave a radio or television on for background noise.
  • Consider using a calming pheromone spray or diffuser to help reduce anxiety.

By following these tips and preparing your service dog for being left alone, you can help to ensure a safe and stress-free travel experience for both you and your furry companion.

Tips for Leaving Your Dog Alone in a Hotel Room

If you’re traveling with a service dog, you may need to leave them alone in a hotel room from time to time. Whether you’re running a quick errand or attending a business meeting, it’s important to take steps to ensure your furry friend’s safety and happiness while you’re away. Here are some tips:

Communicating with Hotel Staff

When you check in to your hotel, be sure to let the staff know that you have a service dog. Ask if there are any specific rules or guidelines you need to follow when leaving your dog alone in the room. Some hotels may require that you leave a contact number and sign a waiver before leaving your dog unattended. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you have a clear understanding of the hotel’s policies.

Using Surveillance Cameras

If you’re concerned about leaving your dog alone in a hotel room, consider using surveillance cameras to keep an eye on them. There are many affordable and easy-to-use cameras available on the market that allow you to monitor your dog’s behavior in real-time from your smartphone or computer. Just be sure to check with the hotel first to make sure they allow cameras in their rooms.

Providing Mental Stimulation

Dogs can get bored and anxious when left alone in a new environment. To keep your service dog happy and occupied, consider leaving them with some mentally stimulating toys or puzzle games. This will not only help them pass the time, but it will also provide some mental stimulation and enrichment. You can also leave a piece of clothing or blanket with your scent on it to provide some comfort and familiarity.

Remember, your service dog is an important part of your life, and it’s essential to take steps to ensure their safety and happiness when traveling. By communicating with hotel staff, using surveillance cameras, and providing mental stimulation, you can help your dog feel more comfortable and secure when left alone in a hotel room.


In conclusion, whether you can leave your service dog alone in a hotel room depends on several factors. It’s important to understand the hotel’s policies regarding pets and service animals, as well as state and local laws. Additionally, you should prepare your dog for being left alone and take steps to ensure their safety and comfort.

By following the tips and guidelines in this article, you can make the most of your travels with your service dog. Remember, your furry friend is an important part of your life, and with proper planning and preparation, they can enjoy your travels with you!

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