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Milk-Bones on Your Pillow? Hotels Accepting
 Pets has Risen  25% Since 2003
By Kim Brown, Tulsa World, Okla.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

February 8, 2009 - At Tulsa's Hotel Ambassador, the pets are more than welcome -- they're pampered.

For the past few years, the hotel has not only allowed pets to stay for free, but they provide other amenities for the four-legged set, such as dog beds, water bottles and gourmet treats from a local pet business, the Dog Dish.

They also provide dog bones and welcome notes that list nearby park areas.

"We find that so many of our leisure travelers now travel with pets, and we love them. They are so nice to have around," said Michael Frimel, executive vice president of the Coury Collection, which owns and operates the hotel. "The staff gets to know their names and they become part of the family."

Bringing Fido or Fluffy along on a trip has become more important to travelers in recent years, according to AAA. In its most recent survey, it claims that lodgings accepting pets has risen more than 25 percent since 2003.

And pet-friendly lodgings are also important to people seeking shelter from disasters or weather-related events.

Frimel said that the Hotel Ambassador, 1324 S. Main St., chooses not to charge for the amenity, and it's a perk that customers appreciate.

"They love the fact that we have beds for their dogs, and they love that we're giving some special attention to them. We do the same thing for kids."

So far, Frimel said he can't recall of any bad incidents at the hotel involving a pet.

"I think owners realize that we're taking extra care of

them, so they take extra care so that nothing happens."

Before you take your pet on the road, AAA suggests these trip preparations:

Get a clean bill

of health from the veterinarian. Make sure you obtain and pack an up-to-date health certificate showing proof of recent inoculations.

Brush up on good behavior.

Remember that unfamiliarity of travel situations may test the temperament of even the most well-behaved pet.

Learn about your destination

. Beware of safety and health risks at your destination and plan accordingly.

Determine the best mode

of transportation. Although most people traveling with pets drive, airlines are pet-conscious. Make sure you learn the restrictions for pet type and size before you go.

For more about the Hotel Ambassador, visit tulsaworld.com/hotelambassador.

Here are some other local hotels that are pet-friendly. Please call hotels before arriving for updated policies and fees:

HOTEL

Best Western: some allow pets for a $25 nonrefundable fee, policies vary by location

Candlewood Suites: allows pets for up to a $75 nonrefundable deposit

Crowne Plaza: allows pets for a $100 non-refundable deposit

Days Inn: some allow pets for an extra $10 per day; policies vary by location

Doubletree Hotel, Warren Place and Downtown locations: allows pets for a $50 nonrefundable deposit

Holiday Inn: 50 percent allow pets, policies vary by location

La Quinta: allows pets; no fee

Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center: allows pets for a $250 refundable deposit

Radisson Inn: allows pets for a $75 nonrefundable deposit

Kim Brown 581-8474 kim.brown@tulsaworld.comw Pet haven

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To see more of the Tulsa World, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.tulsaworld.com.

Copyright (c) 2009, Tulsa World, Okla.

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