These Are the Best (and Worst) Reasons to Take Your Dog to Disney

One of the huge downsides of going on vacation is having to leave your four-legged family members back at home. Thinking about your pets in a kennel, wondering if you’ll ever come back to them, can put a real damper on your vacation excitement.

But now, the most magical vacation destination (which also happens to be mouse-themed) is taking your furry friends into consideration. Disney recently announced that dogs are welcome at select Walt Disney World Resorts as of October 15, 2017.

However, just because dogs can come with you to Disney now doesn’t mean there will be huskies riding Space Mountain and corgis parading down Main Street (although that would be adorable). The new puppy-friendly arrangement comes with a few restrictions that you need to know about.

Read on to see if it’s really a good idea to bring your dog with you to Disney.

CON: You’ll only be able to stay in select hotels

Opened door of hotel room with key in the lock

Only some hotels will allow dogs. | iStock.com/DragonImages

The dog-friendly pilot program is only rolling out at four of the 26 Disney World Resort hotels to start, so if you had your heart set on staying at a particular place, you might be out of luck.

The hotels that will allow dogs are Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Port Orleans Riverside Resort, Yacht Club Resort, and Fort Wilderness Resort.

PRO: The dogs get some pretty sweet amenities

Jack Russell terrier

He might enjoy the vacation even more than you. | Franck Prevel/Getty Images

We’re talking about Disney World here, so obviously the perks for dogs are awesome. Each dog-friendly guest room will have access to pet walkways for exercise and green spaces where your pet can take care of business.

Your pup will also receive Pluto’s Welcome Kit at check-in, which includes a mat, bowls, pet ID tag, disposable bags, puppy pads, and dog walking maps. It also has a “Do Not Disturb” sign to alert the cleaning staff that they shouldn’t just walk into the room.

CON: The trip could be rough on your dog

black and golden Cocker Spaniel dogs in back of car

Make sure your pup can handle the trip. | Bobhackettphotos/iStock/Getty Images

Unless you live close to Orlando, your dog will have to endure a plane ride or a long car trip in order to come on vacation with you. Sitting in the cars for hours can give your dog serious anxiety. The loud sounds and uncomfortable temperature of the plane’s cargo area often lead to distress, too.

If you do decide to make the trek with your pet, consider asking your vet to prescribe a sedative to keep your dog more comfortable for the journey.

PRO: It’s not like they have to sit around bored all day

Jack Russell Terrier

They’ll make sure your dog has fun while you’re at the park. | Alexei_tm/iStock/Getty Images

Wondering what shenanigans your pet will get up to while you’re visiting the park all day? You could leave them in the hotel room to entertain themselves, or you can sign them up for a day of fun at Best Friends Pet Care, a full-service doggie daycare that’s on the property. It’s not as fun as taking a spin on the Mad Tea Party ride … but they don’t have to know that.

CON: Not all dogs are welcome to join

Boerboel dog

You’ll have to keep him on a leash. | Smok Bazyli/Wikimedia Commons

First, only two dogs per room are welcome, so if you have three or more you might have to make a difficult decision about who has to stay behind. Second, all dogs must be well-behaved and up to date on their shots. And even if he’s the best-behaved dog ever, he’ll still need to be leashed whenever you’re walking around public areas.

What exactly does well-behaved mean? Well, if your pup is the type to bark and howl incessantly whenever you’re not home, then a Disney vacation may not be the best choice for him. You should only bring your dog along if he gets along well with strangers — both canine and human — as there will be plenty of those during your Disney visit.

CON: It’ll cost extra

wallet full of money

Make sure you’re prepared for the extra expense. | iStock/Getty Images

A Disney vacation is expensive, and bringing your dog only adds to that cost. Depending on which resort you choose the cost ranges from an additional $50–$75 per night. Ouch.

PRO: You won’t feel guilty while you’re on vacation

owner caressing gently her dog

Dogs make everything better, including Disney. | Fcscafeine/iStock/Getty Images

It’s not strange to think of your dog as another member of the family. And if you’re going on vacation, it can feel depressing to leave that family member behind for a week or longer while everyone else is having fun.

The new rule allowing dogs at Disney solves all of these issues and allows you and your family to fully enjoy your trip guilt-free.

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