Can a Hotel Charge for a Service Dog? In 2024

When it comes to traveling with your furry friends, there’s often a lot to consider. Can a Hotel Charge for a Service Dog?

However, if you rely on a service dog due to a disability, the rules and regulations regarding your four-legged companion are quite different.

One common question that arises is whether a hotel can charge you for bringing your service dog along on your journey.

In this article, we will delve into the details of this matter, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the rights and responsibilities of both hotel owners and guests with service dogs.

Can a Hotel Charge for a Service Dog


Traveling with a service dog can be a crucial necessity for individuals with disabilities, providing assistance and support in various ways.

But what happens when you book a hotel room? Can the hotel charge you extra for having a service dog accompany you? To answer this, we need to understand the legal framework in place.

The Service Dogs

Service dogs are specially trained animals that assist individuals with disabilities in their day-to-day activities.

They are not pets but rather working animals, trained to perform specific tasks, such as guiding the blind, alerting the deaf, or providing support for mobility-impaired individuals.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

Under the ADA, service dogs are considered a reasonable accommodation. This means that places of public accommodation, including hotels, are generally required to allow service dogs to accompany their owners.

The Hotel’s Responsibility

Hotels have a legal obligation to make “reasonable accommodations” for individuals with disabilities. This extends to allowing service dogs to stay with their owners in hotel rooms.

The hotel is also responsible for ensuring that guests with service dogs are not subjected to extra charges, such as pet fees.

Can a Hotel Charge for a Service Dog?

Hotels cannot charge guests extra for bringing a service dog, as this would be considered discrimination under the ADA.

While they may charge fees or deposits for pets, service dogs are not considered pets in the legal sense. However, there are exceptions, which we will discuss further.

The Difference Between Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals

It’s important to note the distinction between service dogs and emotional support animals (ESAs).

ESAs do not receive the same legal protection as service dogs and can be subject to different rules and fees when it comes to hotel stays.

Reasonable Accommodations

The ADA emphasizes the importance of providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities.

When it comes to hotels, this includes ensuring that guests with service dogs can access all areas of the hotel, including restaurants and common spaces.

Potential Fees and Deposits

While hotels cannot charge extra for service dogs, there may be instances where they can charge for any damages caused by the dog.

This is not related to the dog’s status as a service animal but rather its behavior. If your service dog damages the hotel property, you may be held responsible for repair costs.

Hotel Policies

Hotel guests with service dogs need to be aware of the hotel’s pet policies and inform the hotel about the service dog’s presence during the booking process.

Communication can help ensure a smooth and trouble-free stay for both the guest and the hotel.

Legal Challenges

In some cases, guests with service dogs have faced challenges, with hotels attempting to charge them extra fees.

If you encounter such a situation, it’s crucial to be aware of your rights and the protections offered by the ADA.

The Importance of Proper Documentation

To avoid potential conflicts or misunderstandings with hotels, it’s recommended to carry proper documentation for your service dog, such as a doctor’s note or a certificate of training.

This can help clarify your service dog’s status and minimize any issues during your stay.

Tips for Hotel Guests with Service Dogs

  • Be aware of your rights under the ADA.
  • Communicate with the hotel about your service dog in advance.
  • Carry proper documentation.
  • Ensure your service dog is well-behaved to avoid any damage charges.
  • Know how to address challenges if they arise.

People also ask

Can hotels ask why you have a service dog?

Hotels can ask whether you have a service dog and what specific tasks or services the dog is trained to perform,

but they cannot inquire about your disability or demand detailed medical information.

Can hotels charge for emotional support animals in Texas?

Hotels in Texas can typically charge fees for accommodating emotional support animals,

as they do not have the same legal protections as service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

However, it’s essential to check for any updates or changes in state or federal laws or regulations, as such rules can evolve over time.

What are the three questions you can ask about a service dog?

When inquiring about a service dog, you can generally ask:

Is this a service dog required for a disability?
What specific tasks or services is the service dog trained to perform?
May I see the service dog’s identification or certification, though it’s important to note that official certification is not required by law?

Can a hotel deny an emotional support animal in California?

California, hotels are not obligated to accommodate emotional support animals as they are not considered service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

However, state laws and regulations can change, so it’s advisable to check the most recent legal requirements and guidelines regarding emotional support animals in California.


In conclusion, hotels cannot charge extra fees for service dogs, as this would violate the ADA.

However, both guests and hotel staff need to be aware of their rights and responsibilities to ensure a smooth and accommodating stay for individuals with disabilities and their service dogs.

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