As the proprietor of a bed & breakfast in Oaxaca,
Mexico, I frequently field inquiries from travelers with plans to visit the
city who are intent upon bringing the household dog or cat along for the
vacation. They initially ask if pets are permitted in our guest level, and then
after receiving a reply in the negative, in a second email ask for names of
alternate hotels or other accommodations which do accept pets. The advice is
always the same, but the inquiries keep coming.
This pet lover and owner of a brindle boxer is not a pet
psychologist, nor professes to intimately know what’s right or wrong when it
comes to decisions about the household dog or cat (or one’s children for that
matter – lord knows we’ve made and will continue to make mistakes raising our
daughter), nor the impact that leaving a pet behind could have on the mutt or
his “parents” or “siblings.” However, there are certain
factors which ought to at least be considered prior to deciding definitively to
take Fido or Tabby along for the trip.
Yes, Some Hotels and Bed & Breakfasts in Oaxaca Do Accept Pets,
Including Dogs and Cats
Of course virtually every major tourist city in the
civilized world includes the odd hotel, guest house or bed & breakfast
which accepts pets, at minimum dogs and cats. Oaxaca is no exception. For
example, a couple of members of the Oaxaca Bed & Breakfast Association are
happy to extend invitations to the four legged. But most shun the thought of
even the possibility of a cat meowing or dog barking, and therefore having to
contend with complaints from pet-less guests. Certainly there are exceptions;
but what might it reveal about the quality of lodging if the owner is
struggling to rent out rooms to the extent that he feels compelled to accept
dogs, cats, rats, parrots, snakes and lizards?
Your choice of lodging is dramatically reduced by
restricting the selection to accommodations in Oaxaca which accept pets. Is the
vacation for the Homo sapiens in the family members, or for the canines and
But Think of the Poor Pet, No Matter How Attached You Insist He is To the
Believe it or not, loved ones pets are in fact different
from the human members of the household, no matter how much we might treat them
the same as we treat ourselves, no matter that they sleep with us in our beds,
no matter they might pick up on our emotions and even thoughts. After the first
couple of hours of the road trip to Oaxaca, will the pet not be less patient
than the children? Is he capable of playing board games in the car? Would he be
happier being cared for in a quality facility back home where he can frolic
with his own kind?
When we vacation we board Tito with a dog trainer. Now,
seven years later, whenever we begin to gather up his food and water bowls, and
leash and choke chain for the ride, he becomes unimaginably excited, sensing
that he’s off once again to the country club.
Pet Owners with a Dog or Cat Accompaniment in Oaxaca are Otherwise
Many ruins and cultural sights do not permit pets, leashed
or otherwise. Yes, the dog or cat can be left in the car, windows left slightly
ajar. But do you want to run the risk of returning to the parking lot and
finding Fido has fled the coup using the help of a Oaxacan anxious to turn the
catch into coin? Do you want to constantly be obsessing about that possibility
rather than expending all of your energies enjoying Monte Alb??n, Mitla or a
marketplace? Bringing the pet will on balance dramatically restrict your
ability to enjoy a number of priority tourist sights.
If Still Not Convinced, Consider Boarding the Pet in Oaxaca,
and Compare Costs
True enough, boarding costs in the US and Canada are
prohibitive for most of us. Accordingly, as a last ditch effort to convert the
otherwise committed, consider boarding the beast here in Oaxaca. The advantages
of doing so include:
- The cost is about a quarter of what it costs
- Your vacation will have no restrictions in terms
of the sights which you can see.
- You hopefully will not be constantly obsessing
about how your dog or cat is doing; and you won’t have to incur long distance
calls to assure yourself.
- Your pet can still enjoy spending quality time
together with the rest of the family members driving through the American
- You can drop by to see him daily and exchange
stories about how the day went. Most boarding facilities have posted visiting
- He’ll be having the vacation of a lifetime, and
perhaps even pick up a bit of Pet-Spanish.
You won’t have any such restrictions on selecting a hotel or
B & B, and accordingly your vacation in Oaxaca will be that much more
relaxing and enjoyable.
Since pet boarding facilities in Mexico invariably have dog
psychologists on staff, you can kill the proverbial two birds with one stone –
use the first half hour for the dog to deal with his stress, and the other half
hour for yourself.