Be their (4-legged) guest

When your dog is invited with you to stay with your friends and family, it’s important for everyone to be on their best behavior. We’ve put together a guide for you and your furry friend.

How warm is the welcome?
First things first. Was your pet actually invited to come stay with you or was it something mentioned in passing? It’s extremely important to make sure that your pet is invited and expected by your hosts. Springing your dog on friends or relatives as a surprise… rarely goes over well.

Stick to the routine
It’s important to follow your dog’s usual routine when you travel. Stick to the schedule for when they eat and when they are walked. If you don’t, this can really stress them out. Many dogs are easy going and can roll with changes, but some dogs need that routine to feel comfortable and safe. A stressed dog can be destructive or have tummy troubles, neither thing you want when you’re a guest.

Manners matter
The way your dog acts while they’re a guest will definitely affect whether or not they are invited to stay again. That’s why it’s important that they really are on their best behavior. Simple commands like “Sit,” “Stay,” “Down,” or “Leave it” can be lifesavers for your dog and help keep the peace.

A small white dog sits at a young girls feet as she eats a donut on the couch.
What a good boy! He’s not trying to snatch her donut. Manners Matter.

House rules
Always ask your hosts what they expect from your pet during your stay. Are there certain areas in the house that Fido isn’t welcome? Is Fifi allowed on the furniture? Make sure you all follow the rules. And bear in mind that if your hosts’ expectations are too much for your dog, it may be best for them to stay elsewhere.

Clean up after yourselves
We mean this two ways. The first is to keep your host’s home looking great. Just like you shouldn’t leave your things everywhere, neither should your dog. This also covers a pet that sheds or tracks mud into their house. Offer to help pick up, sweep or vacuum if your pet is messy.

The second, there really is no nice way to say this, is always have a supply of poo bags handy. Cleaning up after your pet is just one way you can show respect to your host’s home. No one wants to have dog poop in their yard, especially if they don’t have a dog of their own!

Create a safe space
Your friend’s or family’s home will be new to your dog and new things can be scary or over-exciting. Bringing along their bed, crate or favorite toys is one way you can help them relax. And a relaxed dog is a happy dog.

If you follow all of these suggestions, barring any major mishaps, your pet will more than likely finagle another invitation to stay in the future. Hopefully, you’ll follow our human suggestions in Be Their Guest from late November and you’ll be invited back too. We wish you all the best of luck with your doggy houseguests.