Your Dog Etiquette Guide: How to Help Your Dog Be a Good House Guest

Respect your hosts. It’s important to remember that not everyone will love your dog as much as you do. Your hosts — or their children or friends — may not enjoy being covered in dog hair or sloppy puppy kisses. If your dog is getting overly friendly with someone who would rather not bond with him, redirect him to an acceptable activity or to a guest who would love to share some doggy snuggles. And always supervise interactions between your dog and your hosts’ children, no matter how well they get along.

Respect their pets, too. No matter how friendly your pooch is, don't assume that he will get along with your hosts' pets. Be aware that your hosts’ dogs may see your pooch as an intruder and may not welcome him — and their cat may be terrified of him. Plan a gradual meet-and-greet with other pets rather than a sudden face-to-face. Supervise all interactions between your dog and your hosts’ animals and don’t hesitate to separate them if it seems like they are not getting along. Keeping your dog on harness and leash when he’s in the same room with other pets or designating separate areas for your dog and your friends’ pets may also help alleviate chasing or unfriendly interactions.

Know when to say no. In some cases it’s far better for everyone — dogs and people alike — to decline an invitation and make plans to stay elsewhere. If you sense that your dog will be a burden to your hosts or that they are not entirely comfortable having him in their home, make alternate arrangements for your stay.

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