Traveling with Your Dog: How to be a Good House Guest
Staying with Friends and Family with Your Dog
If you are traveling with your dog, you may find yourself staying with friends or family.
Here are 10 ways to be an ideal house guest with your dog.
Vacationing with your dog is a great adventure for both you and your canine companion. You may find yourself staying overnight at a friend’s house or even a family member’s home. Being a great unobtrusive and even helpful house guest is more than just polite etiquette, it’s a necessity, especially if you ever want to be invited back.
When a friend or family member invites you and your dog to stay at their home, it is very different than staying in a dog-friendly hotel or other dog-friendly accommodation. There is no maid service and you are staying in a HOME, not an establishment. It is a big deal for a person to invite you and your dog into their home; you should appreciate the gesture and try to ensure that they do not regret their decision to open their home to you and your companion.
Here are 10 Simple Ways To Be A Welcome House Guest
- Confirm Mutual Dates: When you receive an invite, your host may be thinking one night, not three or seven. Don’t overstay your welcome. Before booking your overnight stay, confirm your arrival and departure dates including times. Not everyone is a night owl or early riser. You should do your best to accommodate your host’s time-frame.
- Thank You Gift: Providing your host with a nice gift from your hometown is a great way to show them that you are thinking of them and appreciate their hospitality. Think about your host’s personal interests and see if you can tie those interests into a gift.
- Meals and Activities: Talk with your host prior to your arrival to determine if you are fending for yourself, or are going to participate together on meals or adventures. It’s important to understand what both of you are expecting out of the relationship instead of trying to backtrack or think on your feet. If going out, what are your plans for your dog? Will you be doing a dog-friendly restaurant, or will you be leaving your dog home alone at your host’s house? In a crate, or free-roaming? If you are venturing out without your host, make sure you take your dog! Your host is not your dog sitter. Also, talk with your host about your comings and goings so they can know when to expect you.
- Pets: If your host is welcoming your dog, they may have pets, too. Talk with them prior to your trip to ensure you understand their pet’s needs and personalities. Maybe your host has a cat that has never been around dogs. Where will the pets meet? On a walk? In the yard?
- Your Dog: Hopefully, if you are asking to stay at a friend or family’s home, your dog is well-behaved and friendly. Don’t assume your host will want your dog wandering around their home unattended just because they opened their home to the both of you. Start by keeping your dog on his leash and ask if he can be let off. Do not allow your dog to be snoopy or disruptive and always know where he is. If your dog is a boy, or a female that has accidents, a dog belly band or female dog diaper may be needed.
- Potty Breaks: Keep in mind that no one wants to step in dog poo. Make sure you pick up your dog’s poop each and every time he goes. When taking your dog for a potty break, ask your host where they would prefer you to walk. Avoid flower beds or ornamental yard art.
- Chip In: If you are eating any of your host’s food, or drinking their coffee or other beverages, make a trip to the local grocery store to replace your share. If this is not possible, leave some cash to cover your portion. You don’t want your host to have to foot the bill for your food and drinks.
- Your Manners: Think back to your younger years when you visited your parents’ friends. What did they tell you? Take off your shoes, don’t make a mess, be polite, ask nicely…these still hold true. Don’t leave the bathroom a mess or your bed unmade. Clean up after yourself and your dog.
- Offer to Help: Don’t expect your host to wait on you. If you are eating meals together, offer to help in the kitchen. Would they prefer you to help cook or maybe to do the dinner dishes? What about your dirty towels and bedding? If you’re there long enough, maybe you can offer to run a load of laundry, leave them money for a laundry service, or even a gift card to a dry cleaner.
- Thank You Note: This may be something you plan even before arriving at your host’s home. A nice, old-fashioned thank you card always lets someone know you are thankful for their hospitality. On your last night, write your thank yous and leave the card on your bed when you depart. Your host will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Do you travel with your dog? Tell me in the comments.
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