Do you have a friends-and-family road trip coming up? Are you worried that your pup or cat’s lack of manners could land you in the dog house? Don’t worry — being a considerate guest with pets isn’t complicated. Follow these tips, and your visit will be a treat for everyone!
Being a guest in another person’s home can be a tense situation for anyone. But add your dog or cat into the mix and things can get downright hairy! But being a considerate guest with pets isn’t as hard as you might imagine.
Being A Considerate Guest With Pets
As with most pet friendly adventures, advance preparation leads to success! If you’re planning to travel with your pet, now is the time to start getting ready.
1. Confirm that your pet is welcome.
Bringing your pet along as a surprise for your host is never a good idea. It’s possible that your friends and relatives might not be comfortable having your pet in their home, or could be allergic to your furry travel companion. So, confirm in advance that your pet is welcome to join you. And discuss any restricted areas and pet-related rules for your stay.
2. Brush up on obedience.
Traveling with your pets means introducing them to new places, scents, and people. It’s your job to help them determine how to behave in new environments.
In preparation for your trip, spend some time refreshing your dog’s basic obedience skills so he can showcase his manners and impress your hosts!
Focusing on these three simple commands will make a big difference during your trip:
- “Down,” can keep you pet from greeting your hosts with too much enthusiasm.
- “Stay” could stop a dog from bolting our a door and getting lost.
- “Leave It” could save your pup from the gastrointestinal upset of eating something harmful.
3. Provide a comfortable retreat.
Like small children, pets can easily be over-stimulated by lots of activity and large groups. So provide them with a retreat in a quiet room of the house. You might find that when they’ve had enough excitement, they head for their bed or crate to relax.
4. Stick to your pet’s normal schedule.
As simple as it seems, feeding and exercising your pets on their normal schedule will help reduce their anxiety. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you of your pet’s feeding time and don’t skip their daily walks. It’s the perfect opportunity for some one-on-one time!
5. Avoid digestive disaster.
It’s tempting to spoil your pets with human foods and extra treats while you’re on vacation. And your dog will probably be more than happy to try everything! But many foods are dangerous for pets. And even eating healthy foods he’s not used to can upset your pet’s stomach.
It’s best to stick to his regular diet while you’re traveling. So, let your hosts and other guests know that anyone offering unapproved treats might be cleaning up after your pet later!
6. A guest with pets should leave no trace.
The best way to ensure you and your pet will be invited again is to leave your host’s home as you found it. Bring a spare sheet to cover the bedding if you know your pet will insist on sleeping with you. Pack your lint roller and remove any fur your pup might leave on the sofa. And be sure to pick up and dispose of your dog’s waste in the yard.
7. Keep your cool.
Remember that your pet picks up on and reacts to your feelings. Excitement, anxiety, and stress are common emotions we humans feel when we travel. Paying close attention to your state of mind is important, because those are the vibes your pup is receiving.
If you find yourself feeling tense, take a breath, relax, and remember traveling together is fun. Rushing around is a sure way to turn up the pressure, so don’t over commit yourself. And leave a few minutes earlier than necessary for any scheduled events.
Would a hotel be better?
Honesty is important when choosing the best accommodations for you and your pet. And being a house guest with pets requires patience and understanding. If you have a rambunctious pup or just prefer to have your own space to unwind, consider getting a hotel room.
Having a retreat that you and your pet can enjoy together might be the highlight of your trip!