Humans instinctively go on their best behavior when staying at another person’s home. You do your dishes without being asked, you make your bed, you’re careful to tiptoe and not turn on any lights if you need to visit the bathroom at 2am. Our dogs, though? Eh….
For houseguests of the canine variety, hanging out at a new home may as well be like being transported to a new dimension. The smells are different, the furniture (and whether they’re allowed to sit on it) is different, and the rules and routine are different, too. You can’t sit your pup down for a talk about how to behave appropriately in a home that’s not their own, but you do have some control over how the situation goes. Nicole Ellis, resident pet expert at DogVacay, shared with us these six tips for making sure your dog behaves when they’re a guest in someone’s house.
1. Pack ahead. Make sure you have everything you need so you don’t have to borrow anything from the host of the home you’re staying in. Some good items for your checklist include a food and water bowl, kibble, leashes, poop bags, and a blanket.
2. Make a safe area for your pet. Being in a new environment can be stressful. Create a safe place in your room with a familiar blanket and some toys that have a familiar scent. This will help your pup get adjusted easily.
3. If there are resident pets in the home you are staying in introduce the pets outside and go for a walk together. This will help get everyone acquainted on neutral ground, which leads to a more positive introduction.
4. Go for a nice long walk when you arrive. It will help your pup calm down and relax for when you go in and join the festivities.
5. Clean up after your pet. That means diligently cleaning up any accidents, picking up after your dog outside, putting toys away at the end of the day, and being sure not to leave a trail of fur and/or drool wherever your dog goes.
6. For homes with a resident pup, if you bring some toys for your pup, it can’t hurt to bring some for the resident dog too. After all, you are staying in his home and he may want to play with some too! This helps eliminate possible aggression over sharing.