When you stay at someone else’s house with your dog, it’s important to be a good houseguest.
If you aren’t, your host may take to cringing every time you want to stay or not invite you back.
I’ve been traveling and staying at other people’s house as a guest for over 20 years.
Below are my best tips for ensuring your dog’s stay is pleasant for everyone involved.
UPDATED: originally published September 2011.
15 Tips for Staying In Someone Else’s House With Your Dog
1) Ask Permission
Always ask permission before bringing your dog to someone else’s house.
If they don’t have pets, maybe they aren’t comfortable around them.
If they have pets, maybe they are not friendly towards strange dogs in their home or perhaps your dog doesn’t get along with cats.
2) Follow house rules
Ask if your host has any specific rules or guidelines regarding your dog that they want you to follow.
For example, keeping them out of certain rooms or or not allowing them on the furniture.
3) Pre-plan pet introductions
Talks to their host about the best way to introduce the pets to each other as not all dogs or pets enjoy having intruders enter their home.
4) Be respectful of the host’s schedule
Be mindful of your host’s schedule and try not to disrupt it if they need to get something done.
5) Keep your dog quiet
This one can be difficult, and may be a mute point, if your host has dogs that bark.
Typically, once one dog starts it the others join in and it can be challenging to stop it.
But try to keep barking to a minimum and keep your dog quiet by providing enrichment toys or teaching them to be quiet on command
6) Groom your dog beforehand
Groom your dog before visiting someone else’s home to reduce the amount of shedding and dander.
This is also a good opportunity to check your dog for fleas and ticks and take appropriate measures to eliminate them.
You may want to bring your own grooming supplies such as a brush, nail clippers, and shampoo to groom your dog during your stay if needed.
7) Bring your own cleaning supplies
Bring along your own cleaning supplies such as lint rollers, pet hair remover, or spot cleaner to help keep the host’s home clean and free of pet hair.
8) Scoop the poop
Even if your host has dogs, it’s courteous to pick up after your dog when they poop in the yard so be sure to bring along dog waste bags.
Also, don’t assume it’s ok to throw your dog’s poop in their trash, even if it is in a bag.
Ask your host where they would like you to dispose of it and consider placing it in a smell-proof container, or something like the Kurgo Tailgate Dumpster (affiliate link), and taking it with you and dispose of it later.
9) Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date
Make sure they are up to date to protect both your dog and the host’s pets from any potential diseases.
10) Bring your own dog supplies
Bring your own dog supplies such as toys, treats, and food to ensure your dog has everything they need during the stay.
Put them all into a dog diaper bag before you go so you don’t forget anything.
11) Bring a waterproof furniture cover
If your host said it’s ok for your dog to be on the furniture, it’s best to bring a water and dirt proof cover to help avoid any damage to your host’s furniture.
12) Keep your dog supervised or restrained
Keep your dog supervised at all times to ensure they don’t get into any trouble or cause any damage.
Consider keeping your dog on a leash, in a carrier, or in a pet playpen when you’re distracted or busy to help ensure they don’t wander off or cause any damage.
I frequently do this and it’s such a relief for me to know that it’s impossible for my dogs to get into trouble.
13) Prevent begging
Whether your dog is allowed to beg at home or not, your host may not be used to it or appreciate it.
Restrain your dog, or put them in the other room if needed, to keep them from betting.
14) Train your dog
This not one you will be able to do right before your trip, but working regularly to teach your dog things like manners, to be calm, and to come when called, can help make staying at someone else’s house a good experience.
15) Take full responsibility for your dog
Your dog is only your responsibility, even if someone else in the house is temporarily in charge of watching your dog.
This person will likely not know your dog as well as you do and may have a different philosophy on pets.
When possible, always supervise your dog yourself and know that it’s still your responsibility if something goes wrong when you are not in the room.
By following these tips, you can show your host that you are responsible, considerate of their home, and help ensure that your dog’s stay is a pleasant one for everyone.
It will also make your host more comfortable with hosting you and your dog in the future.
Note: this post was inspired by my friend over at DogJaunt – a blog run by a woman who travels all over the country, and world, with her dog small dog.