On our recent Oregon bike trip we stayed with a total stranger that generously opened his house to us. We found him in the community for touring cyclists and hosts – WarmShowers.org.
Before we arrived I told him we had two dogs along for the trip. Although he doesn’t have pets, he was completely fine with us bringing ours.
I have spent all of Chester’s 9 years dragging him over the river and through the woods to the houses of family and friends. This week I saw a great post over at DogJaunt – a blog about an owner who travels all over the country, and world, with her dog Chloe. The article was titled Traveling with a dog: How to be a good houseguest. Just the name reminded me how important it is to be considerate of hosts that welcome you and your dog into their home.
Your non-dog-owner-host may assure you it is ok to “let your dog run around in the house” but then they may cringe when your dog corners the cat or scratches their leather sofa.
Your dog-owning-host will appreciate that you respect their dog’s space by slowly introducing your dog to theirs, making sure your dog doesn’t hover over theirs while it is eating and not letting your dog sleep in their dog’s bed or crate (their own private space).
If you are not a good houseguest your host may take to cringing every time you want to stay or not invite you back.
The DogJaunt article mentioned a few great lessons I have learned over the years and one I could certainly do better at.
A good houseguest:
- Makes it crystal-clear that your dog will be with you
- Talks to their host about the best way to introduce the pets to each other
- Is aware of what might irritate their host dog….or their host
- Is vigilant about keeping an eye on their dog
- Brings their own gear with them so they can care for their dog independently (here’s Dog Jaunt’s comprehensive packing list to help you)
The DogJaunt post on being a good houseguest is well written, covers about every base and gives anecdotes on each point. It should be a must read for every dog owner. Please take the time to jump on over and read the full article. It’s a quick read.