My wife and I both agreed very early on in our relationship that we didn’t want dogs (or cats) in the house. While I don’t condemn anyone else for having animals in the house, it’s just not for us. However we feel very much in the minority these days.
While we raised 5 sons without animals running freely throughout our home, all 5 have gone the opposite way with their own households. I respect their right to do that.
I was raised up in a house that didn’t have inside dogs and cats. Shortly after I left home, a new policy was adopted by my folks and they started keeping a pair of little yelpers in the house with them. People change over time I guess, but it hasn’t come my time yet.
Now I find myself in an awkward situation. I have a son and a couple of granddaughters that have very adorable canine friends. They have now decided that since their current dogs are very cute that they need to let them come inside, even knowing my aversion to it. Of course I think they enjoy jerking my chain, but they know the rules.
What makes this even more challenging for me is having a very large family of dog owners, I see myself being eyed as a hypocrite. Why do those select 3 bring their lovable pets inside, but we can’t?
With having several family members living in close proximity I could easily have a half dozen dogs in my house at anytime.
Below is an article I found that addresses Dog Etiquette. It seems reasonable from both sides.
Is it Rude to Bring Your Dog to Someone Else’s House?
If you’re a dog parent, then you know that your dog is more than just a pet – they’re a part of your family.
That’s why you may want to take them with you everywhere you go. But when you’re traveling to visit a friend or family member, you may be wondering:
Is it rude to bring your dog to someone’s house? Yes, it is rude to bring your dog to someone’s house without asking. It is the decision of the homeowner whether to allow an animal in their home. Bringing a dog to their home ignores this fact and is therefore presumptuous and rude. You don’t know the situation in their home or the factors that would go into whether or not they would allow a dog in their home.
How to Bring Your Dog to Someone’s House Without Seeming Rude
There are many things to consider before bringing your dog to someone else’s home. You don’t know how many people are going to be there, what their ages or temperaments are, or whether there will be other pets.
That can make it difficult to know if your dog is going to be welcome, or if they are going to unintentionally cause problems for the people who live there.
On the other hand, there are some situations where you may be able to bring your dog and it will not be seen as rude. Knowing how to make the right decision can sometimes feel like an art form, but it stems back to one important rule: Ask first!
Your friends and family may not understand just how important your dog is to you. That may be especially true if they don’t have a dog or any pet of their own.
To them, it’s a pet and it can just as easily be left in a kennel. To you, they’re a family member you want to keep with you.
Take the time to have this conversation with them. Let them know, gently, how much you care for your dog and how much it means to you to have them with you.
Don’t assume that the people you’re visiting understand this and that they are going to be okay with your dog at their home. That can definitely come off as rude.
If they also are pet parents they are more likely to understand your feelings on the subject. That would be the best-case scenario. But it’s definitely not the only scenario that you could come across.
It could be that they don’t mind you bringing your dog or even that they assumed you would. It’s still best to ask first so you don’t appear presumptuous.
If you ask, you may also find that the people you’re visiting don’t want you to bring your dog along. While this can be inconvenient for you, it’s definitely their right to refuse to allow pets.
Asking first gives you the opportunity to learn about their position on the topic on friendly terms without forcing it.
If they don’t have pets of their own especially or if they have an allergy, this is perfectly understandable.
There are likely reasons that they don’t have their own pets, after all, and it’s not fair to subject them to yours when they’re not going to be happy.
In fact, perhaps the only reason for saying no is they don’t like pets and don’t want to be bothered with having an animal in their home.
There is nothing wrong with this reason at all. It’s their house and their rules.
Is It Rude To Ask to Bring Your Dog to Someone’s House?
In general, asking if you can bring your dog is not rude. In fact, that’s the best way to know if this is an option.
When you ask, you’re showing respect and proving that you care about what’s best for the people you are visiting, and their household.
You’ll be able to make a better plan for yourself as well because you’re going to know what to do with your pet.
Always be polite when you ask and clarify any specific rules for as well.
These might include:
- Will they be required to stay outside?
- Do you need to bring a dish for food and water?
- Are there other dogs in the house?
If you are told not to bring your dog, make sure you follow the rule. Do not ask to bring your dog and then disregard the answer. Bringing your dog where they are not welcome is not good for them, you or anyone else who has been invited.
Of course, all of this is assuming you have not had this conversation before. If you have, and you are aware that the person who you are visiting does not want you to bring your dog then it is best to respect their wishes without asking multiple times until you get the answer you want.
If you don’t like the idea of not being able to bring your dog, you don’t have to attend.
Just keep in mind that threatening your way into bringing your dog is not a good idea either.
Asking for Special Treatment
Maybe you’ve been told that your friend or family members do not want anyone to bring dogs but you have a special circumstance that you’re hoping is going to change their mind.
If you think that there’s a reason you should request to bring your dog as a companion, then you should take the time to talk about the circumstances with that person beforehand.
In fact, discuss it as early as possible. Explain the situation and why you would need to bring your pet and why you’re really hoping they’ll consider it. You’ll want to follow along with this process:
- Acknowledge that they asked for no pets
- Explain the situation for why you want to be able to bring your pet
- Offer a reasonable accommodation
- Give them time to think about it
- Say thank you
If you are granted special treatment, make sure you follow the rules and accommodations that you set (source). If you agreed to keep your dog in the garage then they need to stay in the garage (except when you take them out to go to the bathroom and then make sure you clean up after them) (source).
If you said you would bring your own chain and keep them outside then make sure that you do that. Do not take advantage when you’ve already been given special treatment.
How to Politely Tell Someone Not to Bring Their Dog
Now, what if you’re on the opposite side of this issue, and you’re the one who is inviting guests over but you don’t want someone to bring their dog? It is likely you have good reasons for your stance and don’t want to compromise.
This is something you’re going to have to think about carefully so you can approach it in the right way. It starts with talking to the people you know want to bring their dogs.
Feel Them Out
First, feel out whether you believe that the individual is going to try to bring their dog. From there, lay out the ground rules early on and let them know that pets are not allowed.
If you have pets of your own, it might be even more important to speak up if you don’t want anyone else to bring pets (source). Your family or friends might assume that since you have a dog it’s okay for them to bring theirs.
The reality is having pets of your own can make this situation even more complicated. Dogs are territorial, as are most animals. Even if you don’t mind having other pets in your home, your four-legged family members may disagree.
Or maybe you allow your sister to bring her dog when she’s staying at your house alone, but when everyone is getting together for the holidays, you’d rather she didn’t. Explaining early on keeps everyone happier.
Be Polite But Firm
Next, when you do have to say something make sure that you are polite but firm. You don’t want to come across as uncertain about the decision.
If you are asked directly immediately say no but, try to be kind about it. Remember, their pet is very important to them and probably has worked up the courage to ask knowing that it is not the optimal request to be making.
The best way to go about this is to say: ‘We really don’t like having other pets at our home’ Just leave it at that. Don’t apologize and don’t try to explain why you don’t want them to bring the dog.
You don’t need to defend yourself because it’s your home. If you’re polite and you’re upfront then it will make it harder for them to say anything about it.
If you haven’t been asked but you want to be sure no one assumes they can bring their dog you should try to head off any questions. When you extend the invitation, you could say something like: ‘we’re planning a get together on July 3rd.
I know that’s a little far away but we wanted to make sure you would have enough time to find someone to watch “Fido”.
This lets them know that you don’t want their dog to come, but in a polite way.
If you tell one member of the family or one individual that they can’t bring their pet and tell someone else that they can, it’s only going to cause strain for everyone present. You should present a very firm rule that everyone is required to follow.
There might be specific situations where you need to allow one person to bring their pet but you don’t want anyone else to.
For example, if you have a family member staying with you for a week and needs to keep their dog there but you have guests visiting for the day that you don’t want to bring their pets, this should be explained.
It’s best if you keep the pets that are allowed away from the rest of the party, either on a chain outside or in a specific room away from everyone else.
Dealing with Guests Who Bring Dogs
Now, what do you do if your guest doesn’t ask and simply shows up at your home with their dog? This is definitely a delicate situation and it can be very difficult to be polite and set the right standard.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to be rude if you can help it. Where you start depends on the specific situation.
If the individual who brought the dog lives nearby just let them know that you really prefer it if the dog were to be at home.
If you have pets of your own, this may be even easier because you can let them know that you don’t want to put your dog in the position where they need to be territorial and protect their house.
If the individual doesn’t live close enough that they can drive back home, then perhaps you ask them to leave the dog outside or in the garage while they are at your home.
Dealing with Rude Guests Who Bring Dogs
What if your guest brings their dog and is rude about it? Maybe they just flat out refuse all of your offers of a solution to the problem.
In that case, you will have to decide whether you are willing to sacrifice your rules, or whether you would rather the individual (and their dog) return to their own home.
Keep in mind that if you sacrifice your rules this time they may assume that they can do the same every time. This may be something you’re willing to do for the sake of getting everyone together.
If it is, there’s nothing wrong with that, but you should reframe the situation so that the person is more clear on the rules in the future.
If they continue to break the rules, then perhaps you would need to consider turning them away.
Overall, the best thing that you can do if you want to bring your dog is to ask. And the best thing you can do if you don’t want someone to bring their dog is to tell them.
Though situations may vary and you might find yourself having to make sacrifices one way or the other, being open and upfront with each other is the best way to go.
Over time, people will become accustomed to the expectations that you have for visiting your home and will respect the rules you put in place.