When you visit your family and friends during the holidays, don’t assume it’s OK to have your pet in tow.
Dr. Susan Nelson, assistant professor of clinical sciences at Kansas State University, said bringing your pet to holiday gatherings can be a convenient option, but there are several things to consider when taking your furry friend along.
“Once you get the OK from your host, you need to think about everything your pet will need for its stay,” Nelson said. “After your arrival, you should clean up after yourself and your pet, and leave your accommodations even cleaner than when you arrived. If you do that, most people will be more receptive to having you and your pet back.”
Nelson offered several tips that pet owners should consider when they are guests in a home:
- Always ask your host if it’s OK to bring a pet along.
- Bring essentials like food and water bowls, a leash, cleaning supplies in case there is an accident, and a litter box for your cat.
- Clean up after your pet. Pick up its waste in your host’s yard, and consider bringing an adhesive roller if your pet sheds its fur.
- Consider bringing a crate so that the animal does not run free in the home.
- Don’t let your pet hang out while people are cooking or during mealtime, unless your hosts are perfectly fine with that.
- Reconsider taking your pet if it’s nervous or prone to biting people, especially if there are children in the home
you’re visiting. If you decide to bring your pet, don’t have it out around everyone else.
- Reconsider taking your pet if it has anxiety issues or if you have a dog that barks a lot — especially if you will not be at the house the entire time and no one else can comfort it.
- Be respectful of others who may have allergies or not be as fond of animals as you are.
- Remember to thank your hosts for allowing you — and your pet — to stay with them.