1. V.T. Reynolds

    I would be interested to know what type of inconvenience the dog poses. We are all familiar with the annoying dogs that have not been properly trained: jumping on people, incessant licking, barking, and general mess making. I can understand not wanting a dog visitor if this is the case, or if someone in your household is allergic. However, for many people, their dogs are much like having children: you cannot just leave them at home overnight: inside dogs need to go outside to “do their business” several times a day, they absolutely must be exercised and walked daily, and they need to be fed at least once per day. Boarding a dog every time you want to visit family can add up to a major expense for the owner, not to mention they are missing a part of their own “family” when Pumpkin is left behind. If the dog is of the annoying variety (almost always the fault of the owner), I would suggest helping your sister-in-law find ways to remedy the dog problems, not getting rid of the dog on visits (one great suggestion would be to get her the Ceasar’s Way book – his techniques really work!). Good luck!

    • Alicia

      Honestly I do not allow dogs i my house or as houseguests. They require a lot of attention and they often piddle when in unfamilur areasa and always leave a gross smell that tends to take weeks to remove. It is great to have a dog if you want one but one of teh burdens of dog ownership is being prepared to board the dog when you go on vacation. To impose the hassle that all dogs( yes even well behaved dogs are a hassle to a non dog house) are is a huge imposition on anyone hosting you. If you want to stay where a dog is welcome then you can stay at one of the motels that allows dogs. Either way the cost of providing a place for teh dog should be a known cost of owning a dog and yes the major expense is one people should consider before taking on the responsibility of a pet. Just like kids are not always welcome at all homes and all events pets are not welcome in all homes and all events . People should not impose on hospitality in bringing unwanted kids or pets places where they are not invited. So a babysitter or dogsitter is a known expense for these types of family members

      • I agree. I am a dog owner and never impose with bringing my dog to visit. Its rude and inconsiderate to abuse your guests invitation in that matter. People work and kennel their animals at home for the time they work so what makes it so imperative to take it with you on a social visit? If I can afford to go on an overnight visit the. I can afford boarding my animal as well. Its just the same as going out for the evening on a date if you have children. You get a sitter or stay home!

      • Joan

        My son and his fiancé were to visit this thanksgiving. They live 5 hrs away. I was all excited to see them, then this week, after my daughter who lives in the same state as them couldn’t dog sit, they asked if I would allow the dog. I said we don’t allow house pets in our home and suggested the board the dog and I even offered to pay. Now this girl won’t board the dog and they both are not coming and both are accusing me of ruining there relationship because I don’t understand why a dog was chosen over family. Of course her family lives in her state and they are going there for Xmas. My son won’t even return my calls. I never said anything against the girl to her or him. I cry constantly. I want to go to sleep and wake up January 3! Wish I knew what I did, I even apologized for whatever and practically begged he call me….no luck

        • Lori C

          You did nothing wrong. They asked about bringing the dog. You said no and offered to pay for boarding. They had a tantrum and are refusing to come. Your son & his fiancee are behaving badly. Stop calling. Stop begging. Please dry your tears. Carry on with your Thanksgiving plans. Talk this out with a therapist if needed. You had a disagreement. You cannot let this ruin your holidays.

          Now, after Thanksgiving, write them a nice note or send a card letting them know you missed them at Thanksgiving and hope they are well. Ask if they would like to get together before or after Christmas, could you meet them half way for the day or perhaps make the trip to see them? If they still refuse to talk to you, they are still behaving badly. Try again after the holidays.

          I suspect you don’t care for your son’s fiancee very much due to your reference of her as “this girl”. Twice. You also sound a little jealous they will be spending Christmas with her folks. Again, no shame in talking this out with a therapist. The holidays are a big emotional land mine with over the top expectations that disappoint when life happens.

          • Vince

            I think your advise & suggestions are spot on … and I have always found this interesting. There mad at you & your hosting dinner, are they aware of how involved this is to say nothing of the expense. Here’s a heck of an idea you host & cook the entire Thanks Giving dinner at your house with your dog & invite me. I had the misfortune of having this just happen when friends showed up with there dog who has many issues … with a nickname like puddles you know where I’m going. They only live 5 minutes away and all I said was I wish you would have asked to bring the dog instead of just showing up … they left & never came back, ruined the entire dinner that I had prepared starting at 6:00 AM in the morning … never again !! More hurt than mad, just shows no consideration for me or my place, especially since my wife & I put in new carpet.

    • Gary

      My view. You certainly would not be visiting me and as far as I’m concerned, with your attitude, you should just stay home.

      • Amy

        I’ve read enough, I have two dogs. One medium sized one large. They are housebroken and clean, they are my children along with my actual children. I am a stay at home mom to take care of all of them the way they need to be taken care of. That being said, I would never ever bring them into someone else’s home because… THEY ARE DOGS. I have multiple family members that bring their small dogs to my house whenever invited and understanding that their dogs are their family, i have not told them to not bring them. They are lovely adorable dogs, soft, cute, clean and housebroken, to THEIR house. I have never ever had them over where I didn’t have to clean up little poops in the corners of the rooms or weeks later, smelled urine in that area. I am ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE it is not my dogs as there is quite a difference in the size of messes, although I haven’t seen one of theirs since they were puppies inside our home. You probably love your little dog, but it IS A DOG. DOGS LEAVE THEIR MARK ON OTHER DOGS HOMES! You are mistaken if you think your dog will not ever do this, I am just to polite to interrupt a family conversation to bring it to your embarrassing attention at the moment I find it. I am sure, if you are bringing your dogs into someone else’s home, you are looking like an idiot to them too, as they clean up the mess of your family member while not mentioning it to spare your imbarrassment. So, PLEASE Wake up people!

    • VRay

      Why for some reason does it always comes down to the host, you know the person who invited you into their home making exceptions. I’m so disappointed in this new way of thinking. If the situation was let’s say like a smoker … people wouldn’t stand for it at all & I’m not talking about even smoking in a persons house. People have gotten nasty and insulting because I’ve wittnessed it. Now all of the sudden someone can bring their family member (in this case their dog) and let it run all over your house, pee on the carpet, jump up on the furniture and sit at the dinner table and beg all through dinner. I read your comment on that being the owners responsiblity … and here we go again, they let their pet do the same thing it does at home. My next statement to you is have you ever seen what happens when you correct someones child … the parents go wild, and the you lose a friend. This is truly pretty simple, leave your pet at home, enjoy dinner and make it an early evening so you can go home & have pie with your dog … good luck.

  2. Mary K. Enterline

    It should not matter what kind of inconvience, if the hostess does not want a dog when visitors come, then that’s it. I love dogs and used to own one. It was a non shedder, a mini poodle. But now that we have no dogs in the house, we don’t want other’s pets in our home when they come for weekend visits. I don’t appreciate the EXTRA work a visiting dog brings with it. I am a meticulous house keeper and I don’t need EXTRA work from shedding dog hair especially all over the house and the furniture. Not to mention in wet weather the visiting dog would track in all kinds of dirt.
    At age 60, it is enough to change extra bed linens and extra generated laundry….to add the extra work of going over all the floors and furniture and getting rid of dog hair is too much!

      • Lisa

        I totally agree! I don’t have a dog. Why, then, do people think I want one in my home, or shouldn’t care if they bring their dog? Not once have they offered to clean up before they leave – the dog hair, the slobber on the doors, walls, where ever. I am 56, a heart attack survivor, and forgive me – I like a clean house. Show some respect to your host, be it family or friend, and leave your dog somewhere else when you come to my house!

  3. Jerry

    Interesting commentary. I have always been of the school of thought that, as homeowner, I get to set the rules. If one of my potential guests really really cannot handle being without a member of her non-human family, she is welcome to host at her home or meet me at a neutral site. The short form is “my roof, my rules.”

    Of course, there are those who believe that they should be able to use a family member’s vacation home no matter the preferences of the home’s owner. Perhaps that works for some families, but American etiquette imposes no such requirement. Etiquette does not require anyone to “go along to get along.” (Remember, it takes two to disagree.)

  4. Elizabeth

    I have a dog, and I would never assume that I could bring him with me to others’ homes without first asking permission. And I would also never be offended if my host declined. Dogs are not everyone’s cup of tea!

    One suggestion that could be made to the sister is to take her dog to the new kinds of boarding kennels that are opening up, in which dogs of similar size play together for hours while being supervised by the (human) staff. It’s a great way for the dogs to socialize, get a lot of exercise, and avoid the old-style kennels where they were simply cooped up in a cage all day. They normally test new dogs for temperament (a free day of doggy day care!) and they don’t accept aggressive animals. If you pitch it to your sister as ‘good for the dog’ she might be more apt to not take offense.

  5. KK

    As a sidenote: I find that because I have dogs of my own, often times houseguests take that as a cue that their dog must certainly be welcome. Even if your hostess is a dog lover, it is still not good etiquette to ask to bring your’s along. The hostess’ pets may have either aggression or intense fear towards other animals, and she may not have the space required to add another to the pack. If you know the hostess well enough to be staying with her, likely she is aware of your pet and will invite him along if she so chooses.

    Which brings up the point if your four-legged companion IS invited to stay, be sure to ask for the “house rules” for pets. Maybe the hostess is only comfortable having your pooch for a visit if he remains outside (or in bad weather in the garage). If her rules are not ok with you, than you should find other arrangements. And be sure to always bring food, toys, plastic bags, and possibly even wipes if there are housetraining issues so that you can clean up after your pet and be sure he is entertained so as not to chew on anything!

  6. Angie

    Pet owners should never ask a hostess in any circumstance to bring a pet to their house for a visit. To ask is appalling. Imposing your pets on other people is unfair. It puts the hostess in an awkward position of saying NO and makes the situation strained. Respect is the key here. Pet owners should have respect of the hostess NOT to even ask!

  7. Adf

    My suggestion trade with a friend for a few days they take care of your dog you take care of their kids then bring the kids with you :)

  8. J M

    A relative of mine always travels with his dog. He never asks if it is okay. He just shows up with him. On the most recent trip to our house, his dog went bonkers when left alone. He (the relative) did not bring a crate for the dog, did not bring food for the dog (he helped himself to our dog food,) and did not clean up behind his dog when he left puddles in our house. When left alone one evening for about an hour, the dog destroyed the wall-to-wall carpet in the guest room. I noticed it immediately and gave the relative ample time to acknowledge the damage, a day and a half. The night before he left, he asked us what time we would be getting up the next morning. When we told him we were planning to sleep late, he set his alarm for sunrise. He wasn’t counting on me getting up early. He finally said something about it on his way out the door. What made me angry more than the damage was the cowardly way the relative acted. Needless to say, he is no longer welcome in my home. Had he said something earlier, it might be different. (This was also the last straw in years of freeloading and generally poor behavior.) The cost of materials to fix the damage was $650. It would have been more if we hadn’t caught it on an end-of-year sale and if we hired someone to install the new floors.

    Just something to think about before traveling with your pets. It may be the one thing that can ruin an already-strained relationship.

  9. Brockwest

    I’ve had dogs and cats all my life, have 2 dogs, 4 cats all high maintainence. I wouldn’t dream of bringing any along, although there are family.
    I certainly wouldn’t bring them to a home that had pets, as there is a high degree of care involved introducing pets to another’s territory.
    JUST LIKE WITH KIDS, some people feel their pets can do no wrong, and don’t think a thing of their pets using the carpets, beds, gardens as their toilet. As above, some tend to ignore the results as if it’s someone else’s job to clean.
    In the old days when money was dramatically tighter, it was common to bring the WELL-TRAINED family dog to relatives, but nowadays it’s not. There are three choices: 1) the nice kennels that have social hour, 2) Pet-sitting in your own home while you are gone (my absolute choice now…not all that expensive, pets happy in their own home, I know they are safe and not runaways, 3) motels that accept pets. (AAA guidebooks have the list).

    I would tell someone who is bringing a pet those choices and offer to find a close motel that accepts pets. Period.

    On the other hand, when guests arrived with an unexpected pet, I bite the bullet for the first visit only and allow them in. I guess I’m too timid to be face-to-face confronting. On any subsequent visit I would be absolute solid in that the pet is not to stay at my home.

  10. JH

    We just bought a house, and have friends that want to visit us (with their dog). We have cats, one is very timid, and are afraid the one cat will be afraid to go out into the our yard if it sees or senses or sees a dog there. Having had a dog in the past, we always
    traded pet sitting with other friends. The friends visiting us don’t think it is important to train their dog, and the dog is a little crazy..We thought it over and have decided to have a “no pet”policy, which I now will have to tell these friends. We have mutual friends that live near them that have a dog, but I doubt they want to dog sit since our friends dog is not well behaved. Our friends may end up not visiting us., but can’t do about that. We have an RV, and when we visit them, our pets stay inside. We would never assume to let our pets onto their property, or into their home, and we feel the same should apply when they visit us. It’s a tough situation, but I agree with most of your commentary, people should leave their pets at home and not assume you must accept their pet without asking. What do you do with the dog if you go out to dinner? Even if the property has a dog run, the dog wants to be with the owners, and will probably bark. Many dog owners think they should take their dog everywhere, like a baby. I have complained to store owner corp. offices here in Oregon, as it seems people think it’s O.K. to have their 3 large dogs take up an entire ailse in a home improvement store! The employees told me it’s not allowed, and people have been bitten, but I guess they don’t have the you know what to enforce the store policy? Many people now it seems think the “rules” don’t apply to them or about someone else’s point of view. Too bad there isn’t some game or something to teach this, as that would be the only way for them to learn these days, wouldn’t it?


  11. Hikergirl

    We have multiple dogs, so family assumes it’s OK to bring their dog when they come to visit. They don’t even ask if they can visit or if they can bring their dog – they just do (my mother in law). However, a couple of our dogs are nervous around people and one of them is very dog aggressive. We have to keep these two crated the entire time the family member and their dog is at our house. It’s not fair to our dogs, it’s not fair to us. The family member is oblivious, her dog pees in the house. Yes, I am familiar with Cesar’s Way and practice that regularly with my dogs; however it’s a process with rescue dogs and takes time to help them overcome fear and aggression. My husband is a doormat and won’t say no, and I’m the bad guy because I want to say no.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      You need to insist that your husband talk to them since they are his family. He doesn’t have to be mean. He just has to explain the situation clearly and stand his ground.

      On a non-etiquette note, my husband is pursuing a masters in animal behavior and all of his professors HATE Cesar’s way. I suggest looking into positive-reinforcement techniques. To give you an idea of how well it works one of his professors used it to completely train her dog in three days to the extent that she takes the dog outside and says “poop” and it does.

  12. NKY37

    I can certainly understand when visiting relatives that if they let you know up front that they don’t want you to bring your dog(s). Make arrangements to have your dogs watched or host at your house. However, my parents (who have had dogs for most of their married years) have allowed my sister and her husband to bring their dog for weekend visits for as long as they’ve had their dog. So when I got my two dogs, I started bringing them while visiting my folks. Well…I was told after Thanksgiving that my two dogs were not welcome if my sister’s family and dog and my brother and his family are there. I don’t understand their inconsistent rule between my sister and I. My dogs are well-trained, excellent around children and do what they are commanded to do. They are well-socialized and love being around people. My sister’s dog isn’t well socialized around other dogs and doesn’t do what it told. I love my parents, but until they can be fair and make my sister arrange for dog care for their weekend visits, they won’t have to worry about me coming to visit.

  13. annie

    My sister in law has a dog. She bought this dog along with another one when she was still dating her ex. Now they broke up and she went back home and brought 2 dogs with her. She has a full time job and nobody can look after these dogs. I was unemployed at the time and for the first time i had to babysit these dogs several times, without being asked.

    I have raised pets before but these ones were like children, look after them, clean after them. I had the energy and time to do this before, even though I did not like it. My husband seems to have taken the responsibility of being a doormat to his sister whims, and eventually, so did I.

    She doesn’t bother training them, they poop everywhere. Even after you walk them. She has mostly given up dogs after they grown out of being puppies. I can’t imagine doing that. It’s almost like, they were props.

    I have long since whined to my husband about it but he says he doesn’t know what to do with it. He doesn’t help me with the cleaning by the way.

    My mother in law used to clean up after them but ever since her son got married I guess it meant they have a new maid to do her dirty job.

    Now I have a job I find myself cleaning a lot on my day off. All the furs and mopping the floor where the dog pooped. We clean it with alcohol and vinegar/water but for me that just isn’t enough. It feels gross just walking over it.

    So to the original poster, it doesn’t matter what inconvenience these dogs pose as, its up to the owner to have basic common sense and notice who she/he is bothering and who she is passing her responsibility to. Sometimes these animals are a lot harder to raise and babysit than actual human beings.

  14. linda gayle

    My mother in law has four small dogs that she brings with her when she comes to visit. They are not house trained, why that is, I have no clue. The smell takes weeks to get out of the house, there is constant cleaning while they are visiting. They jump on the furniture after coming into the the house, adding an extra expense of upholstery cleaning when the leave.
    All other friends and family members have let it be known that mom and dad are welcome, dogs are not. Mom and dad don’t stay at those houses…
    The one time we offered to board the dogs AND pay for the boarding created too much drama.
    As of last month, we learned that they will likely be moving in with us soon. I love my in laws dearly, however, I’m dreading these dogs.
    We’ve had friends suggest doggie/toddler gates and this might be our only solution.
    I’m open to any suggestions.

    • Alicia

      This is not an etiquette question. However I see the following options.
      1. Talk to your spouse about mother in law can move in dogs may not. Dogs get adopted.
      2. Not let mother in law or dogs move in
      3. Dog crates with mother in laws approval
      4. Dog training classes with mother in laws approval
      5. Accept the dogs

    • Elizabeth

      You should confer with your husband and decide what you and he are most comfortable with. It’s your house, your rules. If the dogs aren’t welcome, then MIL will have to decide whether she wants to live with you or have the dogs. If you’re willing to compromise and allow them in a certain part of the house, then that’s also a rule she’ll have to live with. it’s your house, the situation shouldn’t be dictated to you!

  15. Cat fan

    It’s not safe for people to travel to your house with their stupid (as far as traffic fatalities go) DOG running loose around their car, sitting in their lap, sticking their head out the window (the rule on a school bus, don’t stick ANYTHING out the window that you would like to KEEP)! Travel with a kennel, keep the dog in the kennel at the house you’re visiting unless you’re in the yard supervising it, on a walk or can take the animal to the park or the beach to let it be a dog. Your dog is not invited over to my house to socialize with me, I don’t speak dog. My interior space is for cats, which are always kept inside, rather than letting them run loose to kill birds, etc. I vacuum often to keep any shedding down to a minimum. Responsible cat owners would never let another person’s dog into their house. Why a dog owner would ever want to travel with a dog in a kennel (except to the vet) or leave a dog in a kennel outside while they’re inside socializing, it just seems like a cruel way to treat your dog. Leave it home with a sitter, or let it rip up and stink up your house, not mine.

  16. Julie

    If you own a dog, it is your responsibility to board your pet whether expensive, inconvenient. To impose on someone else in their own home is rude and disrespectful.

  17. MB42

    I had an experience a number of years ago with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. We are not dog owners, but my BIL and SIL always bring their dog along (a very large chocolate lab) regardless of the situation. One time, my parents were coming in from out of town to spend a long weekend with us. We asked if they could leave the dog at home for the get together as my dad is not at all fond of dogs. They were extremely offended and refused to come to our house if their dog wasn’t invited.

    I am now hosting an event for New Year’s Eve. There are going to be a huge number of people – 20 adults and 14 kids. There are two other couples at the party that also have dogs and wouldn’t dream of bringing their dog along (they have said as much to me), but I have concerns that if I ask my BIL and SIL not to bring the dog they will take the same attitude. I think this is unreasonable, but my husband thinks they are being very reasonable. Thoughts?

    • Lori C

      If your brother in law and sister in law were offended years ago when you asked them to leave the dog at home, they will be offended again.

      I suggest if your husband has no issues if they bring this large dog to your party, then he must take responsibility for the dog and stick to the dog like glue. Every where this dog goes, your husband is right on top of it. In essence your husband is going to dog sit while the dog mingles with your guests. And while you are at it, it’s not fair for any of your other guests to leave their dogs at home if the one dog is welcome. Gosh, now he has MORE dogs he has to follow around to make sure they don’t causing trouble or steal food or make a mess or jump on people. Somehow I don’t think this is how he would like to spend his time at his own party. How can he possibly enjoy food or cocktails if he is busy dog sitting for the entire evening? How will he be able to entertain guests? So no dogs and the brother in law and sister in law can accept or decline your invitation or everyone brings their dogs. His choice and if dogs are invited to the party all dogs are his responsibility.

      Does husband realize how excited all these dogs are going to be with 36 people in a strange house and other dogs to play with?? If you shut them outside or in the garage, they will bark and you will have messes to clean up. If you kennel them at your house, they will still bark because they can hear the party.

      Good luck!

    • Jody

      I’m a dog lover, but I also firmly believe that the host of an event has the right to set the rules for that event. If you say “sorry, no dogs at this party” your guests should abide by it. If your BIL and SIL threaten to stay away unless their dog is invited, you should tell them “I’m sorry to hear that, but we’ll miss you.” A chocolate lab is not a a small dog; it’s hard enough to deal with it when there are only a few people around, let alone 34 (including kids).

    • Elizabeth

      A New Year’s Eve party is no place for a large and unruly dog. I have a similar dog, and I would never dream of bringing him anywhere without the express permission of the homeowner (which is usually my sister or parents). We normally do leave him home, but occasionally ask if he can come. And while they usually say it is ok, sometimes for certain events they would rather not have him and it is absolutely no problem for us if they prefer it. I’m surprised that there are people out there who think it’s ok to bring a large dog to anyone’s house, much less a NYE party. If you think they will, you must raise the issue with them in advance. And since it is your husband’s family, he should be the one to do it.

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