Dog Etiquette for the Holidays

Planning to take your pet along when you go to see friends or relatives this season? Think again. Not every hostess – or pet, for that matter – can deal with a holiday visit.

Reasons to Leave Them Home

Preparing for a Visit

It goes without saying that all visiting pets must be well trained. If your dog tends to have accidents when he's nervous, if your dog won't stop begging or howls at all hours of the night, do everyone a favor and leave them home.

Before you make your plans, have a straightforward talk with your host and ask the right questions. Even if your host agrees to put your dog up for a night or two, find out how he, his partner and his kids really feel about animals. Are the children of the house afraid of them? Does the family know what to expect from a four-legged visitor? If they have pets of their own, how do their animals get along with others? Is the host willing to pet-proof his house? Making a place pet-friendly is difficult at any time of year, but more so at holidays, when traditional decorations can become an issue. Ingested tinsel or broken tree ornaments make for medical emergencies.

Making the Trip

When You Arrive