Pet eti­quette for hol­i­day trav­el­ling

Toronto Star - - HOMEFINDER.CA - JURA KON­CIUS THE WASH­ING­TON POST

Will your dog be join­ing you as a guest in some­one’s home this hol­i­day?

Pet-iquette is sim­i­lar to hu­man eti­quette: don’t track in dirt, keep your stuff in one place, no jump­ing on beds and try to howl as qui­etly as pos­si­ble at night.

Yet — ca­nines be­ing who they are — there’s al­ways un­cer­tainty, said Sean Sheer, who writes for the New York City Ur­ban Dog blog. Take Sheer’s dog Bodhi, a mel­low eight-year-old Weimaraner who has par­tied on Fire Is­land and at the Jersey Shore as a charm­ing guest.

But one Thanks­giv­ing in Palm Beach, Fla., Bodhi could not re­sist counter-surf­ing.

“Our hostess went into the kitchen to get the vanilla cake, but it was gone,” says Sheer, who lives in New York. “There was frost­ing on Bodhi’s mouth.

“The les­son is that as well as you think you know your dog, they can al­ways sur­prise you.”

The first test of good man­ners comes when you’re in­vited for an overnight visit.

“Don’t just show up af­ter a six­hour car ride and have your dog pop out of the back seat to a look of hor­ror on the host’s face,” said Jodi R.R. Smith, pres­i­dent of Man­ner­smith, an eti­quette con­sult­ing firm in Mas­sachusetts.

If your pet is not named in the in­vi­ta­tion, then you must ask.

“A pet as a week­end guest adds a lot of re­spon­si­bil­ity for a host, even if they are dog peo­ple,” said Lisa Grotts, an eti­quette ex­pert from San Fran­cisco who has a corgi named El­iz­a­beth. In some ways, ask­ing whether a dog can come is like ask­ing to bring an ex­tra per­son, she says.

“Don’t set your dogs up for fail­ure,” said Becky Pugh, owner of the groom­ing and board­ing business Bone Jour in Bethesda, Md. If they like to chew on sneak­ers and slob­ber on the sofa, it could ruin the whole week­end for ev­ery­one.

But if you’ve snagged an in­vite for you and your dog, ask for a list of house rules. Your dog may be al­lowed on the fur­ni­ture at home but maybe not in your host’s condo. They may re­quest that your dog not go into cer­tain rooms or be let loose in the man­i­cured back­yard.

Pack ev­ery­thing — in­clud­ing a dog bed, food, feed­ing bowls, toys, gates and waste bags. Bring a blan­ket to use wher­ever your pet lies down.

“It’s nice to also bring a roller brush so you can keep hair off of the fur­ni­ture,” Grotts said.

Google nearby dog parks so your pet can work off en­ergy, Pugh ad­vised.

Sleep­ing ar­range­ments can be tricky.

“We bring our dog bed, but I con­fess, our dog doesn’t al­ways stay in it,” said Sheer, who sug­gests bring­ing a blan­ket or sheet to lay on your bed.

DREAMSTIME

All it takes is a few sec­onds for things to go ter­ri­bly wrong if you lose track of your pet’s where­abouts when vis­it­ing..

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