10 Rules for Houseguests with Pets


Get the Green Light

Make sure the whole family -- including all the pets -- are OK with your visit.
Make sure the whole family -- including all the pets -- are OK with your visit.

­Before you plan a trip, check with your host to make sure your pet is welcome. Prior trips shouldn't be a guarantee that Sparky or Chester will be welcome this time, too. The addition of a new baby or pet to the household you're visiting, a recent remodel or the possibility of other guests with pet aversions can change the dynamics of a visit and impact whether or not the welcome mat is out for your pet.

It's also a good idea to ask if your host has checked with all members of the family just to be sure. Don't spoil a nice holiday or day trip by causing strife because one host thinks your bringing your pet is OK while the other doesn't. Ask a few friendly questions about any pets your host may have, and be honest about your pet's inclinations toward other animals. If your cat will stop at nothing to get at a caged bird, visiting­ a sister who keeps lovebirds could be dicey if you aren't honest about the potential problems in advance. The solution might be as easy as placing your pet in another part of the house. In extreme cases, there are many hotels and motels these days that allow pets, and keeping peace in the family or ensuring a continued friendship is worth a lot more than a night's lodging.

Let's move to the next page, where we'll put together a trip plan with pets in mind.