10 Rules for Houseguests with Pets


Keep Your Pet Secure

Keeping your pet in its crate may offer comfort and safety.
Keeping your pet in its crate may offer comfort and safety.

Before you ever get to your destination, there are some things to look out for. Are there any quarantines on pets where you're going? If you'll be ­ using public transportation, know the requirements and restrictions. There may also be increased health risks where you're going, like exposure to Lyme disease, heartworms, or predators like large birds, coyotes or alligators. Your best approach to any of these potential problems is being informed so you can take precautions [source: AAA Pet Book].

Good communication with your host can help keep your pet secure, too. Keeping doors, windows and gates to the outside closed will help keep your pet from running away. If your host family is unfamiliar with keeping pets, some of the habits you've adopted to keep your pet safe, like closing the door behind you immediately when you walk into the house, may not be habits for them. Talking with them about your concerns for your pet's safe­ty can help them understand some of these issues better.

In case your pet does get out unsupervised, make sure it's wearing identification tags and that you have a good current photograph of it. Taking these measures will help in finding it quickly.

You should also evaluate immediate dangers posed by pest traps, poisonous plants and other hazards where you'll be staying. Don't expect your host to think of these things for you. Your pet's safety is your responsibility.

How is your pet at playtime? In the next section, we'll take a look at ways you can make sure your pet plays well with others.