Hosting visitors is always a treat. Especially living in a different state than many of our friends and family members. We love it when guests come to visit.
But, it can often be a bit of an adjustment for dogs and guests. With three pugs, we have a full house. Even if our guests love dogs or have dogs of their own, as pug-lovers know--pugs are often...enthusiastic especially around new people.
So how can you help dogs and guests get along? What do you need to do, to ensure your guests have a pleasant stay?
Helping Dogs and Guests Get Along
There are several steps you can take to ensure pugs and visitors are happy during their stay. These are easy tip to follow that will keep all parties living in harmony and enjoying the time they spend together. Remember it’s important that pugs are good hosts too!
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1. Inform Your Guest Before the Visit
The most important tip for hosting guests, is to communicate before the visit. It’s important guests are aware that you have a pug, so you can address any concerns before the arrival. It’s no fun for anyone to discover dog allergies or other issues on their visit. Let guests know that you have a dog and give them the rundown on where the dog stays, house rules, and so on.
Surprising guests with bed-pugs isn’t always a great surprise. Like most pug-owners, you probably assume all your pals and relatives will be charmed by pugs. While they are very charming, it’s always nice to let guests know what to expect before they arrive.
2. Don’t Assume Everyone Loves Pugs
On a similar note, even though your guests may profess to love dogs, keep in mind that pugs can come on a bit strong at times. Give your guests time to acclimate and get to know your dogs before they’re bombarded with snuggles and licks.
Pugs are extremely easy going and love almost everyone, so it’s rare that a pug won’t warm up to visitors immediately. Still, give both your guest and your dog a chance to get acquainted. Put your pug in a separate room, their den, or dog crate while your guest gets settled. It’s typically preferable that your dog doesn’t jump up on guests (especially kids), so when you introduce your pug, encourage your guests to hold their hands down and out so your pug can give them a sniff. When arms go up, pugs tend to jump up (as they assume there’s a tasty treat hiding for them).
3. Meet Dog Guests on Neutral Ground
Does your guest have a dog? There’s often an assumption that all dogs will get along and they can simply be thrown together in a situation. Not only can this be tough on your pug, but it can lead to scuffles and injury.
Instead, like all great relationships, let your pug and his or her new friend start out slow. Introduce them outside, on leashes, so they can easily get to know each other in a more neutral setting. Allow sniffing and interaction and if someone gets too intense, walk away for a bit to regroup.
Once the dogs seem amicable, bring them inside. Remove high value toys (like your pugs favorite stuffie or bone) to prevent misunderstandings and threats. It’s best to feed and treat the dogs separately. Keep a close eye on everyone as they’re getting acquainted. It’s a good rule of thumb to supervise everyone for at least a few hours before leaving them alone together.
Keep in mind that this is your pug’s territory so a strange dog can be quite threatening. Be sure to leave them plenty of familiar items and allow them space to retreat or get some quiet time if they need a break.
4. Keep Baggage Out of Reach
Did you know sugar-free gum can be toxic to dogs? There are plenty of items that could be in your guests luggage, backpack, or handbag, that should be off limits to your pug. Dogs are extremely curious and pugs are no exception and there’s nothing quite as interesting as someone else’s baggage.
After rushing all three of our pugs to the emergency vet to induce vomiting after a chocolate energy bar was found in a guests’ purse, we have personal experience with this situation. Fortunately in our case, everyone was fine (only one of our pugs ate the chocolate) and we were able to catch it in time. Still, it was an upsetting experience.
Medications, cosmetics, and plenty of other items can be very dangerous for your dog. Guests may not realize that the items in their purse or bag could be harmful. Plus, who wants to deal with your pug chewing Aunt Stacey’s eye glasses, or Cousin Dave’s airpods? Give guests a hook, luggage rack, or another safe spot to store their bags out of the reach of curious pugs.
5. Offer Guests a Dog-Free Space
You may not ever need a break from your sweet pug, but the same may not hold true for your guests. Especially if your guests aren’t used to pug hair on their clothes (or weird smelling brown stains). Even if your pugs normally stay in your guest room, offer guests a dog-free space where they can take a break if needed.
If space is limited, your pug may need to stay in his or her crate, especially at night. Some people worry that crates are mean, or seem like you’re putting your dog in a cage. Remember that dogs in the wild live in caves and dens. They feel safe and secure in small, designated spaces where they’re nice and cozy. Crate-training your pug can really help for other reasons too. If your pug is ever injured or ill, his or her crate offers a cozy spot they can relax and recover.
6. Remember that a Tired Pug is a Well-Behaved Pug
Tired pugs are often calmer, less stressed, and more relaxed. This is part of the reason why it’s so important that your pug gets regular exercise and activity. If you want to keep your pug on his or her best behavior, go for extra long walks and offer several play sessions before your guests arrive.
Once guests are at your home, it’s easy to overlook regular tasks like dog walking, but remember that your pug relies on you to go out every 4-6 hours for a potty break. Be sure to schedule plenty of walks or a dogsitter if needed. Assuming your pug can “hold it” while you’re on a day of sightseeing isn’t fair to your pug and can even lead to UTI’s and other issues.
Pugs need to walk at least a few blocks several times a day and always on a leash and harness. If you want your pug to be great hosts or hostesses for your houseguests tire them out with some extra walks.
7. Ensure Everyone Obeys House Rules
Layout the rules with your guests (as well as members of your household) right up front. Pugs are very convincing beggars and will try to tell guests that they’re waaaay underfed. Let guests know they shouldn’t fall for it, and certainly shouldn’t offer your pug table scraps or people food.
Many non-dog owners aren’t familiar with the foods that are safe for dogs to eat. They may accidentally feed your pug a treat that could make him or her very sick. Rich, salty, or high-fat foods can lead to pancreatitis even in small quantities. So encourage guests to feed your pug only with their treats and food.
Similarly, guests may not know the system you have set up in your house for potty breaks and go in and outdoors. Leaving a door open or a gate unlatched can lead to a terrible situation. Let them know the house rules and guidelines to keep everyone safe and sound.
8. Be Aware That Pugs Need Space Too (Believe it Or Not)
Pugs are people-dogs. They love being around humans and tend to be little social butterflies. Every so often, though, even your pug needs some time to rest and chill out alone. If your pug is a rescue pug or tends to be shy, visitors can be a overwhelming from time to time.
Set up a seperate quiet area for your pug to rest, where she has access to her water bowl, her bed, and other items she likes to keep with her. Chances are, your pug will stay where the action is most of the time, but offering a little retreat isn’t a bad idea just in case.
Entertaining visitors is a wonderful experience for you and your pug. Use good etiquette and manners to ensure everyone has a great time together.