As a guest in the animal household: tips for visitors

Dogs slurping, cats stroking their legs, scurrying mice or birds flying around their heads – having an animal household is a blessing and joy for many. But not everyone feels comfortable as a guest among pets. Here you can find out what you should do if you are invited to an animal household, but you really don’t know what to do with the four-legged friends or are even afraid of them.

"How sweet!  A dog!", think many, but not all.  Visitors to pet homes should talk about fear and discomfort - Shutterstock / Javier Brosch

“How cute! A dog!” thinks many, but not all. Visitors to pet homes should talk about fear and discomfort – Shutterstock / Javier Brosch

The friends have pets and you are invited. You may not hate animals, but the fur noses scare you or you feel uncomfortable around them? This is not the end of the world. The only important thing is that you communicate your concerns openly and find a mutually satisfactory solution together with the host.

Talk openly about your concerns

Speak to the host about your pet issues and concerns prior to your visit. It is important that you neither accuse nor make any demands. Ideally, you are open to a confrontation with the animals and let the pet owner give you tips on how to deal with dogs, cats and the like properly. You might get used to the fur noses and even make friends with them.

In any case, the host should know in advance that you will feel uncomfortable between the four-legged friends – this way he can avoid unpleasant surprises for you, such as a boisterous greeting from the dog at the door, and take certain precautions that will make you feel more comfortable with him .

Host makes the rules

Basically, however, you should be aware that the host determines the rules in his home. The welfare of visitors is no less important than the welfare of pets. It is best to always send your concerns about the cat running across the sofa or the budgerigar flying around the worktop in the kitchen as an “I message” and do not criticize the animal household as such. Standards of animal husbandry, hygiene and proper or improper handling of animals vary from person to person and should be respected. If the host knows about your feelings, he may be considerate – if he feels offended, there could be a fight.

Dogs appreciate a little polite distance when greeting – Shutterstock / otsphoto
  • Dog care and dog ownership

  • dog ownership

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If you feel unwell: ignore animals

If you are a guest in an animal household and would like to avoid contact with the pets, it is best not to pay them any attention. Dogs in particular then quickly lose interest in you. Under no circumstances should you react nervously, hectically or even aggressively – pets are very empathetic and feel emotions. If you screech, scream or even get physical (which you really shouldn’t do!), the four-legged friends could also react aggressively. So stay calm and distant and avoid eye contact, especially with cats. If cats are stared at, they can be massively irritated. In the best case, the host will ensure that the animals leave you alone. If not, you can kindly ask him to.

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