I happen to be a dog lover who had a guest this morning who spent the entire visit (thankfully only around 20 minutes) proclaiming her adamant hatred for animals. Now, I don’t mind if you don’t like animals, but when you visit someone’s home who has a dog or cat, there are a few polite things you can do so you don’t come out looking so damn rude in a pet owner’s house…
First of all, a person who has pets won’t (and shouldn’t have to) put their dog or cat away to enjoy your company. To pet owners, dogs and cats are part of the family, so if you don’t like them, then deal with it or don’t come visit. Either option is fine. But don’t stick your nose in the air and repeat “I don’t like animals” over and over to your host. What if you didn’t like children? Would you say, “I don’t like kids- go away, kid!” right to the parent’s face? With pet owners, that is exactly what you are saying.
What you should say, and are completely entitled to say, is, “I am unfamiliar with dogs (or cats, whatever)”. Pet owners aren’t stupid- they can tell by your stiff approach to their dog that you are likely wanting to bolt from the room, and often (and should) call their dog (or cat) to them to keep them out of your face. But again, once the animal is out of your presence, don’t repeat your disgust for animals again. We get it- you don’t like the dog/cat…
Don’t slap at or push or yell at the pet who is standing a good foot away from you and basically completely ignoring you. This will just irritate your host- again, would you show such rude and abusive behavior to someone’s child? Lots of people are annoyed by kids (myself included- any kids that aren’t related to me drive me nuts), but they grin and bear it until they can leave, and kids are right in your face! Don’t react to a dog or cat that is just standing there, and if they do get in your face, just do the stiff motion and say to your host that dogs/cats make you uncomfortable and they’ll get the hint.
Of the 2 guests that I had in my house today, one was completely thrilled with my dog, calling her to her and petting her enormously, which caused my dog to wander to the other companion, who repeatedly shushed her and shooed her away, exclaiming how much she hated animals (for the 50th thousand time…). When my cat walked into the room, the woman nearly peed her pants. I get it- she hates dogs (and cats), but while both I and the other guest were keeping the ferocious beasts away from her (my dog never actually touched the woman, not once), this woman just wouldn’t relax, nor would she just let it go. She just sat there with her hands clasped under her chin, eyeballing my dog like she had rabies, again saying she hated dogs. What did she want me to do, shoot my dog in the living room?!
However, my dog had the ultimate last laugh. Right before the ladies left (thank goodness they didn’t stay long), my dog chose her moment to drag her ass across my freshly cleaned carpet and left a huge streak along the living room. If that woman thought she hated dogs before she walked into my house, you can bet she was absolutely certain she did as she bolted out my front door.
note: I did not invite this woman to my home. She invited herself. And she can disinvite herself anytime she wants to… on the plus side however, my dog did give her a bit of a chuckle with the butt thing. The lady even did a pretend pat 4 inches above my dog’s head on her way out the door.DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Should you think that your pet needs medical attention, please contact your local veterinarian.