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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Extensive experience fostering family relationships through consultation / counseling.
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How do I tell a couple that they cant bring their older dog

Resolved Question:

How do I tell a couple that they can't bring their older dog to our home because they have never asked us if we want it there. It lifts it's leg everywhere and it can't stay otside because it barks the entire time and it's too hot here. It has really angered my husband and me. The couple is old and they don't want to kennel it because they said it is too stressful for it. They keep hinting to come again, but it has ruined our feelings toward them.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jennifer replied 6 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using!

The only way to address the issue is to be honest. Frame it positively by saying how much you enjoy their company and that you do hope to see them again. You might say something like, "We'd love to have you visit again. This is difficult for me to say because I know how much you care about your dog, but I'm afraid we'll have to ask you to make other arrangements for him when you visit." You could offer a few suggestions for local kennels or vets who care for animals. This can't possibly be the first time they've gone somewhere and couldn't bring the dog -- hopefully they have an alternative at home. There are petsitters who come to the home or perhaps a friend / family member / neighbor can take care of the animal while they're away. Close the discussion by reiterating how much you enjoy their company and hope to see them again.

This request should be enough. You don't even have to offer an explanation (it's your home!) There's a chance, however, that they'll ask why -- Respond by saying you've talked it over with your husband and simply decided it would be best. There are a host of other excuses you could use (allergies, accidents on the carpet, scratches on wood floors, tracking dirt, shedding fur, etc.) but the risk of using any of them is that the rule would need to apply to ALL dogs. This gets tricky if other guests want to bring their pet over or if you want / have one of your own.
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