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Pet Etiquette

Dinner parties and conversation. Dinner and dancing. Social gathering and laughter and fun among friends. All enjoyable, stuff right? But dinner and someoneís dog? Not so much. Your pet is part of the family. We all get that. But when you or your family is invited to dinner you can bet that no matter how cute, smart, adorable and even small they may be, your pet is not invited. Actually unless the host or hostess specifically invites your pet, you can be sure they are expected to hopefully stay at home.

Strangely enough, this confounds the pet lover. For the pet lover your cat, dog, bird, chinchilla, etc. might be great. They still, however, arenít welcome. Your host or hostess is not being rude when they fail to invite your furry friend. And when you ask if itís alright to bring them and they hem and haw, they arenít being inconsiderate. My goodness, they are taking the time to prep their home and invite you over. They want to provide you with sustenance because they care about you. That is the ultimate in hospitality. Yet there are many who will insist if the pet is not invited, the host is the rude one.

Animals, like humans, are unpredictable. There is always a chance that someone could get bit, the roast could get mauled or the animal will get on furniture they are not welcome on. Your host, when saying no to your pet, is considering the other guests, the meal (and its digestibility), their home and everyoneís comfort level.

Owners of pets are always sure that their pet is never going to hurt anything. The sad reality is a stranger to a pet is likely to do something a pet does not like. And the truth is an owner is not 100% sure what their petís reaction to an irritating situation will be.

There are many factors to include when planning a party. Whether itís coffee with friends, cocktails or a full blown dinner spread, thereís a list which is always longer than a host or hostess will originally think. After deciding on who is going to be invited, the host or hostess considers food. Then thereís drink and music to pick out. So many options to choose from, all so that the guests will have an enjoyable time. Adding the pet factor is a detail many party planners will opt out of.

Your pet is important. Cultivating friendship is important too. Being one of those eccentrics who expect their surroundings to accompany their needs, such as a pet that must go everywhere the owner does, will not cultivate much more than self-centeredness.


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