New dog? How do I explain?

A family member is keen on getting a dog now he has been bereaved over a year. He comes to stay with us for weekends quite often and we have expensive new carpet in the lounge and are to have the hall and large landing replaced soon.

My problem is, we are not keen on having a dog in the house again having had dogs all our lives and loving them but having to accept that they do carry a lot of grit, dust, fur and have accidents. I can’t see him putting the dog in kennels while he comes here so how do we explain this to him?

We advised him ages ago to allow a good time without his dogs to get used to being dogless and we thought he was doing this. He has plenty of friends and has a very active social life now so can come and go as he pleases and there is no rush to get home to let the dog out! This is the first time in our lives we have not had dogs but after 5 years we are used to it now. Of course we miss them but we are free to go out for a whole day without rushing home for them and holidays are now no problem. I used to hoover through nearly every day and now I only do it once a week and hardly pick up any dirt.

Could you tell him this just as you have explained it to us ?


Your words above should explain without further explanations

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Just explain …
Surely it’s a winter problem …summertime there’s always the garden to sit in.
If it’s a non shedding dog and bathed regularly where’s the problem

You could visit him.

Hi Red Rose , does the dog have to go in the sitting room ?

My new puppy has been happily living in the kitchen and hall till now and has only recently been allowed on my cream sitting room carpet in the evenings when I am there . I also wash or wipe her paws when she been outside .

I think the way you have explained it to us is a good way to explain it to him.
If he is thinking of getting a dog, it’s best to let him know where you stand about not wanting to have dogs in your house before he commits himself, so that he is aware in advance that you will not be able to accommodate any dogs in the future if he comes to visit you.
Providing you are clear that, whilst you will always welcome him as a house guest, he will not be able to bring a dog with him, then he will be aware before he gets a dog that he needs to think about what arrangements he would make for dog care / kennels if he comes to visit you.

When I used to live in our large, rambling family home, a couple of my family members got into the habit of bringing their dogs when they came to stay with us. I don’t really like sharing my house with a dog but, once you’ve said Yes the first time they ask if it’s OK, it’s quite difficult to say the dogs aren’t welcome anymore.
In my case, I put up with it until I moved into a smaller home about 12 years ago. I decided I would use that change in situation to make it clear that my new home was not suitable to accommodate their dogs.
It has never caused any problem between us - they understand that when you don’t live with dogs yourself, then your house may not be kitted out to cope easily with other folk’s dogs.

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I’m sure he will understand if you just explain to him.

I am going to stay with some relatives next week they straight off said they didn’t want a dog as they have an elderly cat .
Fair enough if I want to go I will have to make other arrangements for my dog .

I’d just tell him but don’t make it look as if you don’t want him any more

If he has quite a lot of friends, one of them might be OK with looking after the dog for a week-end anyway?

Personally, I’d just put up with the dog!

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He usually stays for a long weekend so even in summer it would have to sleep in the house for a few nights.

Ask him to bring something for the dog to sleep on.
Even Buck house had corgis…

As it’s a member of the family I would put up with his dog .

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You could move the cleaning day to be the day after he goes home. You could ask him to buy a dog pen to use when he visits so that the dog is not climbing all over the furniture or shedding on the carpet. Do you have a garage that the dog could sleep in? I’m sure there’s a way to compromise if you set some rules.

Yes, me too. As it happens most of our downstairs is laminate floors so it doesn’t mucky.

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I would explain ASAP your house rules and maybe go and stay with
him and the dog.

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What a little sweetie :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Thank you kindly, Ripple. He is a gem and he loves people but I digress.

Politely but firmly.
It’s your house!
Your rules!

In your defence, I love dogs but they can be very messy. The days our dogs don’t leave dirty paw prints all over our floors , dirty our rugs and furniture , are few & far between but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. They enjoy their walks, as do we but they’re our dogs , our responsibility; which is much different.


That’s how I feel too! . I was talking to a shop worker who has had a major falling out with her adult daughter because she has bought two young dogs and wants to bring them to stay with her Mum a couple of hours away. The Mum says for the first time in her life she has exactly the kind of home she wants and she doesn’t want dogs in it. She has had dogs herself, she has had children and grandchildren but she has retired here to a bungalow they have had built with all new flooring, soft furnishings etc. She politely told her daughter that she was always welcome any time but without the dogs and the daughter has stopped speaking to her! I don’t want my relative falling out with us as we have supported them totally since they were bereaved and have got into this little pattern of him visiting for long weekends and he says he loves coming. I just don’t know how I would react if a dog peed on my new carpets or wiped itself along the bottoms of our curtains.

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You say this is a family member but did not specify the type of relationship it is.

You say this person has been grieving a loss for over a year. If someone is grieving for ‘that’ long, I would assume this person meant the world to them or maybe it ‘was’ a dog. Whether human or animal, the loss of a loved one can be devastating. Dogs ARE family to many people so it’s completely understandable that he’d feel the way he does. I grieve the loss of our dogs forever and a day. Perhaps he’s your son in law. Did you lose a daughter? You didn’t really give us enough information for us to help you best, in my opinion.

On one side of the coin, I stand by you. Even though we have dogs, I would not want anyone visiting who had a dog or two. It’s not fair to our two. We dont’ have children. Our dogs are our children and none of our dogs have ever been to the kennels or ever will. Thankfully my parents loved dogs as much as us so it was never an issue. My in-laws are the same. Even when they retired they were happy to see their grand dogs.

In my opinion, I think it really depends how much you care about this relative. If this person is a close family member who clearly has been suffering a significant loss, making a decision to get a dog is exciting and life changing. This person may view your stance as personal rejection. It may have a huge impact on him and your relationship with him, which you may regret later.

Personally, I live for my dogs. My life revolves around them. Lol!
At this point in my life, I don’t go anywhere without them. If a family member or friend didn’t want our dogs in their house, it would be an easy ‘no’ for me.

In conclusion, I can see both sides of the coin yet I’m clearly biased so my answer probably isn’t the norm or average response . I do however wish you the best and hope you find comfort in your decision.


He has now bought a puppy so not toilet trained or anything. We spoke on the phone and I was still in shock when he told me (because he was talking of getting an older dog). He said “beginning to wonder what I’ve done” so I just said “so am I”. He said he has already missed out on 2 social events because he can’t leave it. I said what are you going to do when you go on your “Mens Holiday” in the summer and he says someone in the village has said she will have it for the week.