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Prepare your home for pet-phobic visitors with these 3 tips

10 Dec 2018

For those with pets, having guests over the holiday season is not always as simple as just extending an invitation. If you are planning on entertaining guests who are not particularly crazy about your pets, there are a few things you can do in and around your home to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

To try and minimise the excitement when your dogs hear the doorbell, spend the morning with them out at the beach or a nearby park.

“For example, you could install a pet gate to keep your dogs away from where you plan on entertaining your guests. Just be sure to fasten these correctly so that it doesn’t collapse when Fluffy takes an excited jump at it and half of the wall comes crumbling down along with it,” says Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett.

Below are a few more suggestions prepared by RE/MAX of Southern Africa for homeowners with furry inhabitants:

1. Sticky-roll the furniture

You might be used to being covered in pet hair, but your guests aren’t. Before your guests arrive, wipe down your furniture with a double-sided adhesive roller and be sure to keep your pets out of the room thereafter. Carpets and loose mats should also be thoroughly vacuumed and even washed if possible, as anything fabric-based tends to absorb the scent of your pets more so than other materials. In terms of safeguarding the investment value of your home, it’s advisable to keep your pets out of carpeted rooms in order to avoid the expense of having to replace these when it comes time to sell.

2. Minimise the over-excited greeting

To try and minimise the excitement when your dogs hear the doorbell, spend the morning with them out at the beach or a nearby park. That way they will have released some of their energy by the time your guests arrive. You might also want to ask your guests not to ring the doorbell or knock on the door when they arrive, but rather to send you a text so that you can sneak them in without getting your pet all worked up by the sound of their arrival.

3. Keep them occupied

Though not impossible, it’s much trickier to bark with a full mouth, so it’s a good idea to purchase new chew toys to keep your pet preoccupied when your guests enter the home. Also be sure to feed your pet before you sit down to eat so that they don’t beg around the table. Pet food can have a really strong smell, so you might want to feed them outside or away from whichever room in which you’re entertaining.


Whatever you do to try and be more accommodating to pet-phobic visitors, just remember that the happiness and wellbeing of your pet should never be compromised in the process.

“If you have friends or family who really cannot stand being around pets, it would be better for everyone involved if you invite them out for a meal instead of inviting them over to your home. Responsible pet owners will put their pets’ happiness above their desire to entertain. If your home is unable to accommodate both your pets and your visitors comfortably, then perhaps it’s time to consider relocating to a home that is better suited to your needs,” says Goslett.

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