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In-laws dog when they come to visit the new baby

(61 Posts)
AlreadyStressed Mon 01-Aug-11 17:31:44

This is my first AIBU - please be gentle with me! I've namechanged for this as I don't want to out myself....

DH and I are expecting our first baby in a couple of weeks. We don't have pets, and we've just had our pale carpets cleaned and the house redecorated. PIL have a small dog which she says becomes very stressed and anxious (diarrhoea and vomiting) when he is separated from MIL- to such an extent that she refuses to leave the dog in the car even if she's just popping into the shops. I am adamant I don't want dogs in my house. Several of my friends have dogs but they've always understood that I don't want their dogs in my house, and have made alternative arrangements when they come around to visit. PIL's dog isn't reliably continent, especially in stressful situations, which I would imagine coming to a new house would be for him. He's also not been castrated so there is a good risk he will mark in the house. The house is small and it's going to be a squeeze with visitors anyway, without the addition of a dog (although he is small). The other thing is that he's not ever met any babies before, and it's entirely possible that given he's so worried when separated from MIL he will be jealous, and I don't know how he will react to a baby.

I've said I don't want the dog in the house when they come to visit. They say they can't leave him anywhere because he becomes just too stressed with anyone else. I am very worried that we're going to reach an impasse when the baby arrives that I don't want the dog here, and they'll say that I'm being massively unreasonable and stopping them from visiting their grandchild. I don't want to stop them from seeing their grandchild but I don't see why I should be the one to compromise given that it's my home. I also don't want to spend the whole time they're here on edge watching the dog's every move.

So, am I being ridiculous? FWIW, I've felt like this about the dog coming for years anyway, so it's not just PFB (although there probably is a bit of that here as well....) Also, does anyone have any ideas of a compromise that could be made that everyone would be happy with? Really appreciate your help - this is stressing me out.

MmeLindor. Mon 01-Aug-11 17:34:37

Have you got a garden?

Or could you visit them, then MIL could put the dog in the kitchen for an hour?

I am a dog owner and would not dream of taking my dog to someone's house if I knew that they were not keen. And would not even think about it when visiting a new baby.

valiumredhead Mon 01-Aug-11 17:34:42

Regardless of a new baby I wouldn't want dogs in my house either. YANBU.

msrisotto Mon 01-Aug-11 17:35:05

I understand where you're coming from. I wouldn't have dogs in my house either (because of my darling spoilt rotten cat).
But it would be horrible if you did reach that impasse. Could the dog be shut in the garden or in the kitchen (and they would have to promise to clear up any accidents)?

chicletteeth Mon 01-Aug-11 17:36:23


By their own admission he shits when he's stressed and he may well get stressed in another persons house.
How will he feel if he sees your MIL cradling a new baby - you just don't know.

Either way, you've just cleaned your carpets and all other factors aside, you just don't want him in your house and that's your right.

Could they bring him a bed that he's used to and let him sit in the kitchen with a guard up but with his bowl and some other familiar toys so he can hear them and be around familiar things. They could also pop out to see him periodically ?

EggyAllenPoe Mon 01-Aug-11 17:40:05

so..this dog has visited your house before i take it?

SenoritaViva Mon 01-Aug-11 17:40:15

I am a dog lover and would never consider taking my dog inside someone's house if they weren't keen (currently not dog owner but there we go). They are being PFB with their bloody dog!

I remember there used to be a woman in our village that used to put a nappy on her great dane when it was on heat grin ! Can your mother in law not do something similar to her dog?! Would she agree? What does your DH say, surely HE should be dealing with this?

I wonder whether the dog board might help, you might be some saying you should relent (being dog lovers) but you might also get some good advice on the dog's behaviour etc.

mummymeister Mon 01-Aug-11 17:40:29

buy or borrow a doggie crate and put the dog in that. the dog is their pet/their choice not yours and it is very unreasonable of them to expect to bring it with them when they know it is likely to spread germs through its vomit and diarrhoea. only other option is for you to visit them

pjmama Mon 01-Aug-11 17:40:55

If you don't want it in your house, then that's final. The fact that they can't leave it anywhere is their problem to solve, not yours. Have they seen a behaviourist or spoken to a vet? I feel sorry for the dog if it's suffering from such severe separation anxiety. They should be trying to find a solution to make the dog happier, not making you feel bad.

midori1999 Mon 01-Aug-11 17:42:24

YANBU, it's up to you whether you want dogs in your house. In fact, your PIL are being very unreasonable as the dog's seperation anxiety is something that could be worked on and that would give the dog better quality of life. What on earth would they do in an emergency?

MummyFirst Mon 01-Aug-11 17:42:28

YANBU to ask that visitors do not bring their dogs into YOUR home. Regardless of the situation, i.e. babies, or that you have just had your whole house cleaned.

Your house your rules. Although maybe go a little gentle seen as you have allowed them to bring him before.

chicletteeth Mon 01-Aug-11 17:43:38

Anyway, their dogs behaviour is their problem, not yours and they need to realise that.

ChaoticAngelofGryffindor Mon 01-Aug-11 17:46:25

YANBU You're not preventing them from seeing their grandchild either. It's their choice whether or not to come visit.

AlreadyStressed Mon 01-Aug-11 17:46:54

Thanks everyone. He might not be sick etc. here as long as she's with him - they've had problems with him doing that when they've left him with a dog sitter when they've stayed here before, which is why they don't want to leave him behind again.

Leaving him in the kitchen/garden is a good idea but he will cry and whine constantly - he's used to always being on their laps.

Maybe going there is the only option - only problem with that is that they are a few hours away so depending on how the birth goes I might not be up to travelling for a few weeks, and I can't imagine they will be happy to wait that long to meet the grandchild. sad

Tchootnika Mon 01-Aug-11 17:47:45

YADDDNBU to give a resounding and very final "No."
Totally agree with pjmama - it does sound like a stressed dog, and they really should be managing it far better.
I can't understand why anyone thinks it's OK to impose their dog on people who clearly don't want it around (and I speak as a dog owner), and TBH the idea of these people imposing their dog on you and your newborn makes me feel quite uncomfortable.

ChaoticAngelofGryffindor Mon 01-Aug-11 17:48:27

Like I said it's their choice. They should do something about the separation anxiety as well, it's cruel not to.

Andrewofgg Mon 01-Aug-11 17:48:51

YANBU. You would be super-reasonable to agree to the garden/kitchen compromise but in your shoes I would not. Start as you mean to go on. No dogs. End of discussion.

ShoutyHamster Mon 01-Aug-11 17:50:11

No, sorry, they are being unreasonable.

If the dog finds separation from MIL stressful then yes it may well react unpredicatably when she is with the baby. They have absolutely no right to ask that you be ok with taking a chance in that respect. They have no right to pressurise you into accepting a stressful situation.

It is your home, your baby and your decision, so just say no. If they try and guilt trip you with a new baby then they are indeed unreasonable and I predict more hassle to come!

What does your DH say? Because this is where you need him to get completely on their case and make it clear that this is a flat no, and make it clear too that you will both take a dim view of any guilt tripping.

I confess that I'm very hmm about people who have dogs that 'can't cope without them' - probably because I've known a couple of people who have adopted what seemed to be perfectly happy, well-adjusted puppies and turned them into neurotic messes within months who 'can't possibly be left without mummy' - people using dogs as baby-subsitutes, basically. I am no dog training expert AT ALL (and I would be interested in hearing the points of view of people who are - I really would) - but if the dog is thrown into such a panic when MIL isn't around, it seems clear to me that somehow she is failing him as an owner. Why isn't she looking at why the dog doesn't 'cope' without her and trying to help his behaviour through training etc.? Is she happy that she is 'needed' so much by her dog? It doesn't sound like a particularly good situation for an otherwise healthy dog IMO. In addition to making it clear that I was not willing to compromise here, I would be making concerned noises about why this little dog's confidence problem was not being addressed appropriately.

BooyHoo Mon 01-Aug-11 17:52:54

i have a dog and i love him to pieces but i would never presume that he was welcome in anyone else's house. i dont even ask unless i am calling with someone on my walk and even then i ask if i can put him in their garden.

YANBU you dont want a dog in your house, that is absoloutely your right. the dog does not have priority in your home.

TheCrackFox Mon 01-Aug-11 17:53:14

There is no way that I would let a dog into my house that wasn't reliably continent.

Have you suggested to your MIL to have the dog throughly checked over by a vet to see if there is an underlining health problem? The vet would also be able to point her in the right direction to getting her dogmore socialised and properly trained.

msrisotto Mon 01-Aug-11 18:02:31

They could come over with the dog and meet you in the park for a picnic? When the weather is nice?

greycircles Mon 01-Aug-11 18:15:24

I am a dog lover.

However I understand some people don't like dogs, or some don't mind them but don't want them in their homes. That's fine. Reasonable dog owners understand this.

OK so your ILs won't separate themselves from the dog. That is their problem so they have to deal with it. The way for them to do that is for FIL to stay with the dog whilst MIL visits the baby. Then MIL can stay with the dog whilst FIL visits the baby.

Mitmoo Mon 01-Aug-11 18:21:09

If the dog craps in your house it's not fun. You have a new baby, a new born you don't want or need a pooping vomiting dog. It has all been said, they need to make alternative arrangements for the dog, it is not your responsibility.

I do hope you husband is backing you on this?

wannaBe Mon 01-Aug-11 18:27:43

the dog gets so stressed when it is separated from them? it is a dog! And they are being uber precious.

I am a dog owner and animal lover but seriously, these people that get so precious about their little darlings just make me laugh.

HansieMom Mon 01-Aug-11 18:30:21

Okay, they left him with a dog sitter before. Less stressful would be at a kennel. He has his own cage. If he poops at the wrong time it is at least in his cage. MIL can leave a piece of her used clothing to comfort him.

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