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How can I say no to my colleague's request to watch his dog in my home for four days without causing a problem in our professional relationship? Over the last year he's watched my dog when I've been out of town, and I've done the same for him. I've since learned some upsetting information that threatens the health of my dog and home.

Here is the problem. The last time I agreed to watch his dog in my home, I found out during the drop off that my colleague does not treat his dog with flea preventatives. This is despite the fact that he dog that had since passed away was infested with fleas, and the current dog spending most of his time outdoors. To make things worse this poor dog also had sores and rashes on his abdomen that looked exactly like ringworm.

I can reply to his request with a simple, "I'm sorry but I am not able to", but I know he will press me for a reason. I really don't want to say that I no longer want his dog in my home for the reasons I described. He lives too far away to make 3 visits a day to walk the dog, eliminating that option. Plus, I don't have a legitimate excuse for why I'd be out of town because my family live across county.

Has anybody encountered this? Does anyone have suggestions on how to handle this tactfully? Thanks!
 

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Tell him sure, you'll do it as long as the dog is on flea meds. Don't make it sound like his dog is flea-infested, just tell him you're anal about your house not getting fleas, or your dog was just diagnosed with a flea bite allergy, or something like that. Tell him only the good stuff, from a vet, because the brands you get at Walmart just don't work. This might dissuade him, or maybe he'll step up and get his dog proper treatment.

If he doesn't want to comply, give him the phone number to a few local boarding kennels. Of course they require up-to-date vet records, too. I just hope he doesn't do anything drastic if he can't find anyone to watch the dog :/.
 

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Well it's a no-brainer you weigh what's more important. Your own dog, home and grounds getting flea infested and your dog possibly getting sick, or losing your colleague friendship etc.

I would have no problem protecting my dog/home etc.
 

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It's perfectly reasonable to ask that he treats his dog for fleas before bringing it into your home. If you need a good reason, other than "I don't want fleas in my house", you can say your dogs are allergic to fleas. Flea allergy is a big deal, even if the dog doesn't have fleas, one bite from a flea can lead to weeks of scratching.

Obi is allergic to fleas, and we have a friend whose dogs are infested with fleas. Whenever we've visited and sat on her couch, I make hubby strip down as soon as we get home and wash everything, and I've told him to limit how much he interacts with her dogs.
 

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Honestly, I would just be frank and tell him you just can't risk your own dog's health and if he down right refuses to treat his dogs for fleas, then he'll have to find another way to get his dog supervised during his absence.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
These are all helpful suggestions, thanks! Is flea allergy something that dogs can suddenly develop? I wonder because I've taken care of this dog about four other times.
 

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These are all helpful suggestions, thanks! Is flea allergy something that dogs can suddenly develop? I wonder because I've taken care of this dog about four other times.
Yeah. Like people, dogs can develop new allergies all the time. My dog Killian was okay with grains until he was about a year old. Now he's allergic to grains and has to eat grain free food and treats.
 
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