Son refusing to visit mom if he can’t bring his dog divides internet

A mother who is allergic to dogs and no longer wants her son’s dog in her house because she “absolutely hated” having to look after it in recent weeks has sparked debate on the UK-based Internet forum Mumsnet.

According to a post shared by the mom (username Domestic1980), her 18-year-old son is in the armed forces and “works away from home 95 percent of the time.” He doesn’t have his own place and he lives in her home when he’s not working.

She recently looked after his dog for three weeks as he had work commitments but she “hated” doing so, explaining: “I’m slightly allergic I had [a] sore throat and had runny nose even allergy tablets didn’t help and I just hated having the dog, the smell, the mess…”

In a later post, the mother said she spent “thousands” having her garden landscaped and the dog has dug holes in her lawn and eaten and trampled on her flowers. “I can’t leave her in the kitchen, she chews. She’s only young,” the mom said.

A woman cleaning a dog’s food bowl area. A son who refuses to visit his mother without his dog after she said she doesn’t want the dog in her house has divided users on Mumsnet, the online forum.
iStock/Getty Images Plus

More than 60 percent of households in the US have at least one pet, according to a study published in October 2020 in the peer-reviewed journal Animals.

The study revealed that pets were a source of stress for the majority of owners during the COVID-19 pandemic, explains the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The most common issues reported by US pet owners during the first few months of the pandemic were related to “meeting the social and behavioral needs of their pets,” which could not be fully met due to the safety restrictions that were in place due to the outbreak.

The study said: “At times, pet owners became exasperated, annoyed, or frustrated by pets’ desire for attention or repeated interruptions during their work-from-home owners time. Relatedly, pet reported new and emerging behavioral issues that their pets displayed due to the changes in everyday life.

“Combined with the ongoing financial crisis and widespread unemployment, pet owners may have no choice but to separate from their pets if they are no longer able to afford to care for them,” the study said.

When the son in the latest Mumsnet post came to pick up his dog, his mom told him “nicely” that she didn’t want the dog in the house anymore and explained her reasons.

She said: “He told me that it was fine but he wouldn’t be able to come and see me anymore if he couldn’t bring the dog. Am I [being] unreasonable?

“I absolutely hated having the dog but I obviously love seeing my son,” the mother said, noting that even when her son is home, he leaves her to “sort the dog out.” While he does respond if she calls him to do it, “it would be left to me if he didn’t,” she said.

The mom explained: “My logic at the minute is he got a dog without asking me and as an adult he has to live with the consequences as maybe it’s time to grow up a bit.”

The latest Mumsnet post has divided users, with some siding with either the mother or son, while others say there needs to be some form of compromise.

One said: “If it was me, I’d simply say oh what a shame you won’t be able to visit then. Why won’t he put it in kennels anyway? It’s not like he wants to take care of it when he’s on leave. He justs assumed you will, because he thinks that’s your job as [mom].”

And the mother replied: “That’s pretty much what I said, I wasn’t going to get into a row about it I just said your an adult now and you do what you feel is right, but you are always welcome here and I’ m sorry it didn’t work out as you’d hoped.”

Another user asked: “What do people with dogs do when they go to visit someone? Do they expect to just take their dog with them everywhere? Don’t they consider that before they get one? Not everyone wants a dog in their house. “

And a third explained: “I would put up with a mild allergy for the sake of seeing my son…just set some ground rules such as the dog can’t go upstairs.”

A fourth alert: “Careful OP [original poster]you’re setting a dangerous precedent for your relationship with your adult son.”

And another user explained: “He’s 18 and has his own life now. It’s fine if you don’t want the dog over, but the consequence is that he won’t come over. Surely you could put up with the dog for a short visit from your son? I’d put up with a sore throat if it meant my son could visit.”

However one agreed, stating: “Neither of you are unreasonable…what’s a good compromise? Meet up halfway at a dog friendly pub? For a country walk?…if he cannot afford to pay for care, he has to sort out other arrangements as this is his problem to solve.”

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

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