The holidays are here and no matter what holidays we celebrate, if we are hosting a party, we know there’s a lot of prep work to get underway. Menu planning, house cleaning, decorations, invitations, and everything in between – we have a lot to think about. One item people often forget is the need to make sure our pets are party-ready, and our guests are pet-ready. Here are a few tips to ensure our guests remember our pets will be present and to make sure we’ve prepared our pets for holiday parties.
Preparing Guests For Our Holiday Parties
Our guests are our friends, our family, and our colleagues, but we often forget that if our holiday party is in our home, we are not the only hosts. Our pets are hosts too! And not all guests will think of that either. Here are just a few tips to ensure our guests are respectful to our fur-babies.
Include Pets on the Invite
Casually reminding guests that both, ourselves and Sergeant Fuzzy Boots, request the honor of their presence at this holiday gathering, will let them decide whether their cat or dog allergy will require that they take anti-allergy meds before their arrival.
Add Signage at the Arrival Entrance
A simple, festive sign that asks guests to close the door behind them, so the cat or canine doesn’t find his way out is an easy way to bring awareness to your needs without having to post someone at the door.
Introduce Pets & Their Interaction Preferences
Lot’s of people immediately want to be hands-on when they see a cuddly looking cat or canine. And our pet may feel like it’s mutual, but having a multitude of strange hands reaching for them could end up being overwhelming. Let guests know the proper way to greet Fido and where their ‘safe space’ is located, so they know when to leave Frisky and Fido alone.
Nominate A Cat Or Canine Ambassador
Ask a reliable someone (e.g., kids, neighbor, someone the pet is familiar with and who won’t mind the job), to periodically keep an eye on our pet(s). Have them watch for signs of fatigue or annoyance so pets can be retired to a quiet, safe place when things seem like they’re getting to be too much. Remember to choose someone who won’t be drinking so they won’t lose track of time and will be able to properly gauge our pet’s needs.
Preparing Our Pets For Holiday Parties
Parties can be fun for our pets, but they can also be terrifying. For them, the home is suddenly full of people, and many of them will be grabbing for our cats and canine affection. While we need to ensure our guests are respectful and educated, we also need to make sure our pets are good hosts, if they choose to attend the party.
Provide a Safe Space
This is our party. Our pets should be able to choose whether or not they want to attend. Don’t make them hide outside in the cold. We can take five minutes here and there to check on them and make sure they have access to a quiet room with water and toys. And we can add a per ambassador who will also keep an eye on guests and on our pets for holiday parties.
Brush Up On Training
We don’t want our pups jumping, begging, or getting in the way. Brush up on commands like, sit, stay, go to your place, and leave it. You can have the dog trainer help them remember their commands, but doing a few run-throughs ourselves will make sure our pup is ready to receive commands from us, not just our trainer.
Hosts Entertain As Well As Welcome Guests
Not all dogs and cats are built for entertaining guests, but if we are working on brushing up on commands, we might mix in a few party tricks. Try commands like high five, play dead, roll over, and shake. This gives pups something familiar to do when they might otherwise feel overexcited and not know what to do with their excitement – which can lead to destructive behavior.
Provide A Variety Of Distractions
Treats are the number one reward for good behavior and scraps are a common way guests try to gain our pet’s attention, but we don’t want to reward them with an upset stomach. Making sure our pets have a variety of toys, will keep them entertained without the digestive interruption. Think about their favorite fuzzy toy, a ball, a chew toy, and rawhides that will take a while to gnaw on, and anything else that will give them options.
For those who are concerned about scraps and treats as well as the potential stress causing digestive disruption, now is the time to get EcoDigestive. It’s a supplement that provides probiotic and enzyme support for dogs and cats. Just sprinkle a little on their food each day and help balance their digestive system and calm digestive upset.
This is one of the most important ways to help our pets keep control of their excitement or nerves. Make sure they get their normal amount of exercise, or they’ll have more energy to manage than usual. And if we can spare some extra time, give them even more exercise to help offset the added excitement they are coping with.