Hosting friends and family for the holidays is always a joyous occasion that requires considerable preparation, especially if you own pets.
Additional family members will undoubtedly excite your dogs and cats. You know your pet’s personalities best, while your visitors may be meeting them for the first time.
If your dog is on the shy or fearful side, ask your guests to reserve their affection until your dog has a chance to sniff them out first. For seriously introverted dogs, you may want to have treats on hand for your guests to dispense as an offering.
On the other side of the fence are the dogs who will rush to greet enthusiastically, which might include going wild at the door and jumping on your guests. A Shitzu at the shin is more manageable than the loving Lab who may make it to your guest’s chests!
Make sure your guests understand your house rules and set those expectations in advance. The most important rule is to establish “Fort Knox” procedures with open doors. Most dogs (and some cats) will bolt out an open door in anticipation of adventure beyond. Best to purchase a baby gate to make sure an unintended escape doesn’t happen; spring-loaded with rubber bumpers that easily secure to both sides of an open entryway will help remind guests of the importance of safe entry/exit while securing your pets on the other side.
As festive parties and dinners ensue, make sure people food, alcohol and sweets aren’t accidentally dropped on the floor or left unattended for Fido or Feline consumption.
Establish a safe place for your pets to escape the noise and confusion. Put their beds, entertainment toys and water in a separate room for their retreat.
If your holiday guests include small children, this safe place should also exclude them. Both pets and human kids should be supervised at all times.
Holiday decorations are fun and festive for you, yet may pose a hazard for your dogs or cats. Tinsel on a tree is a cat’s invitation to go wild. Low-hanging ornaments are too enticing for curious canines. Certain holiday plants are paws off for toxicity:
Holly, Mistletoe, Poinsettia, Christmas Lilies, Christmas cactus and Fir trees are particularly poisonous and harmful if ingested.
Despite the excitement of holiday affairs, do your best to maintain your daily dog walk routines and other pet regimes. Enlist your visiting guests in a fun walk around the neighborhood together!
You’ve worked hard to establish potty times, exercise regimes and normalcy for them. Dogs and cats crave consistency, so engage your household guests in the process to ensure that bad habits aren’t formed or that the pets aren’t neglected.
If your dog or cat is unable to cope with the holiday stress, consider boarding them.
Doolittle’s Doghouse offers cage-free boarding in the private homes of professional pet sitters. We will gladly dote on your dog(s) so you can love on your human friends and family, without guilt! Take a quick peek at Our Nannies bios….we can’t wait to meet you and yours.
Hope you have a safe and fun howliday season!