As both federal and state regulations ease up in some places, one of the first things that everyone has been itching to do since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic is to be able to host friends and family again. For most people, the biggest worry when throwing a party is if enough guests will show up and/or if everyone will have a good time. However, for pet owners, there is another thing that looms on our minds while having people over. What should I do with my pet? Below are eight tips and tricks that you can use to make sure both your pets and guests have the best time!
If you know your pet is averse to loud noise or strangers, you may want to board them or hire a pet sitter. If your pet is anxious or overexcitable, you may even want to administer a calming chew or pet CBD product. Knowing your pet’s comfort level around crowds is key to making the right arrangements for them.
Give guests a heads up
If guests have allergies, be sure to let them know your four-legged friend will be in the home. This will allow your guests to take allergy medication before they arrive, or bring it with, in case symptoms flare up. Even if you know friends and family aren’t allergic to your pet, making them aware of Fido’s attendance will let your guests know what to expect—and maybe give them time to skip the black leggings. Also, be sure to advise your guests on pet safety and the adverse effects that could come from feeding them human food.
Tire them out
Before your guests arrive, take your pup for a walk. This will get some of their energy out before the party starts and help them relax more quickly. In the chance your dog still has lots of energy, take them for another walk around the block halfway through the party.
When your guests do arrive, take a minute to introduce them to your pet—especially if they haven’t been around each other before. Try to keep your dog from barking and jumping on guests, or keep your cat from hissing and swatting. Be aware of your guest’s reactions, too! If a friend looks frightened by Fifi, it’s courteous to keep them separate.
Create a safe space where pets feel secure
If you want to entertain with your four-legged friend, that is great. However, it is important to have a pet-safe space for your pet to relax in. White noise from a radio, some treats, and favorite items can make them feel more at ease.
Appoint a pet guardian
We all have at least one friend who adores our pet. Maybe she wants a dog but doesn’t have one yet. Or maybe he’s known your cat as long as he’s known you. Choose an adult you trust and ask that person to help as a pet watcher during the party while you're busy hosting. They can help make sure pets don’t eat what they shouldn’t, get into trouble or accidentally get outside.
Keep pets out of party waste
Have covered trash cans around for your guests. Remind them to throw paper plates, cups and napkins away, rather than leaving them on tables or chairs. Non-disposable tableware should be brought to your kitchen sink or counter. Another part of pet safety when entertaining is periodically walking around the house to gather waste materials that may not have been disposed of properly.
End the party on a good, safe note
When people are leaving, make sure to watch your pet closely. Many animals escape accidentally through an open door or gate. You may wish to move your pet to another room, like their safe space, when you are saying your goodbyes.
Next, read about Keeping Your Furry Friend Safe in the Heat!
Stanko, Caroline. “7 Things Every Pet Owner Should Know Before Hosting a Holiday Party.” Taste of Home, Taste of Home, 17 Sept. 2019, www.tasteofhome.com/article/
“Party Animal: Tips for Keeping Your Pet Safe During Parties.” Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, 14 Dec. 2018, www.ovrs.com/blog/pet-safe-
“8 Party Tips for Pet Safety When Entertaining at Home with Pets.” Better Cities For Pets, 18 Sept. 2020, www.bettercitiesforpets.com/