As the festive season arrives, pet parents may wonder how their fur baby or recently adopted pet will cope with the flurry of activity. When guests visit, it’s essential to keep pets on their best behavior and out of harm’s way, especially if they’re full of energy, have pre-existing distress or anxiety, or aren’t used to having guests at home.
For many people who welcomed a canine companion into their home during the pandemic, this may be the first time your pet has spent the holidays with family and friends. Fortunately, there are ways for pet parents to assist their pets in putting their best paws forward during the festivities.
The holidays are a lovely time for family and friends to gather, but they may also be stressful for pets and pet parents who aren’t used to having people in their house. Regardless of age, several basic tactics and training tips will help your pet at this exciting time.
Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Get-Together for your Pets
Cats and dogs require a means to burn off physical and emotional energy before guests arrive. Take them for a stroll or engage in some playtime before the festivities begin to keep them relaxed and less needy for active attention.
Make activities and space available
Giving pets a new toy or long-lasting goodie, a dog play zone, and a kitten play area can help them feel engaged in the festivities while keeping them safe from getting trampled over or leaping on guests. If a pet becomes stressed or frightened when visitors arrive, provide them with their own designated quiet spot where they may relax and feel comfortable.
Make manners a priority
Teach pets basic etiquette with simple training techniques ahead of anticipated holiday parties. Table etiquette training sessions, for example, help pets comprehend that begging for crumbs is unacceptable. It’s never too late to train them in these skills, and even elderly pets can benefit from it.
Familiarize them with your basic commands
Another thing you can do to prepare your dog for the holidays is to review its basic commands. Knowing that your dog will listen to key commands like “leave it,” “stay,” “go to your bed,” and “here” will give you peace of mind over the Christmas season. There are many things your dog could get into if they attend any events, and having your dog listen frequently to these commands can help you prevent issues before they arise.
Have prior grooming appointments
Aside from behaving pleasantly, a well-groomed pet may create an impression for the festivities! Having prior pet grooming appointments ensures you have a clean pet with less shedding and hair for your visitors to see around the room and on them!
Along with looking clean, there will be no residual odor and less air freshener for you to spray around the house. Your pet will also appreciate the grooming because the cleaner they are, the more cuddles they will receive!
Pet safe food menu
Every holiday necessitates the preparation and baking of our favorite festive delicacies. Unfortunately, our four-legged friends cannot partake in the same table foods that we do, but this does not mean they must lose out on the festive feast!
Although sharing food is enticing, it might harm your pet’s health or cause tummy trouble. To stay in the Christmas spirit, make a pet-friendly dinner for them to enjoy.
Better confirm with your veterinarian for information on pet-safe products and ingredients, or do your research for pet-friendly holiday dishes. It’s not fun to exclude anyone from the festivities, so keep the warm Christmas spirit alive with dishes that everyone will like.