The holidays are right around the corner and that means, more than likely, you will be having guests visiting your home. Like everyone else, this is an exciting time of the year for you and your family, but let’s not forget our furry family members. Having a large number of unfamiliar guests can cause stress and anxiety in our pets. Never fear, we have a few techniques on how to help prepare your pup for holiday guests and gatherings. 

Pre-Party

We all know how much prep and hard work goes into preparing a holiday party. Regardless of all of the food, drink, and decor preparation, there are a few things that you can do to help prepare your dog before guests arrive. 

The first thing you can do is tire your pup out! A tired dog is always a good dog. Be sure to take your pup for a long run or walk outside or even engage in a rousing game of fetch in the backyard. No matter what physical activity you choose, but sure your dog is actively engaged and is given a good amount of time to get all of that energy out.

The next thing you can do is prepare some busy toys for your pup. Freeze a Kong with yogurt, peanut butter, or even chicken broth. When your guests arrive, your pup will have a toy that can keep him occupied so that he doesn’t get as stressed with everyone around.

Easy Introductions

While dogs are man’s best friend, not all dogs want to be best friends with your friends. Meeting a bunch of new people at once can be an overwhelming experience for some dogs.  Keeping your dog from jumping on guests or becoming extremely nervous is very important. Therefore, you want to incorporate an introduction that makes your dogs and guests feel safe.

One way to achieve an easy introduction could mean staggering guests’ arrival so that your dog has enough time to greet and sniff each new person coming in. Another way is to keep your dog in a different room, maybe separated by a baby gate, and have guests approach and meet the dog from there.

Offer an Escape

Sometimes we all need a break from a holiday party. Understandably, the same goes for our pups! Make sure you have a quiet room or a crate away from the party that your dog can escape to if needed. While it is always great to include your dog in family events, if he seems stressed or anxious, it’s better for him to be alone and have a few minutes to himself to feel safe and secure. Furthermore, this could be a good opportunity to pull out that frozen Kong so your dog can entertain himself while he has some alone time.

Monitor Interactions

This doesn’t always mean watch how your dog is around your guests. While this is very important, it’s also crucial to keep an eye on guests around your dogs. This could include making sure parents don’t leave their children unattended around your dog and making sure guests know not to feed your dog. As all pet owners know, some foods are poisonous to our beloved pups. Avoid having the party come to a crashing halt and having an emergency trip to the vet, be sure that all guests are aware that they should not feed your dog. 

Don’t Forget to Focus on Your Dog

With the hustle and bustle of hosting holiday parties, it’s very easy to forget about our four-legged family members. Be sure to constantly check in on your pup and give him attention, after all, he is a well-loved member of the family household as well! Be sure to remind him that he’s a good boy, take him out for potty breaks, and give him plenty of pets and maybe even a treat as a reward for his good behavior.