How to Plan a Pet-Safe Holiday Gathering

The holiday season is almost upon us. November is here, and Turkey Day is quickly approaching. We have some pet-friendly tips for how to plan a family gathering. Just like for Halloween, there are specific things you can do for your pets to ensure that they have a safe and calm holiday too.

Have some house rules

Make sure your guests know what they can or cannot do around your pets. Consider if your pets are skittish, or if they have food allergies. Let your guests know how to best interact with your pets. If your cat hates when people pet her ears, let them know. Find the best way to make the holiday or dinner enjoyable for guests and your pets.

If your dog or cat doesn’t belong outdoors, make sure your guests know this. Some guests assume that all dogs or cats will come when called, or that they’re familiar with the outdoors. If you have a dog that’s likely to bolt out an open door, consider keeping your dog away from the door, or in a closed bedroom where they can stay safe. Make sure that your pets have identification and that they’re wearing it. There’s nothing worse than a lost pet, that isn’t wearing their collar, with your contact information on it.

If your pet has a schedule that you tend to stick to, make sure to keep up with it. If your normal schedule is to go for a walk in the morning and evening, and feed them at specific times of the day, be sure to stick to this. With all the commotion of a house full, and cooking large meals, it can be easy to forget to feed Fido, but keeping their schedule as close to normal will help them to remain calm.

A safe space for your pets

Does your cat have short patience with small children? Perhaps it’s best to keep the kitty away from the kiddos. Find a quiet room, a bedroom or office, that your cat or dog feels safe and comfortable.

It’s important to keep your pets piece of mind in consideration during the holidays. Make sure they have a comfy space with some water and a bed, that they can escape to if the commotion of cooking, guests or family gets to be too much. If the place that they normally relax will become a cluster of commotion, consider setting them up in a different area of your house.

Odds and Ends

If you’re planning on having a noisy party and your pet tends to get skittish with a lot of noise, plan to keep them somewhere safe and quiet in your house. Don’t leave light candles in places where your pet has access to them. Consider what their tales may be able to knock off a lower table.

If you’re hosting a cocktail party, and you’re putting out a spread be sure to keep food higher up. Lower coffee tables where people tend to gather around may seem like a perfect place to set out some food, but if your pet can see the food, chances are they will try to sneak a snack.