The holiday season can be an exciting time of entertaining and moments with friends for you, but it can be very stressful for your dog. Parties are often no place for a dog, especially older dogs or high strung pooches that become stressed when a lot of strangers are in the house. The following tips can help keep your pets safe while also preventing any unpleasant encounters between them and your guest.
Tip #1: Go for a long walk
An exercised dog is a calm dog. Don't get so caught up in party preparations that you forget to take your dog on a walk. An even better idea is to visit a park for a long game of catch before the party begins. Of course, finding the time can be difficult. If there isn't someone in the house that can exercise the pooch, consider bringing in a professional dog walker for an exercise session.
Tip #2: Plan a safe room
Your dog needs a place where they can retreat to, away from the bustle of the party. The safest option is to have a room or suite of rooms that can be closed off so your dog doesn't have to interact with the guests at all. If your pup is crate trained, make sure the crate is placed in the safe room, as well as food, water, and toys. Most dogs can handle being kept in a room for a few hours.
Tip #3: Watch the handouts
If your dog will be mingling with the guests, make sure there are no dangerous food items on the menu, such as chocolate or bone-in chicken wings. You can request that guests not feed the dog, but this can be a hard rule to enforce, so it's best to avoid dangerous foods. Also, keep an eye on plates and cups to make sure nothing gets set down at dog level.
Tip #4: Consider a babysitter
Some dogs, even with preparation, just can't handle a house full of people well. They may become agitated or even aggressive. In this case, it may be a good idea to consider short term boarding for the evening. Many doggie daycare and boarding facilities offer overnight services at an affordable rate. This way, your dog can have a relaxing evening away from the festivities and you don't have to worry about contraband treats, your dog jumping on guests, or any shows of aggression from your dog.
Contact a company like Alpha K-9 Kennels for more tips, and consider the possibility of boarding your dog for a few days if you have any long-term holiday guests.