Hosting For The Holidays? How To Prep Your Pet

If you're welcoming guests into your home this holiday season, make sure you think of your furry family member. Here's how to prep your pet for the holidays.

Courtney Elliott

Updated November 11, 2022 • Published November 11, 2022

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Hosting For The Holidays? How To Prep Your Pet

The holiday season is a time where family and friends from near and far come to celebrate and indulge. Each year, you likely find yourself either hosting the festivities or traveling to someone else's house.

If you're playing host this year, while you're planning, prepping, and pining over which holiday decorations will most impress your guests, don't forget about your pets. This time of year can cause a lot of anxiety for them, too, and it's important that we accommodate our four-legged friends in the midst of all the madness.

For hosts especially, pets need to be a part of the planning equation. Not doing so can create problems for them and your guests, and no one needs added stress during what's supposed to be a happy time of year.

So before you welcome your first guest, here's what you should do to make sure your pet has a merry time, too.

How to prep your pet for the holidays

1. Provide them with a safe, quiet space

While it's true that your pet is part of the family, joining in on the festivities might not be in their best interest. It's not uncommon for pets to escape when so many people are coming in and out, and all of the chaos that comes with hosting can make them feel uneasy.

Keeping them in a safe, secure area will give you peace of mind that no one is accidentally letting out your furry friend. Create a cozy area for them that's far enough away from the party so they can't see what they're missing out on, but close enough that you can easily pop in (and you should!) every so often to give them a nice belly rub.

If you do decide to let them romp around during the party, it's important to first ask your guests about their comfort level. It could be quite awkward if Fido jumps all over Uncle Jim who has a severe dog allergy, unbeknownst to you.

2. Give them treats & toys to keep them occupied

During the party, let your dog or cat have a little fun of their own. Put your cat's favorite tree or condo in the room or give your dog some interactive dog toys. The more they have to distract them from the mayhem, the better.

You should also make sure they have access to food and water. Time can go by fast when you're hosting, and you don't want to leave them high and dry while you're soaking in all the holiday cheer. Keep some of their favorite treats nearby so when you come to visit them, you can give them a reward for their good behavior.

3. Don't feed them people food

One of the most important things to remember is to avoid feeding them any human food. Many human foods can be toxic to pets, and even they aren't, feeding pets human food can lead to pancreatitis, which can be a dangerous illness for our four-legged friends.

Feeding your pet food outside of their regular diet can also lead to weight gain, especially in the winter when pets tend to get less exercise.

4. Let guests know the rules

As much as your guests would love to play with your cat or dog, you can kindly tell them that if they want to see them, they can go visit the pet's designated area. It's also important to remind them that they're not to be let out or fed people food.

Ultimately, your guests will likely appreciate the thought you've put into making sure your pet is comfortable—and no one wants a yappy, jumping pup disrupting all the jubilee, right?

Plus, after the party's over, you can let your pet have the run of the house again!

5. Keep hazards out of reach

Remember those decorations you were pining over? While we're all for glitzing up your home from the holidays, just make sure your home is pet proof before you finalize the look.

Ensuring that electric wires, toxic foods like chocolate and grapes, and any choking hazards are out of reach.

Putting in the time before you welcome your first guest will do wonders for both you and your pet's peace of mind. If you have questions about toxic holiday foods, pet anxiety, and anything in between, the Vet Pros at Pawp are here to help 24/7.

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