Springbrook_iStock_000021697674_MediumHoliday pet etiquette is often overlooked despite unfortunate problems between guests and rambunctious pets. After all, it’s not uncommon, during the holiday mix of aunts, cousins, and significant others, to encounter the pet-adverse person. You know, the one who shifts uncomfortably when Fluffy tries to sit on his lap? Or, the person who recoils when little Patches jumps up on the nice slacks.

So, to keep the peace and pleasure in the holiday gathering, it’s important to plan ahead for everyone’s comfort (pets included).

Holiday Pet Planning When You are the Host

Just when you think there couldn’t possibly be one more thing to worry about before the holidays, your sister calls to say she’s bringing someone – someone allergic to dogs (and, you have two).

Now what?

Realistically, when hosting a gathering it is possible someone will suffer from pet allergies or simply dislike pets. It is also possible that your pet doesn’t really enjoy a bunch of strangers congregating in his home.

In order to prevent discomfort for your guests or your pet, here are some suggestions from The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center.

  • If possible, give your pet respite from the chaos and potentially annoying encounters with pet-loathers by boarding him or her – consider it a mini vacation at Pet Paradise Boarding for your best fur friend!
  • If you choose not to board, contact all guests and inquire about comfort level with pets and allergies (this also allows them to make alternate sleeping arrangements, such as at a hotel).
  • If your guest is allergic to your cat or dog, find a room in the home where your pet can stay during the meal and celebration (minimizing some of the exposure to dander).
  • Consider your pet’s behavior – is it true that your dog can be a little aggressive or obnoxious? Look at this as an opportunity to bone up on some additional training and socialization skills.
  • Avoid allowing your pet to beg or hang out underfoot, especially during mealtime, since this is both uncomfortable for guests and dangerous for your pet, should he get ahold of scraps that may be toxic (garlic, raisins, etc.).
  • Rather than shut your pet up in a room during the holidays, encourage pet adverse guests to understand that your pet is a part of the family and lives there. This gentle explanation may prompt non-animal lovers to book a hotel room instead.

Visiting Others with Your Pet

Just as if you are planning for guests in your home, traveling with your pet to the host’s home requires some forethought, too.

Not everyone appreciates pets in the home. To ensure your fur family member will be welcomed with open arms, ask the host for permission to bring your (well-behaved) pet along.

When staying overnight, make certain you have everything you need to be a polite pet owner. These items include food, food and water bowls, brush, bed (not everyone enjoys pets on furniture), medications, poop scoop and baggies (or litter box), leash, and ID tags affixed to collar.

It’s also a great idea to bring a crate, just in case your pet needs a cozy spot during mealtime.

In the event your pet becomes a distraction, simply excuse yourself for a 30 minute walk or other activity to help burn off some of that excess energy. And, remember to clean up after your pet – including fur left on furniture.

The holidays are full of details, we understand. But, by being a courteous pet owner, you are sure to keep the festivities light and your pet, protected and comfortable.