Holiday parties are your chance to spend quality time with your friends and family, be a social butterfly, eat delicious food, drink eggnog, and dance. However, while these parties are super fun for people, they can be quite stressful for your pup. A houseful of partygoers, loud music, and maybe even other dogs can upset your furry buddy, so taking a bit of extra time to prepare and manage a party properly will result in a happy and calm pupper. Parties should be fun for everyone, and as a good host, you want everyone to feel welcome and relaxed. Here are a few things you should avoid when having a party with your dog in attendance.
The key to a successful party is thorough planning, especially when you know that your dog will attend. Making a good shopping list and including dog treats and dog-friendly decorations will save you a lot of stress. Neglecting to budget, inviting people who are timid around dogs, or inviting exuberant dogs to the party will cause stress. Pre-planning is worth the effort - snow bones about it!
Dogs can sense our fears and anxieties, so if you are super nervous and you show it, you can bet that your dog will too! Nervously strutting around the house, frantically hiding anything that can hurt them, and venting your frustrations will upset your dog and make them think that this party is something to be scared of, so try to stay as calm as possible.
The key to a calm doggo is a tired doggo. Before your holiday gathering, make sure that you take your dog out and exercise. Go for a long hike, play fetch, visit a dog park and traverse an obstacle course – anything that will keep your dog happy and well exercised. Then, when the party begins, they’ll be too tired to run around the house.
Since dogs can get pretty overwhelmed at parties because of the sheer number of people that attend, leaving a room that will be just theirs is of utmost importance. This space will allow them to escape the noise and chatter and spend some time relaxing and just lounging around. Always make sure that you have one room people-free. Your dog will thank you.
Your guests can sometimes do more harm than good to your pup. Children can squeeze and bother them; adults can encourage bad behavior, give them food they cannot eat, and generally upset your pup. Therefore, it is very important that your guests know your rules and that they don’t break them. No food, no bothering the dog, and no flash photography, please!
While you will probably give your dog more treats than usual to keep them calm during festivities, giving out too many can be counterproductive. Not only do you risk overfeeding, but also bad behavior, as dogs can sense that we’ll give them treats if they seem upset. This can result in your pup purposefully throwing a tantrum so that they get a delicious snack or two.