Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas Party with a Dog

Introduction

It's the Christmas season and that means that it is time to party! This time of year is all about getting together with family and friends, and hosting a fantastic, festive, fun-filled Christmas party is the best way to do this. Envision this: Christmas lights everywhere, appetizer plates filling your house along with perfect homemade Christmas cookie trays...but wait - what about your dog? If your dog is not one for crowds or you are just a little nervous about your dog "mingling" with your guests, then these tips are perfect for you. Don't worry, a stress-free Christmas party is in your future and your dog will be happily in attendance by your side!

Pre-Party Run

Dogs are a lot less stressed when they have had an adequate amount of exercise. You are also likely to feel the same way! Before your big Christmas party, be sure to take your dog for a run, enjoy a long walk or play a serious game of endurance fetch. When party time comes, your dog will be too tired to cause any trouble!

Safe Space

If your dog gets overwhelmed by crowds, you want to create a "safe space" for them to retreat to if they start to get nervous. Set up your dog's favorite blanket and toys in a separate room or inside their crate where they can go "hide" if they are feeling stressed. Tell your guests to give your dog some personal space as well!

Be Reward Ready

A party can be the perfect time to train your dog and reward any good behavior. While you can choose to practice your pup's "sit" and "stay" skills, you can also passively reward any natural good behaviors. If you see your dog just sitting nicely, toss them a treat! Fill your pockets with treats and give your dog one every now and then throughout the night.
Need a hand? Let a dog walker from Wag! help out!

Train Your Guests

One of the most effective ways to keep your Christmas party stress-free with a dog in attendance is to instruct your guests on how to interact with your dog. Let them know if they are allowed to give your dog treats, play with your pup inside or even if they should pet your dog or not. Setting rules for the party goers is a good way to go!

Decorate For Dogs

While it is nice to have lots of Christmas decorations out for your party, remember that you don't want to be chasing after your dog all night when they take the stuffed Santa off the couch for the tenth time! Keep your dog in mind when you decorate and it will make your party experience much less stressful.