With the holiday season rapidly approaching, you may be prepping your home for houseguests, and while visitors can be fun, they can be stressful for pets. If this festive time of year brings company your way, consider these tips to keep pets and visitors safe and comfortable.
#1: Provide a quiet space for your pet
Ensuring your pet has a private space during the holiday hustle and bustle is imperative. She needs a retreat of her own where she can relax when the going gets chaotic. If space allows, consider reserving a separate bedroom for your furry friend. Equip the room with her favorite bedding and toys, a bowl of water, and some calming background music. Allow free entry so your pet can come and go as she pleases. If possible, set up this special area before guests arrive, so your pet will already be accustomed to her new space.
#2: Meet with your guests about your pets
Sit down and chat with your guests as soon as possible after they arrive. You don’t need to hand out a list of rules and regulations, but discussing a few important points will help ensure everyone has a safe and fun visit. Topics can include:
- Medications — Let your guests know where to put medications, toiletries, and other potential pet hazards, which should be stowed far out of your pet’s reach.
- Allergies — Visitors should know about any allergies your pet may have to certain foods or medications.
- Quirks — Mention your pet’s quirks; for instance, she may not like her ears touched, or she will get nippy if strangers go near her food.
- Schedule — If your pet tends to be up whining at 6 a.m. every day, you may want to tell your guests to wear earplugs or to keep their bedroom door closed.
- Feeding instructions — Some guests like to help out while visiting, so leave written feeding guidelines near your pet’s feeding area.
- Table scraps — The holidays are often filled with high-fat dishes that are not suitable for pets, so advise visitors to feed your pet only her normal diet.
#3: Remember your four-legged guests
Are your guests bringing along any unfamiliar furry friends? If so, try to set up a pet meeting before the visit, preferably on neutral territory, so neither pet feels disadvantaged. Consider walking together, or visiting the local dog park. Give the pets ample time to get to know one another and reward good behavior, but don’t force any interaction. Suggest to your visitors that they bring some of their pet’s favorite items from home so you can equip a private space for the visiting pet. Also, minimize potential conflict by feeding each pet in a separate space and allowing private areas for elimination.
#4: Schedule some downtime for your pet
We often feel run-down and overwhelmed during the holiday hustle and bustle, and when the home is full of unfamiliar people and commotion, our pets can feel this stress, as well. Consider scheduling a daily downtime period for your pet to relax and escape the frenzy. Put her in her private space each day for a designated time, or plan an outing with your guests and leave your pet at home in peace and quiet.
#5: Consider boarding your pet
If holiday guests make your home too hectic for your pet, consider boarding her. Whether you opt for overnight boarding or daycare services, The Pet Resort at Stone Ridge will welcome your pet with open arms. Contact us with questions, or to set up a reservation.