Ask the Expert: How Do I Prepare My Dog for Holiday Guests?
Even if your dog is normally friendly, it doesn’t mean that he or she is a party animal. The flurry of new guests and loud noises that come with holiday parties can stress out even the most Zen pooch. Here are some tips for making your holiday bash a smash for all involved.
Create a chill out space for your dog and let him get comfy in there for at least a few days before the party. A chill-out space should have:
- A comfy bed
- A pillow that smells like you
- A favorite toy
- A water bowl
Allow your dog to head to the chill-out space when he’s not feeling social or if you see him getting overwhelmed.
Give him some special attention in the chill-out space before returning to your guests. A doggy massage never hurts in situations like these.
For small parties, give each guest a Milk-Bone® Mini's biscuit and show them how your dog will sit for a holiday dog treat when they arrive. This will help your pup associate guests with a positive feeling and a chance to show off.
Ask that your guests not share their party food with your pet. It may be hard to resist begging puppy eyes, but doing so could save your dog from a tummy ache.
Teach your guests to be aware of dog behavior like growling or tail tucking, which could mean your pooch is scared and needs space. After all, good communication is essential to a good party.
Do you have a question for our pet behaviorist, Dr. Jill, or for our veterinarian, Dr. Leslie? Write it in the comments section below, and we’ll do our best to get your question answered.
About Dr. Jill
Dr. Jill Villarreal lives and breathes all things pet. A doctor of biology, behavior and neuroscience (with a certificate in animal behavior), Jill is Senior Manager of Pet Sensory and Perception Insights over at Big Heart Pet Brands.
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