Pet parents who love to entertain at home often find themselves facing a unique set of challenges every time they decide to throw a party. That’s because there are inherent risks involved whenever guests and fur babies gather under the same roof. Even well-trained and highly socialized animals can still feel overwhelmed when their spaces are taken over by strangers.
Left unchecked and underfoot, they might get accidentally stepped on, run out of an open door, or ingest something they shouldn’t have. Depending on how the event goes, pets can become overexcited or stressed out by loud noises, bright lights, and any other happenings that may not be familiar to them.
That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place if you’re looking to host any kind of event at home as a pet owner. Fortunately, putting just a few safety precautions in place can greatly improve the experience for both your pups and your visitors. For example, you can put your fur babies in a customizable step-in dog harness to keep them leashed while your guests are arriving. You can also learn how to pick up on the many behavioral signs that your pups can exhibit. In addition to these, here are a few safety tips that you can use to keep your furry friends and your guests safe during parties:
Keep Your Pup Leashed or Contained
While it’s certainly fun to greet guests at the door while holding one of your dogs in your arms, the pet might take this opportunity to wriggle free and make a break for it. This can be especially dangerous if they end up running out of the house and onto the street.
Instead of introducing your fur babies to your visitors as they come in, it’s much better to keep them on their respective leashes and away from the door. Nervous pups, in particular, can greatly benefit from wearing step-in harnesses. These are harder to escape from than other customizable pet products such as traditional harnesses or collars, which can be helpful if the pup is extra skittish.
In some cases, it may be safer to keep your pups in their crates while the festivities are ongoing, especially if they’re still very young and aren’t used to people yet. The safe space that their crate provides can allow them to relax and feel secure, minimizing their stress levels.
Tell Your Guests About Your Pet
Sharing the responsibility of keeping your furry friends safe can make the task easier to do at a gathering. Indeed, it doesn’t take much. Simply informing them about your pets’ presence should be enough to do just that. This will make your visitors more mindful of their surroundings when they arrive. It’s also a way to show your consideration towards guests that may not be used to or are afraid of animals.
Using the opportunity to establish a few ground rules—especially ones with regards to food and other things that could be ingested by your pups—is also a good idea. When you talk to your visitors about your canine companions, tell them to be conscious of any food falling to the floor, as your canine companions might pick these up. You should also tell guests not to feed your pups. This will make it less likely for your fur babies to accidentally consume something that isn’t good for them. If any of your visitors are planning on bringing food to your party, give them a list of ingredients that may be harmful to your fur babies. That way, your guests will know not to include said ingredients in any of their dishes.
Learn How to Read Your Pets’ Body Language
Having a few guests over shouldn’t be too much of a problem for your furry friends, but it doesn’t hurt to keep tabs on how they’re feeling. Keeping an eye out for certain behaviors can help you get ahead of problems and maintain a good atmosphere while the party is ongoing.
For example, relaxed dogs won’t have any problems laying down wherever they please and appearing at ease in their environment, even with lots of people around. On the other hand, pups that feel frightened will keep their heads lowered and their ears back. They may hunch over as though to pounce, with a gaze that keeps darting around. If they feel very overwhelmed, your dogs may start to growl, and the hair between their shoulders might start to rise. If you notice them exhibiting such body language, it’s best to remove the affected pups from the room and bring them to a safe space.
With a well-thought-out plan in place, you can have a great party at home without having to send your pets away or hiring someone to watch them. These tips should help you focus on entertaining your guests without neglecting your fur babies.