How to Bring Everyone Together for a Good Time, Safely

The holidays are here again, so it’s time to break out the good dishes, decorate the house, and roll out the ol’ red carpet. It’s time to entertain in the way that only the winter holidays can deliver. But, if you have a pet, you may want to stop and consider your holiday party plans from their perspective before you jump into the festivities.

The holidays can be a challenging time for our beloved companion animals. But there are ways you can strategically plan your holiday entertaining. This way, you can avoid issues that may arise from bringing your friends and family together with your pets. You can also plan a few strategies that you can employ so you can enjoy the company of both without having to put anyone outside in the cold.

Potential Issues that Can Arise When You Entertain With Pets

Not all pets handle the raucousness of a holiday gathering well. Interacting with kids, dealing with unknown adults and surprise visits from other pets, the sights and smells, the sounds, the forbidden foods – it can be a lot for an animal to handle. And some pets do quite well in such a situation for several hours, only to snap at the end of a long day and take out all their bottled up excitement and anxiety on someone who doesn’t necessarily deserve it.

Your pet’s safety is also a potential issue. Holiday foods and drinks (and some decorations) can be downright toxic to your pets. Are you sure you can trust all of your guests not to feed your pet from the table? Also, not every child (or adult) is good with pets. Some may unintentionally antagonize or provoke a reaction from your dog or cat. Because of this, it may be best to keep your pets separate from your human guests for the duration of your gathering.

How to Strategically Have the Best of Both Worlds

But what if pet quarantine is impossible, or just not what you’d like to have happen? Is there a middle ground between crating your pet for the duration of the festivities and letting them run rampant, interacting with everyone and everything that they can get into? Happily, yes there’s the potential to have the best of both worlds – a safe and festive holiday gathering, complete with pets – if you plan strategically.

Most experts agree that keeping your pets separated from your guests for a bit of time, and then allowing heavily supervised interaction for a set period, is the best middle-ground course of action. You know your pet best, and can most likely tell when they’ve had enough and need more time alone to settle down.

Some Additional Considerations Regarding Pets and Gatherings

If you’re travelling to someone else’s home this holiday season and you’re planning to bring your pet with you, you might want to take a moment and reconsider. Imagine everything above from the perspective of those who’ve invited you to their home. There’s the potential for conflict, the potential for hazardous encounters with holiday foods and decorations, and how much control you give up with you bring your pet into someone else’s environment to consider.

Your pet may be just as happy (and safer) staying home with a trusted house sitter or boarded in a reputable kennel or boarding facility. Ultimately, the decision is yours and only you know how much you need your pet’s companionship when you’re traveling, and how much your pet may need you.

Having a Safe and Fun Holiday Gathering With Pets

Bringing your pets and other loved ones together for the holidays is possible, but only with some careful planning and preparation. Make sure that you include your pets in your planning and that you consider things from their perspectives as much as you possibly can. After all, a pleasant time for everyone, including your pets, is your goal.

Author: Giano Panzarella