Hosting a Pet Friendly Get Together

Thanksgiving is coming – and you’ve volunteered to host the family get together or the Friendsgiving feast! But now you’ve realized that your fuzzy felines and curious canines aren’t used to guests invading their domain.

While you may have good intentions, and you may have even made progress with your puppies or kitties, pet training takes patience and time. With your own party planning taking precedence, you likely don’t have the time to perfect any pet behavior with Turkey Day looming. Let’s dive into some arrangements you can prepare for in the time you have left before the big feast.

Your Guests are Important Too

Just because you think you and your pet are ready doesn’t mean your guests are. If you haven’t already, ensure your friends and family know you have pets! Not only does this give them a heads-up of what they’re walking into, there are those that are allergic to pet dander and it gives them time to prepare.

Make Introductions

When your guests arrive, be aware of your pet’s state of mind. “Change!” “Strangers!” Their routines are completely upended with the arrival of new people, smells, and sounds. Plan out a calm way to meet-and-greet with the new home invaders.

This process is a good learning lesson for both sides. Guests can learn how to approach your pet safely by holding out their hand and waiting for your pet to sniff and give approval. If that happens, have your guest give them a treat. They’ve each made a friend! For your pet, they’re also hopefully learning to not have the need to bark or jump on anything and everything that comes through the door.

Mark Your Territory

Some pets are just not going to be party-ready. They may be excited for guests but aren’t quite ready for primetime this year. Let them make an appearance, but then consider sending them upstairs with the Von Trapp children. This could mean a designated room or a kennel. This might also mean containment behind a dog gate (where they’ll still be able to be a part of the social scene). Or, if the weather cooperates, outside time may be your best option.

Table Manners

Feeding pets from the table isn’t in your best interest – especially during a dinner party. And this goes for all of your guests! Dogs and cats have a special way of manipulating new friends so they can get what they want. Make it clear to your guests that no food from the table is given to the four-legged attendees. Threaten their slice of pumpkin pie to show you mean business!

Alternatively, give your pets a treat or follow their routine and feed them their own dinner prior to sitting down at the turkey table. This can serve as just the right distraction from the sweet potatoes and stuffing.

After celebrating, consider a post-meal walk with your doggos! While stretching your legs after eating is never a bad thing, bringing your canine along could serve as one last way to wear down your pet while giving them a nice reward of their own.

No matter your Turkey Day circumstance, AVC hopes your preparations and celebrations are pawsome!

Be sure to check out our other blogs for more tips, tricks, and education when it comes to you and your pet!

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