Fido-friendly Festivities

By Jeanelle Horcasitas

November 6, 2016 4 min read

Holidays are the highlight of the winter season. White elephant gift exchanges, yummy baked goods and ugly sweater parties -- but what about our furry friends? Pet owners would love to bring their companions everywhere but usually have to leave them at home, especially when it comes to social gatherings. So the question is, How can we include our pets in the festivities this season? Below are a few tips for throwing a pet-friendly holiday party.

*Send the Purrfect Invitation

There aren't many pet-friendly parties. Therefore, when sending out your invitations, make it clear that pets are welcome. Additionally, you should decide what types of pets will be allowed to attend. Not all dogs, cats, birds, turtles or rabbits get along. Set the boundaries early on. Some dogs and cats will get along splendidly. Others will tear your house apart. Only the pet owner will know his or her pet's temperament when it comes to social interactions. When sending out your holiday invitations, advise pet owners to be respectful and only attend if they are certain their pet will get along with the rest of the party.

*Supply Bark-worthy Treats

Pet owners will appreciate a great spread of yummy treats for their furry friend. If you are hosting an event with various types of animals in attendance, then be attentive to where the treats are placed. I would suggest creating separate treat bowls labeled by what animal the treats are intended for -- and the ingredients. Some pets may be sensitive to certain ingredients. Dogs might not react well to catnip, and cats might not enjoy a bone. Ask your local chain pet stores or a local pet specialty store for ideas. And there is always an option to make your own treats! For example, Dog Friendly Deep Creek's website offers some great holiday treats for dogs that will even make you drool, such as: peanut butter and pumpkin dog treats or gingerbread dog biscuits.

*Toys to Sink Their Teeth Into

Provide your pet owners and their pets with some fun toys to keep them entertained. If you have a large backyard or a small apartment patio, there are space-dependent options for playtime. Look into holiday-themed toys from Petco or PetSmart, and encourage your guests to bring their own toys as well. Sometimes, like people, pets do not like to share their favorite toys. Remind pet owners to bring toys that their pets are not too attached to. This will prevent squabbles from disrupting the party.

*Be Prepared for Accidents

Do not be surprised if one (or more) of the animals has an accident. Even potty-trained pets can have accidents, especially when they are excited from being with other animals and people in a new environment. Be prepared with pet cleanup supplies nearby. And ask pet owners to have their pets stay in areas that are easy to clean. This way, if there is an issue, it won't be difficult or time-consuming to get on with the festivities. Also, try not to make a fuss out of any accidents. This may cause tension in the room that the other animals may react negatively toward. I suggest asking pet owners to take their pets on frequent potty breaks.

Holidays should be spent with your loved ones, including your most faithful companions. So next time you're thinking of throwing a party, be sure to invite your furry friends -- and their humans.

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