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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Siu

Hosting Holiday Guests with a New Pet

Happy Holidays! Wrapping up 2022 includes making those lasting memories with your friends and family that you can cherish for years to come. Decorating your home and getting into the holiday spirit is one of the best parts of this season.

Having the perfect decorations and hosting the holidays can be overwhelming for anyone. As a new pet parent, this can become taxing for you but incorporating a new addition to your family will bring you immense joy and allow you to have a companion at all times, especially during the holidays. But if you’re worried about the transition, here are some tips and tricks to ensure your cat or dog is ready for the holiday madness.

Preparing Your Pet

Being able to prepare your furry friend before guests arrive at your house is a great way to ensure that both your pet and your guests will be comfortable at all times. If this is your four-legged friend's first holiday season with you, you will want to know how to properly prepare your home for them. Your pet will still face some anxieties and be super excited to see so many new faces, but creating a safe space for them can ease a lot of the tension.

Getting your pet ready includes worrying about their health. With the holidays around the corner and many changes occurring for your pet, you should take some time to ask yourself “is pet insurance worth it?” Being able to keep your pet's health in mind is important and at times can be forgotten with a hectic holiday schedule, especially with decorations and holiday foods entering their space. You will want to reassure yourself that your pet is up to date with vaccines, especially if you expect family members to bring over their animals as well. Make sure to schedule a visit close to the upcoming holiday season for the health and wellness of your four-legged companion.

A final preparation step you can take is showing your pet to retreat to their own space if they feel overwhelmed. A few days prior to hosting dinner and new people arriving in your home, show your four-legged companion a comfortable spot where they can withdraw to if needed. Our pets can feel anxious and over-stimulated if they are surrounded by new sounds and people. Having this safe space will give them the opportunity to slowly adjust to having new people around them. Including a comfy bed along with blankets and their favorite chew toy will help ground them and make them feel safe when things get chaotic in the house.

Speaking with your Guests

Communication is key when it comes to hosting guests. Setting boundaries early is important, especially when it comes to your pet. When having new people over, you want to ensure they will respect not only the boundaries of your home but also the boundaries of your pet. Communicating if there are any secluded areas for your four-legged friend to retreat back to and ensuring your guests know to keep that space empty is a great step.

The holidays always bring the best dishes into your home (and stomach), but you should remain vigilant about what is okay and not okay to feed your pet from these dishes. Holiday foods to avoid feeding your pets include, but are not limited, to raisins, milk products, chocolate, and fatty foods. These can all be found in common holiday dishes, so just be a bit more careful when your furry friend is eating some delicious food and tell your guests not to feed them anything off the table without checking with you first.

If your four-legged companion is hyper and loves to play around, let your guests know that they are super playful and love loads of attention. This will create transparency for you as the host and set expectations for your visitors to know that it is okay to touch and play with your furry friend. Timid and anxious pets may have a harder time around strangers. If your pet is a bit more on the shy and quiet side you may want to express to your guests that your furry friend doesn’t like being touched or played with unless your dog or cat comes up to them. This will relieve any stress your pet may have about being chased around the house and any overwhelming feelings you may have about having people over.

Creating Fun Memories Together

When you’re hosting new guests, it can be difficult to include your new pet in all the festivities or find time to bond with them. Giving your four-legged friend attention during this hectic time is easier than you think and you should try to spend some quality time with your dog or cat prior to people arriving at your home. After all, the holidays are about fun and creating memories. Having a new addition to your family during this time is a great opportunity for pictures and both outdoor and indoor activities. In your home, you have traditions you look forward to every year, and including your new pet in these traditions is a great way to create new memories this holiday season.

Making pet treats, dressing your furry friends in matching pajamas, making a Christmas blanket, and spoiling your four-legged companion with gifts are all pet-friendly holiday activities that your dog or cat can be included in. Hanging up a stocking with their first initial is a perfect way to include your new pet in the holiday festivities. If you have a tradition of taking Christmas pictures with family and/or friends, your furry friend would love to join.

Finally, the holidays are meant for fun with the whole family, small or large. There will be music, cooking, laughing, and a whole lot of craziness. By following these tips, your pet will have a wonderful time while also feeling safe and loved. With boundaries set with your guests, you can feel sure that they will get along with your new four-legged companion. And if that’s simply not in the cards just yet, you can always create fun memories together prior to guests arriving. Have an amazing Holiday Season from OC Pom Rescue.


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