Visitors can be stressful for dogs! These are tried and true tips for helping your dog have the best experience possible when the gathering is being held at your house:
All dogs should have access to a comfortable, quiet place inside if they want to retreat. Make sure your dog has a room or crate somewhere away from the commotion that it can go to anytime it wants to get away.
Inform your guests ahead of time that you have dogs or if other guests may be bringing dogs to your house. Guests with allergies or compromised immune systems (due to pregnancy, disease, or medications/ treatments that suppress the immune system) need to be aware of the dogs (especially exotic dogs) in your home so they can take any needed precautions to protect themselves.
Guests with dogs? If guests ask to bring their own dogs and you don’t know how the dogs will get along, you should either politely decline their request, or plan to spend some time acclimating the dogs to each other, supervising all their interactions, monitoring for signs of a problem, and taking action to avoid injuries to dogs or people.
Dogs that are nervous around visitors should be put it in another room or a crate with a favorite toy. If your dog is particularly upset by house guests, talk to your veterinarian about possible solutions to this common problem.
Watch the exits. Even if your dogs are comfortable around guests, make sure you watch them closely, especially when people are entering or leaving your home. While you’re welcoming guests and collecting coats, a dog can easily make a break for it out the door and become lost.
Identification tags and microchips reunite families. Make sure your dog has proper identification with your current contact information – particularly a microchip with up-to-date, registered information. That way, if they do sneak out, they’re more likely to be returned to you. If your dog isn’t already microchipped, talk to your veterinarian about the benefits of this simple procedure.
Clear the food from your table, counters and serving areas when you’re done using them – and make sure the trash gets put where your dog can’t reach it. A turkey or chicken carcass or other large quantities of meat sitting out on the carving table, or left in a trash container that is easily opened, could be deadly to your family dog. Dispose of carcasses and bones – and anything used to wrap or tie the meat, such as strings, bags and packaging – in a covered, tightly secured trash bag placed in a closed trash container outdoors (or behind a closed, locked door).
Trash also should be cleared away where dogs can’t reach it – especially grass from Easter baskets and wrappings from candy.