Holiday Hosting Tips for Your Dog

Hosting a party when you have pets to consider need not be stressful, our vet team share a few simple tips to ensure you (and your pets!) will be able to safely relax and enjoy the company of good friends and family.


It is important to let your guests know that you have a pet prior to arriving at the party. Some people may have allergies and may take antihistamines or ask you to vacuum to prepare your house prior to their arrival. Others may be fearful of pets, or even suffer from cynophobia, a fear of dogs. Be mindful if guests are bringing young children, it is essential to always supervise these interactions. It is important to ensure your guest’s safety and comfort, as well as your pet’s wellbeing. If you plan ahead you can keep your pet in a place where they will not cause unnecessary anxiety to your guests, and give your pet an opportunity to rest in a safe place away from the party festivities.

Party Host Preparation

Our pets can be very excited when new people enter their domain, they love nothing more than to smell, lick, jump and procure as much attention as they can possibly can.  Taking our dogs for a walk before the guests arrive is a good way to exhaust some of the exuberance your pet may wish to lavish on their newly acquired friends. Consider putting your pet on a lead so that you have more control of your pet when guests arrive.

Pet ID and Tick Prevention

When we have guests over it can be very easy for doors to be accidently left open allowing our cunning canines to take this opportunity to explore the neighbourhood. It is important to ensure that all pets are wearing a well fitted collar with an ID tag. Ensure your pet is microchipped and that your details are correct, so if they do happen to escape, they can be returned to their rightful parents. Make sure you inform your guests that the doors need to remain closed either in person or by placing signage.

The holiday season is also the prime time to engage in outdoor activities such as camping or hiking with our furry companions. It is important to make sure our pets are protected from ticks and fleas. If you’re travelling along the East Coast of Australia, beware of deadly paralysis ticks.

Chat to your local Greencross Vets to find out the best protection for your pet.

Loud noises

Some pets are anxious around new people and can be extremely sensitive to loud noises such as music or fireworks. It is important to provide these sensitive souls with a quiet and secure room away from the party with a fresh bowl of water, some toys, snacks and a comfy bed.  In cases where your pet has a history of anxiety it may be prudent to talk to your local Greencross Vets for additional strategies to help manage the anxiety prior to hosting a party.


Avoid sharing the ham, fatty food and other Christmas leftovers

It is important to prevent our dogs from eating or drinking human foods during the celebration. Many foods may cause our pets to become seriously ill and all attempts should be made to prevent guest from feeding our pets.

Foods that are toxic to our pets include: artificial sweeteners, caffeinated beverages, alcohol, cooked bones that may cause obstructions, or excessively fatty foods leading to pancreatitis. Feed your pets before dinner so they are less likely to beg for food from guests. A fun idea is to create pet friendly treats that are available to guests should they want to feed treats to the pets.

Secure your bins

Many pets are notorious bin divers, who given the opportunity will quickly consume even the nastiest of food and non-food specimens. Ensure you have purchased bins with secure tops and make sure that all waste is disposed of adequately during and after the festivities.

You know your pet the best,  if you notice they are acting out of the ordinary, please call your vet for advice. If your regular vet is closed, rest assured you can get peace of mind with WebVet and speak with a vet via video call from the comfort of your home. WebVet is available 24/7 and is free for Healthy Pets Plus members! Learn more.

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