If you’re like most pet owners, your four-legged friend is part of the family. So, it’s only natural that you would want to include them in holiday festivities and other special occasions. However, hosting can be stressful enough without having to worry about what to do with your pets. Here are a few tips on how to keep your furry friends safe and out of the way when entertaining.

1. Put your pet in a comfortable space before guests arrive. This will help your pet stay calm and avoid getting underfoot. You can also utilize installing screen doors with magnets to keep your pet close but easily separated.

2. If possible, put your pet in a room that guests won’t be using much. This will minimize the chances of your pet getting in the way or becoming agitated by all the activity.

3. Make sure your pet has access to food and water. It’s also a good idea to have some toys or treats on hand to keep them occupied.

4. Let your guests know ahead of time that you’ll have a pet on the premises. This will allow them to make any necessary arrangements, such as taking their allergy medication if they’re allergic to pets.

5. Keep an eye on your pet throughout the event. If you see them starting to get restless or agitated, take them for a walk or put them in their crate/kennel for a break.

Pet-Friendly Celebratory Activities

Not every holiday gathering has to revolve around food and drink. If you’re looking for some fun activities that the whole family (including your furry friend) can enjoy, try one of these pet-friendly ideas:

Have a Doggy Playdate.

This is a great way to socialize your pet and give them some much-needed exercise. Just make sure to have plenty of toys on hand to avoid any territorial disputes.

Go for a Walk or Hike.

Getting out in nature is not only good for your health but also provides an opportunity for your pet to explore and burn off some energy.

Have a Picnic in the Park.

Spread out a blanket and enjoy a leisurely meal while your pet runs around and plays. Just be sure to clean up after yourself when you’re done.

Go to the Beach or Lake.

Spending a day at the beach or lake is a great way to relax and cool off in the summer heat. Just be sure to keep an eye on your pet, as they can easily get lost in all the commotion.

Visit a Pet-Friendly Restaurant or Bar.

Many restaurants and bars now offer outdoor seating that’s perfect for people-watching with your furry friend by your side. Just be sure to check the establishment’s policies before bringing your pet inside.

Festive Things That Hurt Pets

As much as we want to include our pets in holiday celebrations, some things can be dangerous for them. Here are a few things to avoid if you’re wanting to keep your pet safe during the holidays:

1. Chocolate and other sweets. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can be toxic to dogs and should be avoided. Other sugary treats can also cause stomach upset or weight gain.

2. Alcohol. Alcoholic beverages should never be given to pets, as even small amounts can lead to serious health problems.

3. Candy canes and other hard candy. Candy canes and other hard candies can pose a choking hazard or break teeth.

4. Potpourri and scented candles. Many potpourris and scented candles contain essential oils that can be toxic to pets if ingested.

5. Holiday plants. Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias are all common holiday plants that can be toxic to pets if eaten.

6. Presents and wrapping paper. Ribbons, string, and other small items can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockages if swallowed. Sharp objects like scissors and knives should also be kept out of reach.

7. Hot weather. Pets can get overheated quickly, so be careful not to leave them in a hot car or outdoors for too long. Ensure they have shade if left outside as well.


As you can see, there are a few things to keep in mind when hosting with pets. By following these tips, you can keep your furry friends safe and out of the way when entertaining guests in your home. Pets are part of the family, so it’s only natural that you would want to include them in special occasions and holiday festivities.

However, hosting can be stressful enough without having to worry about what to do with your pets. Fireworks, strange people, and unfamiliar environments can all be overwhelming for your furry friend. With a little planning and preparation, you can make sure your pet is comfortable and safe while still enjoying the festivities. 

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