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Five Tips for a Successful Holiday Party with Your Pet

Whether it’s Fido stealing a turkey leg from the buffet spread or Fifi getting tangled up in a guests’ flowing party dress, there are plenty of pet hazards during holiday parties and gatherings. Consider these five tips as you plan your holiday event.

Holiday Party Tips for Pets


December 16, 2019

Holiday parties are as essential to the season as outdoor twinkle lights, Christmas trees and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. But hosting a holiday fete for your friends and family can have added stress when your family pets are present. Here are five simple tips to help keep your pets and guests happy this holiday season.

1. Give your guests proper notice.

If you pet will be present – meaning allowed to be in the same party space as the humans throughout the evening – consider letting your guests know this in advance.

Making your guests aware offers a few benefits:

  • If any of your guests have pet allergies it allows them to take medication in advance or bring it with them in case of an allergy flare up.
  • If children are part of your holiday festivities, letting parents know that a dog will be at the party gives them advance time to talk to their kids and set expectations. If a child isn’t used to being around dogs they may feel scared or intimidated, especially if your dog is very playful and likes to jump or lick.
  • Holiday parties often mean dressier-than-normal attire. Giving your guests a heads up empowers them to decide whether or not to make a change to their planned holiday outfit.


2. Exercise, exercise, exercise.

We humans aren’t the only ones who benefit from a little extra exercise during the holiday season. Be sure to take your dog for a walk before guests arrive. This gives your pup a chance to get out some energy and relax before the party starts. If your furry friend is a real party animal and still has tons of energy mid-event, consider another brisk walk around the block about halfway through your evening.


3. Make introductions and mingle.

As guests arrive, take a minute to have them greet (if they know your dog) or meet for the first time your furry family member. Be sure Fido knows that jumping and barking aren’t allowed by keeping a friendly but firm hand on their dog collar. In the meantime, have your guests greet your pup by holding out their hand with their palm up and allow your dog to sniff it. If both the dog and guest respond well, encourage your guests to pet or ruffle the dog’s fur on top of his/her head. Or maybe even offer your dog a treat from their open palm (treats offered from their fingers could result in an accidental bite). 

One final suggestion on introductions – consider keeping sanitizer wipes nearby to offer to your guests just in case your pooch gets a little too friendly with their greeting.


4. Establish a puppy party zone.

Some dogs just can’t handle all the excitement a party creates, no matter how much exercise they get that day. If this is your dog, or you simply want a free space for your dog to be themselves during the party, create a space just for them. Place your dog’s food and water bowls plus a few of his favorite toys in a separate space in your home away from the main party and high traffic areas like the front door, kitchen and bathroom. Don’t forget to place their dog bed and favorite cuddle blanket in the room too. If there is a radio or television in your puppy’s party zone, consider tuning it to his/her favorite station as an additional form of entertainment for the evening. Don’t forget to check on them every hour or so and be sure to take your dog out for regular bathroom breaks.


Throw them a bone – literally.

It is the holidays, after all, so don’t skimp on treats for your dog during your holiday party. If he/she is mingling well among party goers, be sure to reward Fido with a treat throughout the evening. Or, if you plan to establish a puppy party zone, that’s also a great time to give your dog a shiny new toy – like a peanut-butter filled kong or a marrow bone. Those treats are sure to keep your dog happy – and occupied – for quite some time.

Happy and Safe Holiday Wishes

As we move quickly into the highlights of the holiday season, keeping your pets happy and safe is a top priority. Check back for our next post when we touch on thekeeping dogs safe around all the wrapping paper, bows and boxes that accompany the holidays. And visit us anytime at