The holidays are here—are your pets ready for your guests?

by | Lifestyle, Pets

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Thanksgiving Visitors and Your Pets

My pup Remi is a sweetheart. Snuggle lover and constant shadow, she is always right behind me. Given the proper amount of time to meet a new person or dog, she is all wiggly and full of puppy kisses and kindly asks for belly rubs.


Springing an introduction on her with someone new produces a totally different side of her. As a 55 lb. Australian Shepherd, her nature is to be wary and protective. Her size and big bark can make people nervous. Most importantly, I want everyone to be safe—both Remi and my guest. Planning and action on my part helps make the visit enjoyable for all of us.


Tips to ensure your pets and your guests are safe this Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving means lots of family gatherings. Having guests visit your home for a time to share a meal and company can be a wonderful experience. It can also be a stressful time for your pets who may be unused to having so many humans visiting at the same time—especially if visitors include children. If your pets have some anxiety with new people, here are some tips to ensure both your pets and your guests are safe while visiting.



Plenty of exercise

Before anyone arrives, make sure your dog has plenty of exercise. Not just the day when your guests will be there, but plan for several long walks or exercise sessions over the days before your guests arrive.


Leash or separate your dog

When visitors start to arrive, leash your dog. You can also crate or separate your dog from all the activity. A quiet room away from all the human activity with soft music playing and plenty of toys or treats will help keep your dog feeling less anxious than being in the mix of new people while you are distracted with your guests.


Train your visitors

Take the time to share proper dog etiquette with your guests. Many times, we humans who love dogs just assume that all dogs will love us back. We tend to ignore the very clear signals that dogs give us when they would prefer to be left alone. Ask guests not to ring the doorbell when a simple knock may do or post a sign welcoming guests to come in.




If you are having children visit who your dog does not know, it is critical that you teach the children proper care and respect for petting and handling your pets. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 50 percent of all dog bite victims are children.[1] These bites most often occur when a dog feels threatened by someone new invading their territory. This may require a conversation with the parents before they arrive. A dog should never be poked, chased or picked up if they are not comfortable with it.



Taking these precautions will ensure that everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving visit. Wagz ‘n Whiskerz wishes you and your family and your pets a blessed holiday.


Dog bite fact sheet






Pat Blaney is the owner of Wagz ‘n Whiskerz Pet Sitting. Where there’s no place like home. We get it. Pets are family.






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