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Tips For Having Company And Pets

November 1 2023

Believe it or not, the holidays are just around the corner. Thanksgiving is just a few weeks off, and then we’re into all of the winter holidays and festivities. Many of you are no doubt looking forward to getting together with your loved ones and enjoying seasonal festivities. Pets are part of the family, too, and always add an extra layer of love and warmth to those holiday photos. However, if you’re having people over, you’ll want to take a few steps to make sure things go smoothly between your guests and your furry pal. A Champaign, IL vet offers some advice on having pets and company in this article.

Close Quarters

As the saying says, an ounce of prevention is worth several pounds of cure. Ask guests to keep their room door closed at all times. Otherwise, you know Fluffy is going to want to sleep on their suitcase or smack their glasses off the end table.

Allergy Busters

Many people who don’t have pets cite allergies as their reason. If you know or suspect that your guests have allergies, take a few steps to keep them comfortable. Opt for hypoallergenic window coverings and bedding, and put an air purifier in that room. You can also set out tissues and OTC allergy meds.


You want Fido and Fluffy to put their best paws forward. Thoroughly dust and vacuum before your guests arrive, and change out your air filters. You can use a damp sponge or rubber dish gloves to get fur off upholstery, while vinegar cleaners work well at erasing nose prints from windows. We also recommend brushing your furry friend. If you have a dog, give Fido a bath as well.    

Food And Meals

Food is one of the most common holiday dangers for pets. Many of those seasonal favorites are toxic to pets! Ask guests not to feed pets without checking with you. Ask your vet for more infromationa. 


Guests who have had pets of their own will likely be aware of some of the common do’s and don’ts. However, you’ll still need to be both clear and cautious about safety. You don’t need to print out a handout, but lay down a few rules. Ask visitors not to reprimand pets, and request that they keep any small personal objects, like phones or medicine, in secure spots. 

Our Advice on Having Company And Pets in 2024

How can pet owners help their animals adjust to the presence of unfamiliar guests in their home?

To help pets adjust to unfamiliar guests, pet owners should gradually introduce their animals to new people in a calm and controlled environment. Begin with short, supervised interactions to build trust and comfort. Providing pets with a safe space where they can retreat if overwhelmed is crucial. Use treats and positive reinforcement to create positive associations with guests. Additionally, maintaining normal routines, such as feeding and exercise schedules, can help pets feel more secure despite the changes in their environment.

Are there any particular breeds or temperaments of dogs or cats that may be more challenging to manage when hosting guests?

Certain breeds and temperaments of dogs and cats can indeed be more challenging to manage when hosting guests. Dog breeds with strong protective instincts, such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinschers, may be more cautious and reactive towards strangers. Similarly, herding breeds like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds might attempt to herd guests, which can be disruptive. For cats, those with skittish or shy temperaments may become stressed or hide, while more territorial breeds like Siamese might display aggression. Understanding and accommodating each pet’s specific needs and behaviors is key to managing interactions with guests.

How can pet owners balance the needs of their animals with the comfort and preferences of their guests?

To balance the needs of pets with guest comfort, pet owners should communicate their pet’s routines and behaviors to guests beforehand to manage expectations. Establish and maintain a designated area where pets can feel secure and relaxed, away from the main gathering spaces. This helps reduce stress for the pet and minimizes disruptions for guests. Additionally, ensuring that pets are well-exercised and have had enough attention before guests arrive can keep them calm. Informing guests about appropriate interactions with pets and any off-limits areas or behaviors also aids in creating a harmonious environment.

What should pet owners do if their animal becomes anxious, aggressive, or disruptive in the presence of guests?

If a pet becomes anxious, aggressive, or disruptive in the presence of guests, the owner should calmly remove the pet from the situation and place it in a quiet, secure area of the home where it feels safe. This can be a room familiar to the pet, equipped with its bed, toys, and water. Using soothing techniques such as playing calming music or providing a favorite treat can also help. If the behavior persists, consult a veterinarian or a professional animal behaviorist to address the underlying issues and develop appropriate training strategies.

How can pet owners ensure that their animals receive adequate exercise, attention, and care while also entertaining guests?

Pet owners can ensure their animals receive adequate exercise, attention, and care while entertaining guests by planning ahead. Scheduling time for walks or play before guests arrive can help expend excess energy and keep pets calm. Arranging for a quiet space where pets can retreat if overwhelmed ensures they remain comfortable. Owners might also consider enlisting a family member or friend to help monitor and engage with the pet during the gathering, or even hiring a pet sitter to provide focused care and attention during busier times.

 As your Champaign, IL animal clinic, we’re here to help! Please feel free to contact us anytime.

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