As we head into the last month of summer, you may be planning your party to end on a great note with family and friends. Unfortunately, you may be flexible with planning a last minute party and know what to do but that may not work for your dog. That is why I decided to write a post about guests coming to your house so you can start planning now and make it an enjoyable gathering for you and your dog– rather than a stressful one that is memorable for all the wrong reasons.
For example, I have catered my husband’s business’ holiday party every year for the last ten years. I have gone through trial and error and have delevoped a system and plan that makes it easier for me to execute each year. I still keep an open mind to try different things but that is part of learning and pivoting if something works better. Keep it simple and know your limits is what I will tell you to remember. Also, when planning a party there are three areas that must be addressed: pre-party, during the party, and after the party to have one that is fun and makes you want to do it again. This is how I want you to think about putting your dog into each stage of planning the party.
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Pre-Planning- Things to consider for your dog
When thinking about planning your party:
- Number of guests
- Start and end time
It seems like a lot to figure out but putting your dog on that list will help narrow down things even more. If you can take a closer look as well as plan how to help your dog that stress you may feel will be lessneed and this will benefit everyone.
Bonus Tip – Taking a look at how you have trained your dog and start making the basic obedience cues better especially to sit will help. Also, if your dog likes to jump on people then working on that as well everyday whether you are having guests or not will help in so many different situations and make life better for you and your dog.
Talking to your guests about your dog as well as if they are bringing a dog or kids are good topics to discuss. Unfortunately, other dog parents might think what works for their dog will work for your dog. The best way to discourage that type of thinking is to start a conversation with your guests and see who or what they are planning to do at the party. Making small suggestions for your guests and really emphasize your concerns for your dog. You want everything to go well for your guests enjoyment as well as your dog’s experience. Finally, people just like dogs are different and I am sure your friends and family would appreciate you respecting their wishes as well when it comes to their dog.
If you have:
Crate- If you have crate trained your dog then this is a place your dog loves and can hang out and feel safe.
Dog Gate – This is another way to setup space for your dog and not overwhelm he/she around your guests. You can choose a location that is comfortable for your dog and try using a dog gate before the guests come. This will let you know what needs to be changed to make this work for you and your dog.
A Spare Room (or your bedroom)- If your dog likes to hang out or sleep in a room on a regular basis then this could be a great option. It would not be out of the routine and having a door can lessen the noise of the guests.
Food Toys- Finding some food toys you can prepare the night before and have ready to go could give your dog a job while the party moves along with your guests. It is a positive thing to help your dog stay busy while you entertain. One example of a food toy is a Kong.
Adaptil Spray– Adaptil can be used on a bandana on your dog or a plug that is suppose
Bonus Tip- Having dog treats in a couple locations could work to make it a positive experience by having the guests use treats with your dog. Make sure to tell them to not over do it with treats as that could lead to an upset stomach for your dog.
During the Party-
When it is time to have guests come over, make sure to keep your dog in another room or a crate. Breaking up things into stages will help you and your dog. If you have more than one person who live in your house then remind everyone to communicate using their cell phone and setting a timer to check on your dog.
Some quick tips:
- Make sure to set the timer on your phone and have another friend or family member set their timer too so that your dog is checked on regularly and make sure they are doing well.
- Make sure to repeat things about your dog to your guests because people may forget because of all the excitement and noise. Make sure to either have it written down somewhere for the guests or verbally tell them again.
- Give your dog lots of breaks and remember less is more
- Make sure the food is not at a level that your dog can grab and get his/herself sick
- A leash is a great option to have around as well as on your dog when having them come out to meet people (one on one).
After the Party
Asking your guests what went well with your dog and what could have been done better is an important question to ask. What you might think went great but also went wrong may be different. Getting feedback can help you the next time when planning a party. The worse thing we can do is repeat the same mistakes and not have fun. Moreover, having a dog that is stressed and guests who do not want to come back, makes having parties at your house a bad idea, when they should be part of you and your dog’s life to enjoyed together.
I hope this post was helpful and let me know if you have any questions. If you have a dog who jumps up on people then my grab 5 Tips To Stop Your Dog From Jumping below. 🔽 I share tips that you can start doing today before having guests come over to your house. Learning how to stop the jumping you experience as a dog parent, will give you confidence to set you and your dog up to handle things better to overhear. Therefore, you will have more pleasant experiences with guests coming rather then regret and stress.
Click the link below to get your free 5 Tips To Stop Your Dog From Jumping. 🔽