Celebrating the holidays means spending time with the ones we love in our homes, furry friends included. If you are planning to open your doors to family and friends this holiday season, remember to keep your four-legged friends in mind. Holiday hosting can bring a variety of concerns for both your guests and pets but can be prevented with a bit of pet-friendly preparation.
The S&A Homes team has put together the ultimate checklist for hosting the holidays with pets to ensure both your guests and your pets enjoy spending the holidays in your new home.
Prior to Guest Arrival
Before the arrival of your holiday guests, it’s essential to make sure preventative measures are taken to make both your guests and your pets will be comfortable during their stay.
- First and foremost, give your guests a heads up that you have pets before they come. This way, they are not alarmed when they hear barking when they ring the doorbell or encounter an overexcited dog greeting them at the door.
- If you have a dog, cat or other furry animals, it’s a good idea to ask your guests if they have any allergies or are comfortable being around them. While you may love your pet, others may not feel the same way.
- If guests have allergies, be sure to clean and vacuum all areas of the house to remove as much fur and dander as possible.
- For guests that are allergic to or nervous around animals, provide your guests with a comfortable stay by keeping your pets out of their way. Designate a room or crate for your pet to stay in and provide them with essentials such as food, water, toys and a comfy place to sleep. This also a good idea for nervous pets who may need an escape from the stress of incoming guests.
- If you have a high-energy pup, take them for a walk right before your guests arrive. This will help them get some energy out to relax more quickly.
Once Guests Arrive
Assuming your guests are comfortable around pets, take a minute to introduce them, especially if they have never been around each other before. Inform them of your pets’ demeanor and set some basic guidelines for how they should interact with them.
- When guests come in, ask them to hold out their hand for your pet to sniff before petting them. Or, better yet, have your guests offer your pet a treat to let them know they can be trusted. Nothing says ‘new friend’ better than sharing a tasty treat!
- If you have a nervous or unpredictable pet, let your guests know so they can approach them calmly and carefully, or not at all. Inform them of your pets’ demeanor and let them know where they can pet them or if they can pick them up. If your pet prefers its quiet space, let your guests know they can avoid contact with them.
- Tasty holiday foods are just as tempting for your furry friends as they are for your holiday guests. However, begging should not be tolerated, and guests should not feed your pets anything unless you say it is OK to do so.
- Before serving your meal, serve your pets first. This will prevent your pet from being underfoot during mealtime and make them less likely to beg guests for scraps.
- If you need to distract your pet at any point, toss them a bone, sprinkle some catnip or give them a toy that will keep them entertained. Don’t be afraid to put your pet in a separate room or crate if needed.
If you are still looking for your home for the holidays, be sure to check out the quick-delivery options from S&A Homes here. To learn more about new home opportunities from S&A Homes throughout Central and South-Central Pennsylvania, call 1-855-SAHOMES1 or visit www.SAHomeBuilder.com.