7 tips for entertaining when you have a pet

As the bank holiday approaches and more restrictions have been lifted, hosting a gathering of friends or family will be top of many people’s to-do list this weekend! Amid the party planning, one thing that may get overlooked is your pet. Following months of quiet home-time, many pets may feel overwhelmed and anxious by the noise and the addition of new people.

Emily Miller of Petmania explains,

“Remember when hosting a party at home, you should aim to create a stress-free environment for both your friends and your four-legged friends. With a little forethought, hosts and their furry pals can be the hit of the party so when you are party-planning, make sure you are pet-planning too!”

Irish owned pet store, Petmania has compiled its seven top tips to help both host and pet have a stress-free celebration.

  1. Understand Your Pet

Knowing how your pet will react to lots of people and noise can help you decide what arrangements to make for them. If they get frightened or nervous very easily, leave them in a comfortable crate until noise levels have gone down. If they get very over-excited and energetic, try taking them out for a long walk before guests arrive to help tire them out.

  1. Brief Your Guests

Make sure to warn your friends about your four-legged friend. If you have friends who get allergies or are fearful of animals, it is best to know this beforehand so you can arrange to keep your pet in a separate room.

  1. Watch out for food and drink hazards

Remind guests that party food such as chocolate or grapes, is very toxic to both cats and dogs and ask them not to feed your pets.

  • Pets cannot metabolise alcohol as humans can; it can make them extremely ill.
  • Chicken wing-bones can be very dangerous for pets.
  • Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in both cats and dogs.
  • Onions, garlic and chives cause gastroenteritis or inflammation in pets.
  • Chocolate-Chocolate contains a chemical that can be lethal to dogs and cats.

Symptoms of food poisoning in cats and dogs include vomiting, diarrhoea, hyperactivity, nausea, dizziness, lethargy, uncontrollable peeing, cramping, severe thirst, panting and salivation. If you notice any of these symptoms, immediately contact your emergency vet.

  1. Create a safe space for pets

Loud noise and lots of new people can be very overwhelming for any cat or dog, so ensure before any friends arrive, they have a comfortable spot to retreat to when things get a bit much for them. Make sure they have a comfy bed, a cosy blanket, lots of toys, water bowl and some treats.

  1. Try calming techniques

Choose a pet-soothing playlist. There are many different dog and cat-soothing audio and video playlists available.

If your pet gets very anxious, there are many ways to help ease stress and anxiety. For dogs, a weighted blanket like the PETLIFE Karma Wrap provides gentle pressure at key points of your dog’s body which help to calm and reassure.

A calming plug diffuser is great for both cats and dogs and other pets. Its blend of essential oils works alongside its brain’s natural relaxation pathways to help calm a stressed pet.

  1. Reward good behaviour

If your pet is behaving the way you want them to, give them a yummy treat and some belly rubs! This can help reduce any anxiety they are having as well as keeping them happy and busy.

  1. Appoint a pet-sitter

Too busy being the host with the most? Ask someone you trust to keep an eye on your pet. They can ensure your beloved four-legged friend doesn’t eat what they shouldn’t, get into mischief or accidentally get outside.

As your party begins to wrap up and guests start to leave, put your pet back in their crate or in a separate, secure room. This will help prevent them from following people out the door and getting lost.

For more advice and pet care tips, visit the free pet care advice centre on www.petmania.ie