Help your pet deal with family and friends gathering
During evening get-togethers with friends, all the noise and unfamiliar faces can be difficult for your pet to cope with. That being said, there are ways to help your pet better enjoy the presence of visitors at home. The following are some suggestions for a peaceful experience.
- Postpone meals: The first tip is to wait until your guests arrive to feed your pet in order to create a positive association with the situation. This can help your dog or cat respond positively to similar events in the future.
- Give treats: As you know, dogs and cats love treats! So why not use them to create a bond between your guests and your pet? Be sure to ask your guests to give the treats themselves. If your pet is afraid to come near your guests, they can put the treats on the floor, by their feet. This way, your cat or dog can come up to them when ready. Note that dogs generally do not like being looked at in the eyes. If this is the case, and your guests are giving your pet treats, it is preferable for them to gently toss the treats near your pet while avoiding direct eye contact.
- Ignore your pet: Your companion will be better off out of the spotlight: stressed animals don’t like being the centre of attention. If your pet seems afraid of your guests, ask them to avoid touching, speaking to, or staring at your pet.
- Distract your pet: If your companion gets too excited when guests arrive, give him or her a treat or toy in order to focus attention elsewhere. Keeping your pet busy with something else will make the situation less stressful for you and your pet! Feel free to consult our articles on toys for cats and toys for dogs to get ideas for your pet.
- Give your pet a getaway: When preparing for such events, you should always have a room or cage for your animal to withdraw to. This should be somewhere that only your pet can access. In case of anxiety, fear, or simply a need for peace and quiet, it gives your pet an easy haven away from the festivities.
- Zylkene: You can also use a calming natural product—known as Zylkene —to relieve your animal’s stress in such situations. Ask for it at your veterinary clinic.
In conclusion, be aware that inviting friends over can put additional stress on your pet. On such occasions, be sure to respect your pet’s limits and always treat him or her with respect. Of course, do not tolerate any aggressive behaviour by your pet. If such a situation arises, do not hesitate to consult a veterinary behaviourist, who can examine your pet’s situation professionally and provide appropriate care. Have a wonderful evening with your friends!