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Where Does the Dog Go? Dealing with Pets and Parties

Our furry friends are a constant source of affection and fun in our lives. However, in many cases they make party planning a little harder. Whether you're worried about the way your dog greets guests or wondering how to keep your nervous cat calm as the festivities get underway, it's a good idea to take your pet into consideration when planning your next event. Here are a few tips and tricks for making sure your next gathering is fun for your four footed friends too.

Go For a Walk: Whether your dog is overactive or prone to being anxious, a good burst of exercise will help him feel more comfortable. Make time to take your dog on a good, long walk before your event. If you have guests staying the night, make sure your dog gets exercise on both days. If a walk isn't possible, set aside a generous portion of time for some active indoor play. If all else fails, provide distraction (and a constructive way to channel energy) with a new toy or treat to chew on.

Create a Safe Space: Not all pets enjoy having new people in their home. Make sure they have a place to go if they're feeling overwhelmed. A dog or cat crate is a perfect example. If you already have one set up for your pet, take stock of where it's located. It might be helpful to move it to a quieter area so your pet has a place to get away from the crowd.

Designate a Watcher: You'll likely be too busy during your party to keep a close eye on your pet. Designate one of your guests to be your eyes and ears instead. Choose a guest who loves pets and ask them to check in on your furry friend from time to time. This can help intercept any undesirable behavior before it occurs, as well as give you advance warning if your pet seems to be stressed out.

Make a Slow Introduction: If your pet tends to be anxious around new people, be proactive. Keep them in a safe, quiet space (like their crate) while your guests arrive. After the initial burst of excitement and activity, bring your pet around to meet everyone. If your four footed friend seems content in their crate, it may make sense to leave them there for the duration.

Keep It Safe: No one wants to be up all night with a pet who ate something they clearly shouldn't have. It's very likely your pet will charm a few choice morsels out of your softer hearted guests. Avoid serving dog-unfriendly food (like chocolate or grapes) if your pet is an accomplished beggar. Glass shards can also be dangerous for both feet and paws. Serve your drinks in shatterproof cups to eliminate this risk altogether.

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