Cats and dogs are generally well-behaved when it's just you and the family at home, but it's a completely different story when you're having guests over. Whether you're hosting a fancy dinner party or a casual backyard barbecue, pets can stir things up and stress out everyone involved. Read on for tips on how to wrangle your furry friend when you're entertaining guests.

What to do with your pets when you are entertaining

1. Advise guests ahead of time.

Advise guests ahead of time

Close friends and family may know about your pets, but for those who are visiting your home for the first time, a heads-up is appreciated. They'll probably find a poodle adorable, but some people are afraid of larger dogs. If you let them know in advance that you have a boisterous pup (and assure them that he's affectionate), they'll know what to expect.

2. Exercise them beforehand to tire them out.

Exercise them beforehand to tire them out

Play with your pets before the party so they can release all of their pent-up energy. Take the dogs out for a round of fetch and let the kitties chase that toy mouse around. By the time the guests arrive, your pets will be calmer and will probably be more interested in sleeping.

3. Consider putting them on a leash.

Consider putting them on a leash

If you know that your dog will make a run for the door as soon as it opens, consider putting him on a leash. This will keep him safe, even with the door constantly opening and closing as people start coming in. It also prevents him from jumping around and becoming too boisterous as you greet your guests.

 4. Pet-proof your party space.

Pet-Proof your party space

If your pets are allowed to roam, make sure that toxic food such as chocolate and nuts are out of their reach. Candles, tinsel, and ribbons can be harmful and potentially fatal when ingested, so take extra precaution when using these items for decoration. Keep breakable items like glasses and vases out of reach so that they don't accidentally knock them over.

5. Prepare a room where they can retreat into.

Prepare a room where they can retreat into

If your pets are used to other people and trained in basic commands (like "sit," "stay," and "heel"), then it's business as usual. But if they get nervous around strangers, it's better to have a room where they can stay during the party. Leave them some food and water, as well as their favorite toys. Check on them every now and then to make sure they're okay. This is also helpful in case you have guests who are afraid of dogs.

 

Pets are part of the family and you don't want to make them feel left out in their home, however, you also want to make your guests comfortable and at ease. Try these tips when you have a party so that everyone - you, your pets, and your guests - have a great time.

 

Jennifer LutzJennifer Lutz writes about home décor at blog.christmastreemarket.com. For more tips on throwing a successful party, check out her BBQ tips here.

 

By Natalie Hennessy 24 days ago at 2:00 pm 0 Comments

Owning a pet can be one of life’s great pleasures. They relieve stress, help us get out and exercise more, and can be a great sounding board. They are always happy to see us and make great companions. But if you suffer from allergies or asthma, they can quickly go from best friend to worst enemy.

That is the case in my house. My wife and I love animals and have always had a pet of some sort around. But my wife suffers from allergies and pet dander can play havoc on her health. In order for us to keep pets we have to take extra steps to keep the pet dander and dust down in our house. Here are some of the things we do to keep our exposure to pet dander to a minimum.

Baby Jean

Keep floors clean. If someone in your house suffers from allergens then you have to step up your floor cleaning. Vacuuming floors regularly is an effective way to reduce the allergens that collect on bare floors, rugs, and carpets. However, vacuuming may kick up allergens into the air. If possible, vacuum when the person suffering from allergies is away. Also use a HEPA filter in your vacuum.   

Deep clean. If you have carpets, get them on a regular basis. This will help remove the allergens that regular vacuuming won’t remove. Also consider steam cleaning your furniture as well. Vacuum couches, chairs, drapes and other fabrics that may collect allergens. Periodically wash throw rugs, pillows, pet beds and blankets. Make sure not to forget cleaning ceiling fans and light fixtures.

Keep litter boxes clean. Litter boxes should be kept clean and moved out of living areas. We keep ours in the garage and the cats can access it through a pet door from the house. If you have cages for birds or rodents or crate your pets make sure to keep these clean. If possible, move these to areas of the house that the allergy sufferer doesn’t frequent. 

Bathe your pet regularly. Frequently washing your pet has been shown to reduce allergens, but this is more effective for dogs than it is for cats. Not only does bathing reduce dander but it also washes off any pollen your pet may have picked up from rolling in the grass or brush. Reduce allergens from your cat

A good diet means less dander. Many mistakenly believe that allergies come from an animal’s hair. However, most allergic reactions result from exposure to dander, which are the dead flaky skin cells on pets. A good well balanced diet will help cut down on dander. Also consider adding fish oil to your pet’s food to keep their skin and coat shiny and healthy.

Control air circulation. If you have allergies, consider and changing them more often than is typically required. Consider closing heat registers in rooms where the person with allergies spends much of their time. Be wary of turning on fans as this may stir up dander and other allergens.

Designate pet free areas. Keep pets off couches, upholstered furniture, and beds. Restricting pets from specific rooms, such as bedrooms, can also help the allergy sufferer. Consider keeping pets out of the vehicle, or at least allowing them only in the far back.

These are many of the steps we take to maintain a balance between our pets and my wife’s allergies. Although keeping up with cleaning this much can be a headache, it pays off in being able to have pets in our house.

 

Sean ArmstrongSean Armstrong is an advocate for clean air and healthy living. He tends to worry about too many things he can’t control, and has recently been following environmental issues and sharing what he learns with others.

 

By Natalie Gomez 59 days ago at 3:30 pm 0 Comments

Let's face it -- we love our pets, but the constant dirt and fur they leave all over the house? Not so much. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your pets comfortable and maintain a beautiful home. Below are some tried-and-tested tricks to help you keep your pets' mess at bay.

Regular Hair Grooming

Regular grooming or even just brushing your pet's hair thoroughly in the garage effectively lessens shedding. Trim their hair to keep them from scratching and brush their coats to take away loose fur.

Grooming

Regular Nail Trimmings

Having your pet's nails clipped on a regular basis helps reduce scratch marks on furniture, carpets, and doors. If you have cats, get a scratching post to give them a constant place to claw on.

Nail Trimmings

Towel by the Door

Before your pets enter the house, wipe their paws on a towel to keep them from tracking mud, dirt, or snow across your floor. For rainy and snowy days, leave a small basin of warm water by the door before taking the dogs out for a walk. When you return, wash their paws and then dry them with a towel before letting them back in.

Pet Sponges

Keep a handful of pet sponges on hand for stray fur. These can be found at pet supply stores and come in handy when removing hair from fabric upholstery, clothes, and blankets. They are used dry, so you don't have to worry about getting your fabrics damp during cleanup.

Pet Blankets

If your pets have that special place in the house they keep coming back to, then make them more comfortable. Spread a blanket to catch any fur or dirt they might leave behind. Afterwards, shake out their blankets to get rid of the dirt.

Blankets

Mat-lined Food Bowls

Some pets are just messy eaters. Protect your floor by placing a rubber-backed mat under their food bowls. This keeps the bowls from sliding all across your floor as it catches spills. Once your pets are done eating, simply shake off the mat. In case they spill water, soak the liquid out with newspaper before cleaning the mat.

Food Bowls

Mat-lined Litter Boxes

For cat owners, line the litter box with a mat to catch erratic litter that sometimes gets stuck underneath your cat's paws. The mat traps litter every time your cat walks out of the box.

Toy Box

Store all your pet's toys in a box and keep it somewhere accessible, but out of the way. This is helpful if you have small children as it reduces the risk of stepping or tripping on small items. If you have the time, you can also train your pets to put their toys back in the box by themselves.

Toy Box

Clean-up Kit

To make cleanup easier, prepare a kit that you can just grab from under the sink. Items such as spray-stain removers, towels, paper towels or old newspapers, and wet wipes in a bucket or basket can come in handy.

Clean-up Kit

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an efficient cleaning agent and odor remover. Use it in litter boxes or cages to get rid of unpleasant scents. In case of "accidents," on carpets or rugs, sprinkle liberally on the spot and leave overnight to soak in the odor. Vacuum the next day or even better, air-dry under the sun.

Finally, don't forget to ask for help. Professional cleaners can get rid of the more stubborn stains, while pet trainers can give you tips on training your furry friends. Make cleanup easier and less tiring for you by being prepared and anticipating your pet's needs.

 

Jennifer Lutz

Jennifer Lutz writes about home-related topics at blog.christmastreemarket.com.

 

 

 

By Natalie Gomez on Jul 14, 2014 at 2:00 pm 0 Comments