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 on Aug 28, 2014 at 2:00 pm 0 Comments

Pet owners worry about their pets during the chaos of a move. There are some steps to take before, during and after that can make the transition safer and more comfortable for your pet.

5 Tips for Pet Owners When Moving
Vet Visit
Before moving day, it is a good idea to talk to your veterinarian. Make sure the pet is up to date on its rabies shot and other important inoculations. Get shot documentation and vet records to take with you. Ask for advice about motion sickness. Get a microchip, if you don't already have one. If the animal does run away during the move, you should be able to quickly locate it.

Travel Preparations
An appropriate kennel is your best friend, even on local moves. If the animal will be flying, make sure the kennel matches current airline requirements. For overnight car travel, find out which hotels on your route will let you bring your animal into the room with you. Make sure you have all necessary supplies, including a harness and leash for each animal, even your cats.

Hiring a Moving Company
When you are hiring a moving company, be sure to talk with your moving company about your pets. Professionals like BC Alberta Movers can pack your things, leaving you free to keep an eye on your cat or dog. Your movers should be consulted about the best place for your pet during packing and moving out. Suggestions include its kennel, a locked bathroom or even the neighbor's house.

Traveling
Don't feed your pets for about two hours before leaving. On the road, cut their feedings to one a day. Water is the only priority. Often animals will stop eating due to stress, anyway. Still, resist giving them table food. Stomach troubles might be your reward for this kindness. Hold back treats, unless they need coaxing into their kennels. For health and safety, the humane society recommends that you limit their time alone in a car to ten-minute intervals.

Adjustment
Once their routine is re-established, dogs generally calm down and adjust very quickly to their new surroundings. Unfortunately, most cats will run away if allowed outside. Try walking it on a leash several times a day for about a month before allowing it more freedom outside. Indoor cats may take a month or more to adjust. Love, kind words and routine will go a long way toward a successful adjustment.

With a little preparation, moving can be less stressful for you and for your pet.

 

Lizzie WeakleyMy name is Lizzie Weakley and I am a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.

If you like Lizzie's writing style, follow her on Twitter @LizzieWeakley or find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lizzie.weakley

By Natalie Hennessy on Aug 20, 2014 at 12:06 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 on Jul 24, 2014 at 3:30 pm 0 Comments