Keeping Your Dog Safe at Holiday Dinners

Holiday dinners can be stressful for your pets, or even hazardous—and nobody wants a warm family gathering to be cut short by a trip to the emergency vet.

A holiday gathering can be a wonderful few days of family and friends coming together around a special meal or two. For your dog, however—while this might mean some extra love and playtime and attention—it can also present a lot of opportunities for mischief, mishaps, and anxiety. Keep your pup's needs in mind, and take these few steps to ensure that they still feel safe in their own home.

Give them space

The arrival of guests means doors to the outside opening and closing, and distracted humans. If your dog gets too excited as visitors arrive, consider gating them or keeping them in another room, away from the door until everyone has arrived.

If your pet is generally nervous of new people, a group of visitors can feel overwhelming. Make sure they have a safe space to which they can retreat if they feel anxious, where guests are not allowed to go. This can be an entire room, part of a room, or simply a dog crate. If you sense that your pup wants some alone time, allow them to have it; making them stay and engage can escalate unwanted behaviour. Giving them a break means everyone will be happier!

Photo by Andres Ayrton
Most importantly: have a fantastic time! We wish you all a safe and happy holiday!