7 Tips for Entertaining Guests When You Have a Pet

happy friends with french bulldog dog having dinner at summer garden party

7 Tips for Entertaining Guests When You Have a Pet

Having friends over or hosting family gatherings takes a lot of planning and organising, but one thing that may get overlooked in midst of the party arrangements is your pet. Some pets love being the centre of attention and meeting new faces, while others may feel overwhelmed and anxious by the noise and addition of new people. As well as this, there’s lots of new hazards to consider when having guests over, such as unsafe food and beverages.

Hosting a party can be quite chaotic and highly distracting, so don’t wait until the last minute to think about your pet. We’ve compiled together some top tips to help both you and your pet have a stress-free celebration.

1. Understand Your Pet

Knowing how your pet will react to lots of people and noise can help you decide what arrangements to make for them. If they get frightened or nervous very easily, it could be a case of leaving them in a comfortable crate until noise levels have gone down, or even hiring a pet-sitter. If they get very over-excited and energetic, try taking them out for a walk or a run-around before guests arrive to help tire them.

Understanding your pet’s comfort levels around crowds is essential when making the correct preparations for them.

2. Brief Your Guests

Make sure to warn your friends about your own four legged friend. If you have friends who get allergies or are fearful of animals, it is best to know this beforehand so you can arrange to keep your pet in a separate room.

You don’t want your guests feeding your pet either, as lots of party foods such as chocolate or grapes, are very toxic to both cats and dogs.

It is also best to ask guests to knock before coming in—you don’t want your pet running out the door the first chance they get and turning your party into a search party!

3. Watch Out For Hazards

As mentioned above, certain foods can be toxic to cats and dogs. Such foods include:

  • Alcohol-pets cannot metabolise alcohol like humans can; it can make them extremely ill.
  • Chicken wings-bones can get lodged in your pet’s throat. Spicy chicken wings can cause gastrointestinal upset as well.
  • Grapes and Raisins can cause kidney failure in both cats and dogs.
  • Onions, garlic and chives-consumption of these foods causes gastroenteritis or inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Chocolate-Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that can be lethal to dogs and cats. Dark chocolate and cooking chocolate in particular contain high levels of theobromine, but it is present in milk chocolate too.
Overhead view of female black and white Boston Terrier begging for dog treat held in human hand.

Symptoms of food poisoning in cats and dogs include vomiting, diarrhoea, hyperactivity, nausea, dizziness, lethargy, uncontrollable peeing, cramping, severe thirst, panting and salivation.

If you notice any of these symptoms, immediately contact your emergency vet. Even if you don’t notice any symptoms but think your pet has eaten something bad for them, we still recommend contacting your vet.

4. Create a Quiet, Safe Space for your Pet

Loud noise and lots of new people can be very overwhelming for any cat or dog, so ensure before any friends arrive, they have a comfortable spot to retreat to when things get a bit much for them. This could be a bedroom, bathroom or a spare room.

If they normally use a crate, perhaps move the crate away from where guests are to ensure your pet’s safe space is quiet.

Make sure they have a comfy bed, a cosy blanket, lots of toys, water bowl and some treats.

A ginger kitten sleeps in his soft cozy bed on a floor carpet, soft focus

5. Try out Calming Techniques

Choose a pet-soothing playlist that may help to cover the unfamiliar sounds of a party and offer a calming influence. There are many different dog and cat-soothing audio and video playlists available.

If your pet gets very anxious, there are many ways to help ease stress and anxiety. For dogs, PETLIFE Karma Wrap provides gentle pressure at key points of your dog’s body which help to calm and reassure.

Locate the plug diffuser in room where your pet’s safe space will be. This diffuser helps with separation anxiety as well as fireworks, loud weather, new home,  bereavement, a new pet in home, and any other stressful circumstances for your pet.

Its blend of essentials oils works alongside the brain’s natural relaxation pathways to help calm the nerves of anxious or stressed pets.

Pet Remedy have a wide range of pet-calming products that are perfect for keeping your four legged friends at ease during times of stress.

6. Reward Good Behaviour

Is your pet behaving the way you want them to? Give them a yummy treat and some belly rubs! This can help reduce any anxiety they are having as well as keeping them happy and busy. Make sure you’re the only one giving him treats however-you don’t him to overindulge in treats given to him by your guests!

7. Appoint a Pet Watcher

Too busy being the hostess with the mostest? Ask someone you trust such as a friend or family member to keep an eye on your pet. They can ensure your beloved four legged friend doesn’t eat what they shouldn’t, get into mischief or accidently get outside.

End of the Night

As your party begins to wrap up and guests start to leave, put your pet back in their crate or in a separate, secure room. This will help prevent them from following people out the door and getting lost.


Remember when hosting a party at home, you should aim to create a stress-free environment for both your friends and your four-legged friends. When party-planning, make sure you’re pet-planning too!

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