Helping your pets cope with a busy household
Christmas can be a special time – and if you have visitors or children then it can be busy and exciting too. This can be a bit overwhelming for pets who are settled into their routines, so we recommend creating a safe space for your pet to be able to retreat to when they need a break.
Dog crates / den
A day before you have visitors, pop on a Adaptil pheromone diffuser and keep it on until the guests have gone. Consider how to introduce your dog to guests and what suits them. One idea is keeping your dog separate with a child gate, which can help reduce the over-excitement as you are saying your hellos to arriving guests but still allows a view of what is going on.
You may already have a crate or den for your dog, so make sure that all guests know not to disturb your dog when they are in there. If you don’t have one, then allocate an area away from the main gathering for your dog to have access to. Pop their bed there and add a sheet or blanket overhead to create a nice den feel. Add a bowl of water and a long-lasting chew or Kong, and perhaps something that smells of you too.
» Take some ideas on making a cosy den from our crate training page.
Always allow your dog to leave the room if they want to but, just like us, some dogs don’t know when they’ve had enough fun! Most dogs want to be part of the gathering but can get tired and over-excited. Keep an eye on your dog’s behaviour and reactions, as you may have to make them have a little time out in a quiet spot.
Never leave your dog and children together unsupervised, however good your dog is.
A day before you have visitors, pop on a Feliway pheromone diffuser and keep it on until the guests have gone.
Consider your cats normal routine and what will get disturbed by your visitors. Cats dislike their environment changing so if you are moving chairs and tables give them time to explore before the guests arrive so they can suss out their routes. Give them an indoor litter tray in a quiet spot so they don’t have to run through the party to go to the toilet.
» You can take some ideas for setting up a quiet corner especially for this busy time from our secure room set up page. Don’t move their current water and food sources, but instead put extra ones in this cat corner.