Exhaust your dog before guests arrive. A tired dog is usually a well-behaved one. Take your pooch out for a good run before all the company comes over, just be sure to gradually wind down the activity level.
Make sure ID tags are up to date. This should be the case anytime, but during the holidays especially, when people are coming and going and a pet might slip out the door. If you and your pooch are traveling for the holiday, tape the new address to its ID tag.
Ask people beforehand about any allergies. The reality is, if you have pets, allergens collect everywhere, you can try to minimize the allergens by regularly vacuuming with a device that includes a HEPA filter, using a low-dust or clumping litter and cleaning the box often, dusting and wiping down your walls, and brushing your pet frequently. (Vacuuming can temporarily stir up allergens, so avoid doing it on the actual day of the party.)
Don’t assume guests want a furry dog perched on their lap. You may regularly cuddle with your pet on the sofa, but your guests may not be thrilled to have all that fur snuggled up next to them. Place its bed on the floor near its usual spot, and put a nearby to keep it busy. If a guest is willing to gently play with the pooch, it will feel part of the party and be more likely to stay off the furniture.
Don’t leave food at a level where your pets can steal it. All those hors d’oeuvres on your coffee table are a major lure; they can easily think the coffee-table height is a sign that the treats are intended for them. Keep the dog in another room during this course, or place the food higher up and out of its reach.
Don’t let friends and family feed your pets from the table. Yes, those puppy-dog eyes can be hard to resist, but guests shouldn’t succumb, since this rewards and encourages begging. Instead, give your pet dinner in its bowl at the same time you sit down to eat your meal. After guests leave, reward the good behavior by putting just a few small tidbits in their bowl.
Most importantly, enjoy the holiday season with your family, friends and your pets.