Hospitable Pet Etiquette for the Holidays

Ah yes, the holidays! A time to suffer through family gatherings with cranky uncles, unruly nieces and nephews, and angst over inevitable family drama, right? Well, truth be told, I love getting together with my family members during the holidays. It's the misbehaving canine children I can do without.

A wonderful host may have prepared a delicious meal, set a stunning table, and arranged the perfect guestlist, but an untrained dog can ruin a Thanksgiving meal faster than a screaming child at a four-star restaurant.

Here are some of the worst offenders:


  • The jump attack upon entry. This isn't just a problem with large dogs, but many people find small dogs (especially the yippy ones) just as bad with this sort of behavior. It can be especially problematic when the person entering the home is carrying a delicious pumpkin pie! (scene: pie crashes to the floor, much to Fido's delight.)

  • Barking at guests. This can be scary for children and can also put people on edge when they should be feeling relaxed and at east. I always appreciate when arriving at a large party, the owners keep their loud dogs away from the front door until the dogs have calmed down enough to meet the guests.

  • Begging for food at the dining table. That slobbery mouth resting on my knee is the last thing I want to feel (or smell!) as I try to savor the delicious turkey. I have all of the gravy I need, but thank you just the same.


So please, take it from me- a dog lover who also firmly believes in pet-owning etiquette, if you are planning on hosting a soiree this season, be sure your pets are trained and ready for the big event. Your guests will thank you.

Image: Amanda Johnson

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