Not every pooch enjoys a hooman party and whether they do or not is quite often dependant on the size, personality, and typical stress-levels of your dog.
There are however several steps that you can follow prior, and during your party to make sure that your fur-baby enjoys the experience as much as you do !
- Instructions for the guests. It is important for all of us pooch-obsesseds to remember that not everyone is a dog person and nor should they have to be. As a host and as a dog owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that everyone, INCLUDING your dog is relaxed and having a good time. Having said that, ultimately your home is also your pooch’s home – therefore he/she should be granted the respect and honour of being allowed to attend the party.
I do also however believe in setting out rules, both for the guests and for Zeus – this is particularly important if you own a large breed, temperamental, or slightly more demanding pooch. These instructions should be emailed or texted before the guests arrival.
Here are our rules:
- When entering the home – please no crazy gushing over Zeus, frantic movements, wrestling, screeching/high pitched yelling, or over the top forms of excitement. Such behaviours will cause Zeus to become over excited himself. The key word when entering is ‘calm energy’.
- If you do not wish to interact with Zeus then do not touch him at all. If he comes in your direction simply turn your back to him and ignore him – he will then ignore you.
- Do not at any cost push him out of the way, shove him, or in any other way use your body or your hands to get him away from you.
- If you want to give Zeus a treat – please have him do something for you first (sit, down, bang bang etc.)
- The Living Room is off limits as this is Zeus’s Quiet Zone.
2. Train and exercise the day before, before the guests arrive and also consider your party as a pawsome training excercise opportunity.
ALWAYS REMEMBER : A tired dog is a happy dog !
I always use social gatherings to practice certain tricks and commands. It is a fantastic training opportunity as there are so many distractions around. The most important thing though is to make sure that your dog is comfortable with people arriving, leaving, and making a lot of noise – I sure hope you have your treats ready!
I tend to reward Zeus every time a new person comes – I want him to associate each guest with a positive thing!
If you are anything like us – then your parties get pretty hectic too. We like our cocktails, we like our wine, and we love telling stories. Such hectic environments in which alcohol is flowing, people’s voices and movements become slightly erratic, and there is music on in the background can easily trigger stress, or over excitement in a pooch.
Make sure that you are constantly aware of your dog’s whereabouts ! Unfortunately ladies and gentleman – hosting with a dog means you’re going to have even more work on your hands !
3. Make sure you have activated people that you trust at the party to help you keep an eye out. We all have a few friends or family members that are the most comfortable with your pooch and who understand his/her behaviour the best. In my opinion, this is one of the most important steps in ensuring that your pooch is going to be ok! The more knowing eyes the better!
If you or your trusted lookouts at any point start witnessing your dog become frantic, over-excited, licking his/her lips a lot, tail between his/her legs, trembling, breathing too heavy, excessive panting, or showing any other nervous behaviours that are specific to your dog – then he or she should be removed immediately into a quiet zone.
4. Quiet Zone . Oooooh this is so important. We all know how short dog’s attention spans are especially in such distracting situations. For the duration of your party, or actually any time you have guests over – there should be a dedicated quiet zone for your pooch. This could be a crate in another room, or simply another room that has been ‘equipped’ to be the quiet space for pooch.
It is so important for your dog to have somewhere to escape to if things become too hectic or he or she visibly needs to calm down. I quite often put Zeus in his quiet zone for 15-30 minute time-outs so that he can regain his composure if he becomes too excited or nervous.
Our quiet zone is always the living room which is at the back of our apartment – furthest away from the kitchen and the garden (where most of the entertaining happens). I put a clear sign on the door which says DO NOT ENTER and I make sure that his water bowl is there, a chew bone and his bed.
5. Busy Treats.
At parties I am all about the busy-busy treats rather than cupcakes or treats that can be consumed super quickly. You want your dog to be entertained and busy! Thing big bones – the bigger the better !
KONG is life at parties – frozen especially they are just the best because you can put almost anything in there. At this particular party, I stuffed the kong with a mixture of peanut butter, banana, and tuna and then froze it- yummyyyyy ! Woof 💯
Hosting a party with your dog is not the most stress-free situation but I’m sure you never expected anything less 🙂 . But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make it work and have the most wooftastic ballicious time !
Your home is your dog’s home and he or she has every right to feel comfortable, safe, and relaxed.
Remember again; your ultimate concern should always be the wellbeing of your dog. During the party however you are also responsible for the wellbeing of your guests – this dynamic is not always the easiest to manage and you will have to stay on your tippy toes!
Once the art of parties with dogs has been masters however – there really could not be anything better. I mean could you imagine something better than partaying with your POOCH? I sure couldn’t and neither could Zeus ❤️
Happy Partaying y’all crazies !
Love, Z & A 💜