Since the holidays are a busy season for our sitters, we want to make sure you’re prepared for all the extra excitement, especially if you’re hosting a gathering and a Rover guest. Just like us, dogs get excited about all the extra hubbub (and all those delicious smells coming from the kitchen). Here’s how to make sure the only kind of excitement that happens is the good kind.
Prevent Dog Escapes While Guests Come and Go
The beginning and end of a gathering can be especially chaotic, so we suggest taking some extra caution with your Rover dog while your guests are arriving and leaving.
Ask someone to sit in a closed bedroom with your Rover dog.If you can spare someone to bring a laptop into a bedroom and sit with your Rover dog, we highly recommend it. Especially if the dog experiences anxiety, this will help keep them calm. And of course, make sure your Rover dog has plenty of treats and water.
If your Rover dog has a crate, let them chill in there.It’ll help them feel comfortable while also keeping them safe. It’s a win-win!
Place a second barrier (like a baby gate) around doorways to the outside. Front door, back door, side door…all doors to the outside.
Put a sign on the door that says “Escape artist inside. Please knock, and I’ll come answer the door.”Greet your guests at the door and make sure you close it behind you.
Practice Good Dog/Guest Etiquette (Hint: with Treats)
No matter what, make sure you follow the training and treats that are approved by their pet parent. (Not sure how to get that info? Check out our Meet & Greet checklist.)
Have your guests give them treats to make the dog more comfortable. If the pet parent wants to make sure their dog sits before they get treats, make sure guests know that too.
Don’t let guests feed the dog from the table.Being extra aware of the “no-no” food for dogs will help, just in case one of your guests gives your Rover dog unwelcome treats. Here are the top holiday foods to avoid:
- poultry bones
- yeast dough
If your Rover dog sneaks a bite of any of these foods, here’s what you do:
- Call their vet or an emergency vet (you can easily find the closest emergency vet on Google).
- Call our Trust & Safety team at 888-727-1140—we’re here 24/7 and will help you through it.
- Call the dog owner as soon as you have a minute.
Of course, avoiding exposing dogs to these foods in the first place will go a long way toward keeping your Rover dog safe.
Provide multiple areas with treats specifically for your Rover dog. You know your Rover dog is cute—and so do they. Help your guests not get caught in the “I do no wrong” look the dog brings to the table. Everyone wins this way.
If you’re curious about training tips for your own dog, see these dog training tips and tricks.
Keep Them Safe During Potty Breaks
Do a pre-inspection before your Rover dog comes to stay. Check your backyard for for holes (in the ground and in fences), any wobbles in your fence, and make sure your gate is secure.
Never leave dogs unattended outside. Even after you did your backyard safety check—and you determined that everything is secure—know that unfamiliar situations could cause them to dig, jump, or scratch their way through when they would normally stay close to home. For the lowdown on how to keep dogs from escaping, check out our post on escape artists.
Be the one who goes with them outside, and put on a leash to be extra careful. Stay with them the whole time too.
These tips and tricks will help keep the holidays merry for everyone—including your Rover guest. Let’s make this a fun and safe holiday season with family, friends, and pets.
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional veterinary help.