OVRS_iStock_000022150902_LargeBarbeques and outdoor parties are a cherished part of summer for many families, and it only makes sense that we would want to include our pets in as much of our summer fun as possible. After all, pets and parties go hand-in-hand…

Or do they?

We’ve all been to (or hosted) a gathering that included an obnoxious pet; the terrier who swipes the hamburger from your 5-year-old’s hand and runs away with it, the tabby who makes himself right at home on the kitchen counter or dining room table, or the exuberant Labrador who almost knocks over each and every guest who dares to enter the premises.

Your friends at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services want you and your pet to enjoy all that summer has to offer. We believe that by carefully considering the safety and comfort of both your pet and your guests, it’s possible to have a safe and fun summer gathering that people and animals can enjoy together.

Is Your Pet Ready To Party?

It’s understandable to want to include the family pet in our festivities, but it’s important to honestly assess your pet before adding him or her to the invite list. If your pet is aggressive, overly exuberant, or very shy, he or she may not be a good candidate for a party guest.

Proper Petiquette Begins With You

Even if we know our pet is the most well behaved (not to mention the cutest) dog or cat in the world, it’s still up to us to ensure that this remains the case while in the company of guests at a party.  Keep shenanigans at bay with the following tips:

  • If any of your guests are allergic to pets, find an alternate location for your pet during the party.
  • Begging should be strictly off-limits – remove a begging pet from the party, or provide a small container of pet-safe treats for guests who aren’t able to resist your pet’s begging eyes.
  • Exercise pets before guests arrive. A walk or game of fetch will burn off excess energy and help keep your pet calmer during the party.
  • Although it’s hard to imagine, not everyone wants pets at their barbeques. Always ask the host before bringing your pet to a get-together at someone else’s home. If you do bring your dog, make sure to bring his or her leash and plenty of plastic bags to clean up any waste.
  • Even the most social pet may become overwhelmed at a large gathering. Provide your pet with a quiet, out of the way space where he or she can retreat and relax if wanted.

Pets And Parties: Safety First

A little planning goes a long way in creating a safe environment for your party animal:

  • Food foibles – Many of the foods commonly found at picnics and barbeques can be toxic to pets, including alcoholic beverages. Keep table scraps and drinks out of your pet’s reach, and make sure guests know to do the same.
  • Tempting trash – Barbeque related trash, such as aluminum foil, corn cobs, plastic wrap, wooden skewers, and bones pose a particularly dangerous risk to your pets. These items can cause intestinal blockage and other serious medical issues if ingested, so keep trash covered at all times.
  • ID’s please – In the commotion of guests coming and going, your pet could easily escape or become lost. Make sure he or she is wearing a collar with up-to-date ID tags and consider having your pet microchipped if you haven’t already done so.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding pets and parties, don’t hesitate to give us a call or contact your regular veterinarian. Have a safe and wonderful summer, from all of us at OVRS!