We all know how to make guests comfortable in our home at holiday time. But how about keeping our pets comfortable when guests come to visit? To minimize stress and possible destruction of throw pillows and sneakers, here are a few tips to keep your fur family happy when human family comes to visit.

Make a Safe Haven. Make a quiet pet-only area — a familiar room padded with favorite toys, food, water and a cozy bed. This way, your dog can escape from the foot traffic and unfamiliar faces in his home in a comfy, stress-free spot.

Arrange with Care. If you’re moving furniture around to accommodate visitors, do so a few days before they arrive so your dog can get used to the new arrangement.

Stay on Schedule. Dogs love the predictability of their feeding and exercise schedules. And since a well-behaved dog is a well-fed, well-exercised one, try to stay true to your pup’s regular schedule even during the busy holiday festivities.

Teach the Children. Many little visitors to your home might not have dogs of their own. Show them how your dog likes to be pet, what treats he likes and how to behave around him. Then, make sure the kids are accompanied by an adult whenever they’re with the dog to make sure all the little monsters get along.

Guard the Door. Since visitors may not know that your dog plans to make a run for it every time the door squeaks open, it’s best to share your tips for keeping your pup inside when entering and leaving. A “Keep Pup Inside” note on the door may also help when you’re not around to patrol the pooch. Also, make sure your dog is wearing a collar with current ID in case of any mishaps.

Treat ‘em Good. Keep your dog’s favorite treats on hand for your guests to offer him. This will not only make sure he enjoys their company, but will prevent unauthorized snacking on people food (since guests may not know about the dangers of chocolate and other doggie no no’s.)

Lastly, if you missed our recent tip on Holiday Pet Hazards, be sure to check it out to be prepared.

Thank you to Jill and Bentley for the photo.