You may have heard of petiquette, it is the customary code of polite behavior for pets and the people that manage them in society.  You won’t find that definition in Webster’s Dictionary but as a pet lover you will know when you are witnessing poor petiquette and you will also know when you yourself and your pet are faced with a petiquette challenge.  Here are six of the most asked Petiquette Questions that we have learned people want answers to around the Holidays.

1.  I received an invitation to a Holiday dinner party. My closest friends know that I always have my dog with me but these people are new to my circle.  How do I know if my dog is invited and can serve as my plus one?

This can be a complicated question.  As dog lovers we know that life is better with a dog and therefore it follows that dog’s should be welcome anywhere we are.  However, with an invitation from the unfamiliar there could be other factors at play such as allergies or a penchant for expensive nick nacks that a dog may threaten, or a dog of their own that is not keen on sharing their personal space.  

Without a handy decision tree, the next best is to just ask.  Bringing an unwelcome pet will put a strain on the entire evening.  On the other hand, if you ask ahead and find out there is an not an unavoidable issue that prompted the lack of an invite for your furry sidekick you won’t feel bad that your new friends may need to be disowned because they don’t like dogs.  As an added bonus, you can have plenty of time to make alternative arrangements for just your pooch, or depending on the reason they refused to include your furry friend, both of you.

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2.  My dog had an accident on the host’s rug. What should I do?

Act quickly.  The instinct for some may be to discreetly move the furniture so that it is covering the scene of the accident or wholeheartedly deny it like my parents when they visit but that just reflects poorly on you and inadvertently your dog.  

The most important thing is to mitigate the damage, that can be done by acting quickly to clean up and fessing up (or maybe not if it cleans up quite well and quickly.)

3.  The host or another guest just fed my dog leftovers and he has a really sensitive stomach so I do not feed him any human food. What should I do?

This may require the same answer as above.  Most importantly act quickly, quickly to head out for a walk and quickly to leave the room if the issue is only related to off-putting  smells emanating from your dog. 

Let your host know that your dog has a very sensitive stomach.  This notice can serve as a kind of insurance. If he does do something related to mess making then you are already set up for shared blame.

4.  My dog was the hit of the party and I quickly noticed that he became the center of attention in lieu of the planned party games.  What should I do?

Dog’s may steal the show, especially Popular Pets.  In fact if they steal the show and command an audience early in the evening  the previously planned show may not have the greatest chance of entertaining anyway  which is really the purpose of the show so you should just let it ride and internalize thoughts of maybe let  the best manor dog  win.  

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5.  My sister thinks dog costumes are hilarious and buys my dog one every year.  He hates them but she insists on a photo shoot. What should I do?

One could arguably say that the pain and annoyance to your pet of just adorning the outfit can be tolerated for a short period, after all you ask little of him and his cushy life.  

However, what cannot be tolerated is the inevitable embarrassment to your pet.  He will be demoralized and that is not tolerated, our pets our cherished and not objects of amusement.  Tell your sister to put her costumes on an inanimate object.  Your dog in an unwanted outfit will not be garnering comments and likes from her pals this year.    

6.  My parents bought all of their grandkids gifts except my dog, what should I do?

They clearly have not figured out how special your dog is.  You need an action plan stat.  Suggestions include more exposure for your parents to your dog, pre-arranged dog park visits with them and your dog, a night of reviewing photos of your dog in all of his cute poses and showing off a trick or two of your dog contrasted against their other grandkids who do not have such skills.  

Any or all of these will surely have them thinking twice about their gifting habits and provide a course correction.  If all else fails just have them dog sit for a day or evening.  

We hope these top tips can serve as a guide for years to come and holiday events for years to come as well. 

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Kendra Clark is the founder of and author of a new pet parenting book titled, Motherpuppin’ Adorable:What to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s. Visit her website, Facebook and Instagram pages to learn more about pet parenting and petiquette.