SAV­ING HOL­I­DAY GUESTS FROM A RUFF VISIT

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - Neighbourhood -

Pre­par­ing your Home for Pet- Pho­bic Vis­i­tors Your mother-in-law glares at you from the op­po­site end of the ta­ble, her white Christ­mas dress now mud­died with paw-print polka dots left by an overly ex­cited greet­ing from her four­legged grand­child. You glance over at your deathly al­ler­gic fa­ther-in-law be­side her who ap­pears to be do­ing a Rudolph im­per­son­ation as the cat curls its tail un­der his nose and digs its claws into his lap. These are the daunt­ing re­al­i­ties that await many pet owners this fes­tive sea­son… “Es­pe­cially for those with pets, hav­ing guests over dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son is not al­ways as sim­ple as just ex­tend­ing an in­vi­ta­tion. If you are plan­ning on en­ter­tain­ing guests who are not par­tic­u­larly crazy about your pets, there are a few things you can do to your home to make sure that ev­ery­thing runs smoothly. For ex­am­ple, you could in­stall a pet gate to keep your dogs away from where you plan on en­ter­tain­ing your guests. Just be sure to fas­ten these cor­rectly so that it doesn't col­lapse when Fluffy takes an ex­cited jump at it and half of the wall comes crum­bling down along with it,” says Re­gional Di­rec­tor andCEO of RE/MAX of South­ernAfrica, Adrian Goslett. Be­low are a few more sug­ges­tions pre­pared by RE/ MAX of South­ern Africa for home­own­ers with furry in­hab­i­tants: 1) Sticky-roll the fur­ni­ture You might be used to be­ing cov­ered in pet hair, but your guests aren't. Be­fore your guests ar­rive, wipe down your fur­ni­ture with a dou­blesided ad­he­sive roller and be sure to keep your pets out of the room there­after. Car­pets and loose mats should also be thor­oughly vac­u­umed and even washed if pos­si­ble, as any­thing fab­ric-based tends to ab­sorb the scent of your pets more so than other ma­te­ri­als. In terms of safe­guard­ing the in­vest­ment value of your home, it's ad­vis­able to keep your pets out of car­peted rooms in or­der to avoid the ex­pense of hav­ing to re­place these when it comes time to sell. 2) Min­imise the over-ex­cited greet­ing To try and min­imise the ex­cite­ment of when your dogs hear the door­bell, spend the morn­ing with them out at the beach or a nearby park. That way they will have re­leased some of their en­ergy by the time your guests ar­rive. You might also want to ask you guests not to ring the door­bell or knock on the door when they ar­rive, but rather to send you a text so that you can sneak them in with­out get­ting your pet all worked up by the sound of their ar­rival. 3) Keep them oc­cu­pied Though not im­pos­si­ble, it's much trick­ier to bark with a full mouth so it's a good idea to pur­chase new chew toys to keep your pet pre­oc­cu­pied when your guests en­ter the home. Also be sure to feed your pet be­fore you sit down to eat so that they don't beg around the ta­ble. Pet food can have a re­ally strong smell, so you might want to feed them out­side or away from which­ever room in which you're en­ter­tain­ing. What­ever you do to try and be more ac­com­mo­dat­ing to pet-pho­bic vis­i­tors, just re­mem­ber that the hap­pi­ness and well-be­ing of your pet should never be com­pro­mised in the process. “If you have friends or fam­ily who re­ally can­not stand be­ing around pets, then it would be bet­ter for ev­ery­one in­volved if you in­vite them out for a meal in­stead of invit­ing them over to your home. Re­spon­si­ble pet owners will put their pets' hap­pi­ness above their de­sire to en­ter­tain. If your home is un­able to ac­com­mo­date both your pets and your vis­i­tors com­fort­ably, then per­haps it's time to con­sider re­lo­cat­ing to a home that is bet­ter suited to your needs,” Goslett con­cludes.

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