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Pet Party Safety Tips

Updated on March 12, 2016
Fatbat the cat wearing his Halloween costume.
Fatbat the cat wearing his Halloween costume. | Source

A few simple considerations can keep pets safe during parties

We've all heard of party hosts waking to discover a beloved family pet missing the morning after a party. Fun can turn to tragedy when a pet slips outside with the comings and goings of party guests. Party mishaps can send you and your furry family members to the emergency vet if pets consume toxic human foods or unfamiliar sounds and circumstances cause your pet to panic and injure himself by bashing into walls or windows trying to escape them.

These tragedies can all be avoided by a little pre-party planning. A few simple precautions can keep your pets safe and leave you free to enjoy your party without worrying about your scaled, furry, feathered, or fishy friends.

© 2009 Kylyssa

Watch the Door

Greet party guests at the door and walk them out when they leave to maintain control of opening and closing the door. Be sure you know where your pets are when you open and close the entry door.

Enlist your guests to help keep your pets inside by applying door signs both inside and out such as "Mind the Cat" or "Pets Stay Inside for Safety."

Separate the Pets from the Party

The safest move is to isolate your pets from your party. This prevents pet escapes by containing pets in safe areas. It also prevents well meaning guests from feeding tasty but toxic party foods to sensitive pets.

To ensure party guests don't let your pets out of the safe area, lock the door or put up a do not disturb sign.

You also can gate pets in and party guests out of a room or hallway using baby gates. This generally works well with dogs. While a single baby gate seldom works for cats, one baby gate atop another in a door or hallway can sometimes work - but not always as cats can climb rather well.

Ginger cat hiding in a blanket tent
Ginger cat hiding in a blanket tent | Source

Create a Safe Zone

However, it is not always possible or practical to put pets in a locked room of their own during your party, especially in smaller living spaces. You can still create a "safe zone" where pets can escape guests in a corner, open closet or even under a table.

Baby gates are particularly useful for this. Simply place the baby gate in a closet doorway or hallway which you intend as the pet's safe zone leaving a space under it big enough for the pet to easy get under. Apply a "Do Not Disturb" or "Pets Only" sign to the baby gate and reasonable guests should respect the boundary you have created.

You can also create a barrier by tacking up a blanket or sheet or draping one over one or more chairs to block the safe zone from the common area of your home. This will provide your pet with a safe, cave-like hiding spot.

Provide your pets with food, water, toys, and bedding in their safe zone. If the litter box requires kitty to cross an area expected to be busy, give her a temporary litter pan in her safe zone.

If you use a closet to create a safe zone, do not close the door to the closet, always use a "door" such as a baby gate or curtain which allows for air flow in such enclosed spaces.

You Can Lock Even Little Doors to Keep Pets Safe

Bird cages and other small animal cages can benefit from a bit of wire used to secure cage doors to limit access to your little friends. If your pet is bothered by strangers, cover his cage loosely with a blanket or cage cover to limit intrusive stimulus.

You may also wish to move his cage to a quiet room, well out of guest traffic.

This cat ran off with a saltine cracker. Luckily, Rupert's tummy wasn't upset by his dietary indiscretion.
This cat ran off with a saltine cracker. Luckily, Rupert's tummy wasn't upset by his dietary indiscretion.

Keep People Food and Drinks Away from Pets

If pets are allowed to mingle with guests be sure to gently remind guests not to share their treats with your pets. Popular party foods such as chocolate, alcohol, cheese, grapes, raisins, and nuts can all be harmful, even deadly to pets. Be quick to clean up spilled alcohol or party snacks to avoid digestive upsets and pet poisonings.

These Common Party Foods and Drink Can Harm Your Pets:







Keep the Fish Under Cover

An awful thing happened to my one of my friend's big, beautiful angelfish. A party guest dumped some dregs of Mountain Dew into the aquarium, killing off all the lovely fish.

Even if you know your guests, people can do strange and unpredictable things at a party so it's best to err on the side of caution and greater safety for your pets.

A bit of tape lightly sealing your fish tank lid or lids shut can limit the chance of finding foreign objects or dead fish in your aquarium in the morning. This precaution can also keep guests from getting bitten by carnivorous fish or stung by venomous ones.

At Twenty-One, Fatbat had Survived a lot of Wild Parties.

Fatbat the cat wearing his alien eye Halloween costume
Fatbat the cat wearing his alien eye Halloween costume

Decorations Can Be Deadly

Use judgment in your choice of party decorations and favors. Streamers, candles, and electric lights can all pose hazards so keep them out of pet's reach or use them when pets are in their safe room. Balloon pieces, confetti, and candy wrappers also pose choking and intestinal blockage hazards so be mindful of their use.

Poodle Maus chills out in her cage. A closed bedroom door keeps out sounds and guests that might frighten her.

Poodle Maus chills out in her cage. A closed bedroom door keeps out sounds and guests that might frighten her.
Poodle Maus chills out in her cage. A closed bedroom door keeps out sounds and guests that might frighten her.

© 2009 Kylyssa Shay

Leave Your Paw Print - Or any pet party safety tips you may have!

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    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      9 years ago from Canada

      My first sprinkling of angel dust on this lens has long worn off so I am back once again to scatter a little more. It is my quest this week to re-bless the lenses which I blessed in October of 2010. You are on this list.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      What an important consideration to protect our little family members by planning ahead for their needs and safety when planning a party. Fatbat looks like there are some stories that could be told!

    • norma-holt profile image


      9 years ago

      This lens is well deserving of a *-*Blessing*-* and is now featured on Angel blessings for Dogs on Squidoo.

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 

      10 years ago

      Anything to help pet safety and welfare gets my vote!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      10 years ago from Canada

      Very good advice. This lens is blessed by a squid angel this morning. Have a wonderful day.

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image


      10 years ago

      Great idea for a lens. Great tips too. SquidAngel Blessings :)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      10 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Great information on Safety of Pets at Parties. Fortunately, our cats usually disappear during a party and all the other pets are secured. Our only pet mishap came when we had a party for our dogs so am lensrolling to Doggie Birthday Party

    • profile image

      Mandi LM 

      11 years ago

      Awesome information and tips! It's hard for some people to realize that their pets might be safer NOT being part of the party! I've added this lens to, a group all about pet safety and health!

    • Kylyssa profile imageAUTHOR

      Kylyssa Shay 

      11 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @Mandi LM: Thank you! What an awesome group to have, too.

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L B 

      11 years ago from Covington, LA

      Informative and useful. We always try to isolate our pets from party guests and food, especially 2nd Chance. He was left behind so many times before he came to live with us that he follows the scent of cars right up to the highway... had some close calls in the beginning.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      There's a novel idea for a lens! Here's another one, if your pets are outdoor chickens: don't let friends bring dogs over, they'll chase the hens and give them heart attacks.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      11 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      We don't really have parties at our house, but I've been to a number of them at other people's homes where there have been pets ... and some of the owners really should read this lens. Even without the party scene, I've stopped people on more than one occasion when they've been about to give my dog something she shouldn't have--chocolate on one occasion that I can think of, and shrimp on another. (My dog is very allergic to shrimp.) People should never offer another person's pet treats of any kind without asking first.

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 

      11 years ago

      Great Tips!

    • Addy Bell profile image

      Addy Bell 

      11 years ago

      Good information. The "toxic treats" section is really important -- a lot of people don't know that some human food can kill pets in the right quantities.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      11 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Great job! Pets and parties do not mix well! Thanks for all the good tips.

    • justholidays profile image


      11 years ago

      Very nice lens with lots of beautiful pictures! You did a great job on it!Gave it 5 stars ;-)

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Neat Lens! Thanks for the information!

    • norma-holt profile image


      11 years ago

      Nice lens and great subject. Well presented and informative. Well done

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Great information, specially about food that animals should avoid. In my case, your article would be named :"Human Party Setting with 120 lb German Shepherd in the house".

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      11 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Great Tips for Pet Owners.5* I don't have pets right now but my daughter has two little dogs. I really enjoyed learning some great tips when I pet sit. I knew about grapes and of course alcohol but not about the other foods. Thanks again for sharing these great tips! :)

    • profile image

      x3xsolxdierx3x lm 

      11 years ago

      There's nothing I love more than reading lenses with good grammar. great job with this one, too! :)

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      A terrific lens with great tips. Very informative and fun to read with plenty of cute photos...well done


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