Are your dogs or cats ready for the guests that will be coming to your home this holiday season? Here are some tips to help your pet – and your guests – enjoy the festivities together.

Salon: Give your dog a bath or send them to the groomer before the festivities begin. Make sure to have their nails clipped, and collar cleaned.

Warn guests: Before guests arrive, let them know that you have a pet, and describe its size and personality.

Obedience: Simple commands such as “stay,” “sit” and “drop it” are critical commands any dog should know. It’s all about acting appropriately with guests.

Signage: If your dog or cat tends to make a break for it when the door opens, place a sign on the front and back door, asking your guests to quickly close the door behind them. Before guests arrive, make sure your pet is wearing their collar (just in case), then keep a watchful eye on your pets throughout the night.

Give pets an out: Sometimes pets become overwhelmed with holiday gatherings. Put their bed or crate, favorite toys, food and water in a quiet room so they have a place to go and relax if need be.

Keep to the schedule: Try to stick to their regular routine – pets like predictability in terms of feeding and exercise schedules.

Make introductions: Some visitors might not have pets of their own. When they arrive, introduce them to your pet. Show them how your cat likes to be pet, what treats your dog likes and how to act around the animals.

Treat rules: Be sure to keep your dog’s treats on hand for guests to dole out. Ask them not to feed any “people food” to your pet as well.