Deciding whether or not to have your pup join in on the holiday festivities can be tough. Whether you’re hosting at home or spending time elsewhere, most of us would like to have our pets with us. After all, they usually make our lives richer, funnier, and sweeter, right?

But let’s take a step back and consider if our pets would in fact enjoy the commotion. Some dogs just don’t like the crowds. If your pup leans towards the fearful or timid side, finding alternative arrangements for them might be the best way to go. You might just be doing your dog a service by giving helping them opt out of the holiday chaos.

Here are some quick questions to help you decide:

Is your pup fearful or reactive to people (known or unknown)?
Will there by other dogs, and if so has your pup met them yet?
If they have met, do they like each other?
Will your pup be able to counter-surf all your holiday delicacies? (i.e. will you be able to supervise them enough to keep them out of trouble?)
Will monitoring them actually take away from your own experience and enjoyment of the holiday?

If your pup is not so social, consider finding a pet sitter or dog walker (and check out the PST article “Who’s Watching the Dog?” for tips on how to find a good option). If your pup loves crowds, is psyched about novel humans and dogs, and an overall party animal (see what I did there?), see our post on good management around the main event(s).