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Greeting Familiar (inner circle) Visitors

If directed by your ABWC doctor, administer your pet's situational anxiety medication 90 minutes prior to guest's arrival.


Have a treat jar outside your front door full of high value, tasty treats.


Visitors should not ring the doorbell or knock on your door. Have visitors call or text to inform you of their arrival.

Set rules for all familiar guests who enter the home. Insist that guests adhere to your pet’s specific rules. If guests are unable or unwilling to follow the rules, put your pet away in a safe space for the duration of the guest’s visit. Be your pet's advocate!

The general rules are:

  • No touching or petting.

  • No direct eye contact or staring.

  • No sudden movements.

  • Guests should enter the home with treats and toss treats to your pet away from themselves throughout their visit.

  • Guests should only toss treats and avoid feeding hand-to-mouth.

  • No one should touch your pet’s resources - food, water, chews, toys.

  • If your pet approaches the guest, it is important that they continue to ignore your pet. The guest is welcome to continue tossing treats away from themselves.

  • Once the pet has calmed down, the visitors can perform a consent to pet test. Make sure they know a “yes” from a “no.”

  • Sudden changes in your pet's environment, such as visitors getting up suddenly to leave, could trigger your pet's fear & anxiety. Employ a treat scatter (toss treats away from the potential trigger) or put your pet on leash before sudden movements.

Continue to actively supervise your pet’s interactions and body language for the duration of your guest’s visit. If your pet’s body language and arousal indicates distress or fear, intervene by redirecting the pet to its safe space to reset and decompress.

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