No one knows better than Martha Stewart how to plan a party with furry revelers in mind. An entrepreneurial steward of homemaking and now petkeeping, Stewart effuses about her own four-footed brood and her characteristically creative efforts to reach out to all animals in need.
What motivated you to launch your new pet-focused website (MarthaStewart.com/pets)?
I have always loved animals and consider myself very fortunate to share my life and my home with many pets, each of whom is a cherished family member. Over the years, I have featured pets and petkeeping on my TV show, in my magazine, Martha Stewart Living, and on Martha Stewart Living Radio on Sirius XM. We are thrilled to be able to consolidate all this useful information into one resource for people who care about pets.
The March 18 episode of your show was called “The Dog Show.” What inspired you to focus an entire episode on homeless dogs?
As a devoted pet parent who values animal companionship, I welcome any opportunity to help our furry friends. While I can’t adopt them all myself, I can draw awareness to their unfortunate situation and educate others about what they can do to help.
What are your top three pieces of advice for making your home pet-friendly?
Use nontoxic cleaning solutions. Pets have a tendency to lick and roll around on all types of surfaces, so make sure to use cleaning solutions that are not potentially harmful. Be aware of what is in your pet’s reach. For example, if there are exposed wires, candles, or filled candy dishes lying around, make sure they are hidden or placed in locations that your pet cannot access. Keep a pet first-aid kit in the house for emergencies. This way you can stabilize your pet until he or she can be brought to a veterinarian.
On your website, you have a downloadable pet adoption announcement. What are some other ways pet parents can personalize their pet showers?
We have a wide range of clever project ideas available through MarthaStewart.com/pets. For instance, for delicious treats, we have a recipe for homemade dog biscuits that you can fashion into any desired shape and personalize with an inscription of your pet’s name and the date of the shower. We also have tips for creating beautiful, personalized pet ID tags, catnip treats, and even “diamond” dog necklaces!
When including pets in any party, what is an absolute must for keeping everyone happy, two- and four-legged alike?
If there is food involved, be mindful of whether or not what your two-legged guests are eating can be shared with four-legged guests. This is especially important when it comes to sweets. Chocolate, for example, can be toxic to dogs. Make sure there aren’t any plates or glasses left in places where they can be knocked over and their contents consumed by one of the pets.
You have two French Bulldogs, Francesca and Sharkey. Are they frequent guests at your parties?
I enjoy entertaining at my farm in Bedford [NY], and Francesca and Sharkey are guests at all my soirees. They accompany me almost everywhere and then [write] about it on their own blog, The Daily Wag. It’s so cute! You can check it out at DailyWag.MarthaStewart.com.