Charlotte Reed, petiquette (pet etiquette) expert and Febreze Pet Odor Eliminator spokesperson is back with a gift of holiday advice to keep every member of your family Vanderbilt-ready, should Anderson Cooper come-a-calling.

Charlotte Reed

TBP:  How can holiday travel with a pet be made easier?

Charlotte:  Pack a special suitcase for your dog filled with comforts from home – maybe his bed, favorite toys, treats, blankets and bowl.  Bringing these things makes the car ride and stay away from home, more comfortable for everyone.  

TBP:  Any advice once guests arrive at their destination and start celebrating?

Charlotte:  The guest dog should arrive freshly bathed and brushed.  Also, consider the sizes of all the dogs in the house.  Set aside some time for the dogs to get comfortable with one another.  If you are introducing smaller sized dogs to larger dogs, remember some dogs have “small dog syndrome” – being aggressive only when larger dogs are in their space.

When adults go to a holiday party and leave the dogs alone, dogs who have not spent a lot of time together should be gated separately.  Keep the phone number of the local pet sitter on hand in case of emergencies.    

TBP:  What does a host do if a guest insists on feeding his dog from the table?

Charlotte:  Before guests come to my home I give them the “Doggie 411.”  I emphasize that there is no feeding the dogs because if they get off their schedule, the pooches always have a “mishap” in the guest room – ha ha.  They get the point. 

TBP:  How can Barack and Michelle Obama, or anyone else planning on getting a family dog in 2009, successfully introduce a new pet into the family?

Charlotte:  Plan ahead.  Take time to select the best dog for your lifestyle and budget.  For those who suffer from allergies, like Barack’s daughter Malia, parents should consider a low-shedding breed like a Cairn Terrier.

I don’t advise getting a dog during the holidays or when you are moving into a new home such as The White House.  With all of the hub-bub, it will be very hard to get your new pooch on a schedule and to devote the proper amount of time to him.   

TBP:  How do you choose a gift that will make both the pet and owner happy?

Charlotte:  Consider the recipient of the gift.  Is he a puppy or senior dog?  For puppies, small rope toys are great.  Large dogs like hard chew toys.  Choose something soft, plush and light for a senior dog. 

For owners, Febreze candles are a great gift or my book Miss Fido Manners.

TBP:  It’s a fantastic book and the Febreze “winter evening” candle’s scent is similar to a $35 candle I have – I was very impressed. 

Febreze Candles Pumpkin Harvest & Fall™

Additional columns featuring Charlotte’s insights at

Briefly:  Asbury Bark is offering Day no. 2 of pet holiday photos with or without Santa, Saturday (Dec. 13), noon to 4.30 pm.  Proceeds benefit the Monmouth county SPCA and Greyhound Rescue.  Reservations suggested: 732.775.4801.

And, the Asbury Park Film Initiative screening of “Milk,” starring Sean Penn, brought out 130 locals last Thursday, on a beautiful winter night.  The soon-to-be Oscar nominated film is playing now at Clearview Cinema in Red Bank.  Thanks to V.J. and Marilyn for a great evening.