December 30, 2021
Happy New Year!: A Celebration Safety Guide For Your Pets
New Year’s Eve means friends, family, celebrations, and fireworks! This festive Holiday is a way to celebrate the year that has passed and look towards the one to come, it can also mean anxiety for your pets.
Here’s how to help your pet to adjust to busy homes and lively celebrations.
Gatherings of friends and family often mean introducing or re-introducing your pets to these guests. Some pets react better to this situation than others.
Ask yourself: Is my pet comfortable around large groups, or do they make him nervous? Is my pet accustomed to interacting with children? Are any of your guests bringing along pets of their own? Does your pup need a refresher course to remind him not to jump on guests? Finally, are any of your guests afraid of or allergic to pets?
From there, you can decide whether or not your pet should be kept in a separate room or crate – or if you are lucky enough to live in a warm climate – outside during these hectic entertaining hours. If you keep your pet separate from the festivities, ensure they have their favorite toys, bowls, and beds available. You should also make sure that you’re frequently checking in on them to avoid any anxiety or destructive behaviors.
If you decide to allow your pet to join the party, introduce them to your guests one by one. Be sure to let guests know what your pet doesn’t like during interactions. Younger guests especially may have a difficult time with boundaries, so keep an eye on your pet and remove them from the room if they start to show any signs of anxiety.
New Year Eve celebrations bring their own list of pet owner to-dos.
First, pay attention to your champagne flutes! A curious dog can easily sneak a sip behind your back and become ill or easily knock the delicate glass to the ground. Second, confetti, like tinsel, is harmful to pets if ingested, and should be avoided. Third, dogs can react negatively to the loud noises of the night – fireworks, party favors, cheers, or music.
For particularly nervous dogs, consider keeping them in a crate or a separate, private room for the evening. And if you can’t bear to get rid of your bugles and horns, try conditioning your dog to their sound in the weeks before the big night. That way, the noise won’t come as such a shock when the clock strikes midnight! Make sure that your dog has an up-to-date ID tag and that their microchip information is accurate. You can never be too careful!
Alcohol is a potential hazard for your dog. Although dogs don’t typically like the taste or smell of alcohol, a sugary drink that is left unattended or gets knocked over may be tempting. Alcohol toxicity in dogs may result in lethargy, drooling, vomiting, or may even cause them to collapse. Here’s a helpful guide to determining which types of alcohol may be the most dangerous and may result in a trip to the vet, but in general, keep all alcohol out of your pet’s reach and monitor them closely if you suspect they’ve consumed any amount.
Fireworks combine awe-inspiring visuals with pulse-pounding sound to create dramatic, can’t miss effects. Yet while we “ooh” and “aah” at these colorful explosions, our animals are often more frightened than enlightened. Here are a few ways to prepare your pet for the dazzling display.
Try taking your dog for a longer-than-usual walk before the fireworks start. This will allow your dog to release any excess energy and relax. Ideally, this will mean your dog sleeps through a display or is in a generally calmer state of mind. If you plan to have your dog outdoors with you during the display, make sure to monitor them closely and keep a firm grip on the leash at all times. Also, try to stay relatively close to your vehicle as you may need to wait it out with them in the car or relocate to an indoor environment.
If your dog is staying at home, double-check to ensure that all entrances to your home are secured, this will help avoid missing pets. You should also consider crating your dog to reduce the likelihood of panic-induced destructive behavior. If your dog is inside, check on them as soon as possible to make sure he is safe. Experts do not recommend “coddling” your dog, as it may reinforce their scared reactions. Instead, distract them with a toy or play a favorite game. Remember: always remain calm and confident to encourage the same behavior in your dog.
Before getting back to your celebrations, make sure that your dog calms down after the grand finale. If you are outside, experts recommend that you take them in your car or indoors and replace the sudden silence with a more calming sound, like the radio or your voice.
Before you plan your New Year’s Eve celebrations, remember to think of your pets. Have a plan and a backup plan in place, and never force your pet into social interactions or joining in the celebrations. Taking the proper precautions and paying attention to your pet’s needs will ensure a safe, and holiday for everyone!