Believe it or not, 2021 is nearly over and New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. Perhaps you’re looking forward to a day full of festivities, celebrating the arrival of 2022 with good friends and family. For many people, New Year’s Eve is a time of joy and excitement. However, your family’s pets may not be as fond of the constant fireworks, horns, and other loud noises that inevitably accompany New Year celebrations. Like humans, dogs can experience anxiety, and New Year’s Eve can potentially be a challenging holiday for your four-legged companion.
When they are scared, dogs are oftentimes driven to seek shelter. There is an increased chance of pets escaping during the holiday. They may do so because of changes to their normal routine, fear of disruptive noises, or the presence of large groups of unfamiliar strangers. To help you keep your beloved pet happy and safe during a New Year’s Eve celebration, we put together the following list of tips.
1. Exercise Your Dog During the Day
To help your dog stay relaxed during the evening, when there will be the most noise and excitement, exercise your pet during the day. Take your dog on a normal walk, then go for a little extra distance or add some playtime to the routine. If your dog is a bit more tired out than usual, they may be more relaxed at night.
Although the majority of fireworks occur at night, people may be tempted to test their firework kits during the day. Since a loud or unexpected noise may startle your dog, it’s important to keep them on a lease if you’re going on a walk. Before leaving the house, make sure your pet’s collar and GPS tracker are secured, so that you can find them if they get frightened and run off.
2. Create a Comfortable Space for Your Pet
Unless you’re walking your dog, it’s best to keep your pet inside throughout the day. If you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve gathering, plan ahead and move your dog to an isolated room. Fill the room with familiar items, such as toys or blankets, and be sure to leave sufficient food and water. Make sure that your guests know not to go into the room you’ve designated as a safe space, so that they don’t accidently set your dog loose.
If you’re planning on going to a party or leaving for the evening, ask a trusted friend or family member if they can take care of your pet. Ideally, you want to have your dog spend the night with someone that has more relaxed holiday plans.
3. Keep Your Pet Out of Trouble
During the New Year’s Eve holiday, there may be unfamiliar beverages, foods, and items around that your dog might want to investigate. To keep your furry friend healthy and safe, be sure to protect them from hazards such as:
- Salty snacks
- Meat with bones
- Sparklers & fireworks
Remember that the stress of noise and over-stimulation may make your pet more restless or aggressive. It’s a good idea to keep your dog engaged throughout the day, perhaps with a new toy, to reduce the risk of incidents.
4. Spend Time With Your Dog
Even if you’re busy planning for an event or party, try to spend quality time with your pet on New Year’s Eve. They are likely to be stressed and frightened, and spending time with you can help them stay calm and relaxed. Try and maintain your everyday routine, while making sure to keep your dog engaged and active. You might even consider inviting a few of your fellow pet owners over to have a small, dog-friendly party that you and your furry friend can enjoy!
Enjoy a Low-Stress, Pet-Friendly New Year’s Eve
We hope that this list of suggestions helps you and your beloved pet enjoy a relaxing holiday. Remember to do your best to tire your dog out and keep them active throughout the day, so they can hopefully snooze right through the evening’s festivities!