It is hard to believe 2018 is coming to an end and as you plan your New Year’s Eve parties, take into account your pets. It may be a joyous night for you, but for your little fur baby, it may be a night of anxiety. Much like the fourth of July, New Year’s Eve is full of loud noises that may stress out not only dogs but cats as well. Let’s take a look at our recommendations to keep your pets calm and safe through this year’s celebration.
- Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day to wear him out. If the dog has less energy, the less s/he’ll be prone to panic during the fireworks. Tired dog is a good dog.
- Keep your dogs inside during fireworks, preferably with human companionship. Never let them go outside during fireworks as they get scared. Taking your dogs to a fireworks display is never a good idea. Remember if they are traumatized it is harder to train them.
- Provide a safe place inside for your dogs to retreat. When scared of sounds they can’t orient, dogs often prefer small enclosed areas. If your dog is comfortable in a crate, that is a good option. For small pups we highly recommend Louie de Coton pooch bag, with its calming and natural padding pups feel safe, calm and close to your body. They get a sense of security and confinement.
- If possible, keep the windows and curtains closed. Covering the crate or lowering the blinds can also be helpful. Removing visual stimulation can also help calm dogs.
- Distract your dog with their favorite toy. Either give them their favorite natural treat so they can associate the noise with positive things or give them their favorite chew toy or a Kong rubber toy filled with no salt organic peanut butter to keep them busy. For treats, we use homemade organic boiled chicken, organic raw coconut chips. For chew toys, we like Housedogge brand, their chew toys are made without harmful chemicals and made in Portland, OR.
- Make sure your dogs are wearing ID tags with correct information and a proper fitting collar. With loud noises and fireworks pets may feel that their world is under attack. Some pets will lose all ability to act rationally and go so far as to jump out of windows or bloody their paws trying to escape through locked doors. It is on these nights, in fact, that pets are most likely to run away in a panic and get lost.
- Take a pet friendly get away. If your pup has a severe anxiety you may consider packing up and going to a quieter overnight stay away from home. Look for an out of the way, pet-friendly hotel or vacation rental via Airbnb to crash in for the night, where you and your little furry one can rest comfortably and free of noise.
- Keep Calm. It is important to keep calm during the festivities to not over excite your dog. If you’re having guests over, keep the party away from them as people tend to get excited around dogs and cats, which can create more stress. Don’t forget to pet them and talk to them in a soothing tone.
- Engage your pet with their favorite game. Have fun and engage your pet with their favorite activities, whether it is cuddling, nesting or playing ball inside together.
- Keep an eye on the alcohol (and other substances) New Year celebrations usually includes an evening of food and drinks and guests coming and going. Be sure to keep any and all harmful foods such as chocolate and alcoholic substances safely out of paws’ reach. Alcohol ingestion in pets can lead to depression, unsteady walking, vomiting, and in severe cases, a serious drop in blood pressure and body temperature. Just one mixed drink can be fatal for a small dog. In addition, the APCC has received an increasing number of calls about pets ingesting marijuana as it becomes legalized in more and more states. Marijuana in edible form, such as in chocolates or brownies, is also becoming more popular—meaning that the drug can be found by a curious pup seeking off-limits treats. Marijuana can cause your pet to become unsteady, sleepy and sensitive to touch, and can cause a decrease in their heart rate and body temperature. In rare cases, seizures and death may be possible. If you suspect your pet may have ingested marijuana, make sure to contact a veterinarian or the APCC right away, and always be sure to keep any marijuana or marijuana-related products up and away from your
Stay safe and happy New Year!