I know, New Year’s Eve is the biggest party night of the year. Very exciting! But just like Christmas if you’re a dog owner you might want to consider some safety precautions for your much loved canine.
The sudden and loud ‘pop’ sound of fireworks, especially rapid fire fireworks, can be very scary for dogs. So do your best to protect them from the noise. Turn on the TV or some music. Close all your doors and windows. And don’t let anyone set off fireworks or noisemakers near your dog.
If you’re throwing a party involving alcohol, be prepared to have a plan for your dog. When people are drinking they tend to be careless. And your pooch just might try to take advantage of this. If alcohol spills or is left at dog licking level your dog runs the risk of ingesting some. So prepare ahead of time. Either buy your dog a big meaty bone to keep them occupied or set up a room in your house where they’ll be comfortable away from the chaos. Now if you want your dog to be part of the party, make sure your guests know to respect your dog. Do NOT allow guests to give them anything they cannot have. Also pay attention all night. Make sure your dog is being respected.
3) Feed And Exercise Your Dog
Whether your plans are to stay in or go out, make sure you feed and exercise your dog before the celebrations start. Having some exercise and a full belly will help them to relax. Plus it will make them sleepy. Especially if you give them some Christmas turkey dinner leftovers 😉
4) Keep Your Dog Inside
All your pets should be safely locked inside your house on New Years Eve. Some people are very ‘unkind’ toward animals when they’re out publicly drinking or partying. Don’t run the risk of someone ill-intended finding your innocent pet. And for goodness sake be careful around your doors. One firecracker going off at the same time you open your door could spook your dog. If they get scared they may run. So take extra precautions and keep all your doors and windows closed tight and locked! But if the worst happens and your dog gets out, make sure their pet ID is current with your contact information. That way if someone finds them they’ll be able to contact you right away.
5) Do Not Coddle Your Dog
It’s sad to see a scared dog. But coddling will enforce irrational fears. So if your dog is scared try not to condone that behavior. Try distracting them instead. Tell them to ‘sit’ then praise them. Play hide-and-seek or tug-o-war. Do positive things and give them positive praise for that. But if that fails and your dog just wants to go hide, let them. Maybe put on some classical music to help them calm down. They may need to just ride out the storm. For more on fear and dogs see my blog-post on dogs with anxiety.
Written by Brenda McBurnie, Certified Dog Trainer and Natural Nutrition
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