5 New Year's Eve Dog Safety Tips Your Dog Wishes You Knew
New Year means many different things to people. For some it’s an opportunity to look back on the past year, for others, a time of optimism for the potential of the year ahead, and for others, just an excuse to party!
But while you might think it’s just another day for dogs, it can be anything but. In many countries, more pets go missing on New Year’s Eve than any other day of the year. If you wonder why, then knowing that in America that New Year is second to Independence Day for missing pets should provide a big clue. While your dog might not celebrate New Year or independence, they are affected by other people’s celebrations. But following a few New Year’s Eve safety tips for dogs can help make sure you both start the new year happy and healthy.
Why is New Year dangerous for dogs?
In short, the world becomes a very different place at New Year. Your dog’s familiar environment can be transformed by parties and fireworks. They might be confronted by much larger groups of people than they normally see, and their usual routines can change.
These changes can scare even the bravest dog. And when an animal is scared, their natural instinct is to find shelter. On New Year’s Eve, this can be hard, meaning they venture far beyond their familiar surroundings in their search for security.
How to have a safe New Year’s Eve with your dog?
Ultimately, keeping your dog safe at New Year just means a little planning ahead and some common sense. Think about your plans and how you can make sure the night’s events impact as little as possible on your dog. Just a few things can make a huge difference.
1. Give your dog plenty of exercise
Try to tire your dog out during the day. This might mean going for an extra-long walk, or perhaps a different route that involves running up and down hills. Not only will your dog love the time, but by burning off all that energy they will be more likely to sleep soundly that evening, and hopefully right through any disturbances.
Make sure you are careful during the walk, though. Your dog might be startled by people testing fireworks or music, or even those who are starting their revelries a little early! Any of these might startle your dog, so choose a route that minimizes the risks, and be ready to put a leash on if the situation requires.
And if none of that sounds like your cup of tea, grab one of our Flirt Poles and tire your pup out! Flirt poles are great since a ten minute workout with The Flirt Pole is comparable to a one hour walk for your dog and who has time for that?
2. Make sure your dog feels safe
A New Year’s Eve safety tip for dogs — and handy any time of year — is to create a safe space for your dog. These can be useful whenever there is a change that might unsettle your pet. This might be as simple as putting some of your dog’s favorite toys and food in a room where it feels comfortable.
Ideally, this will be a quiet space. Dogs have a much better sense of smell than humans, but their hearing is also much better, so those distant fireworks might affect your dog more than you think. Having a safe space for them means they don’t need to run away to find shelter.
3. Keep your dog busy
Keeping your dog occupied can help enormously. Try to stick to your normal routines as far as possible, taking them for exercise and feeding as usual, but you might also want to treat them with a new toy. A dog’s natural curiosity creates a risk at New Year because it can attract them to the very things that might alarm them. A new toy can provide a distraction.
Ideally, try to ensure they have company during the evening. If you have plans, see if you have a friend or relative who prefers a quiet New Year who can dog-sit for you.
4. Keep them away from dangers
You will always keep your dog safe, but remember that at New Year there may be additional dangers that are not usually present. This might be a particular risk if you have people visiting who might not be familiar with dogs, or who might do the wrong thing in an excess of New Year cheer!
Make sure you keep your dog well away from anything that can be harmful, and that your guests know the boundaries too. Common dangers include dogs getting alcohol or chocolate, but you should also be aware of the risks that might be posed by fireworks, or even of the dog begging guests for unhealthy salty snacks. You should take particular care if you are taking your dog away with you to celebrate elsewhere.
5. Spend quality time with your dog
Perhaps the best New Year’s Eve safety tip for dogs is the best tip for dogs every day: have fun with them.
Whether it’s playing ball, meeting their other canine friends so they can have a New Year’s party, or just spending time together giving them the fuss and attention they deserve, make sure you spend some time with your dog at the center of your attention.
Spending quality time with your dog has benefits for both of you. But, importantly on this day, it will help reinforce your dog’s sense of safety and security, making them less likely to seek shelter elsewhere.
One of the reasons we love dogs is because of their exuberant love and joy of life. However, because they don’t need parties to lift their spirits, human celebrations can be overwhelming for them.
Taking just a little care can make all the difference. So, as New Year approaches, make sure you’ve planned in plenty of exercise for your dog, have a secure space for them, and lavish them with attention, so they know they are safe.
It may not prove necessary, depending on the celebrations you or your neighbors have, but even if not, what better way to see out the year than spending a great day with your dog!