Big parties, crowds, fireworks, and… fun? Pet owners often don’t realize that the noise and festivities that often accompany New Year’s Eve – even if you’re staying home and watching them on TV – aren’t much fun for most pets! My dog, like many dogs, is terrified of fireworks. He doesn’t know the ones exploding on the surround sound system aren’t the real thing lighting up the corner of our living room. He barks at dogs barking on the TV too – I like to think he’s very “sound aware” but my other pets look at him like, “Dude, it’s on TV.” When the fireworks and happy screaming people are on TV, obviously it’s easy enough to turn the volume down. But what can you do if you or a close neighbor is having a New Year’s Eve party with noisemakers and revelry? Here is our NYE countdown of tips to help your pets enjoy Auld Lang Syne safely:
1. Collar, ID Tag and a Up-to-Date Microchip are a Must
Parties mean doors getting opened a lot. Even if you’ve thoughtfully hung a sign on your bedroom door saying do not open, or if you have your pets safely contained in a crate inside the bedroom (wearing safety breakaway collars only in a crate), accidents happen. Make sure your pet ID tags and microchip information has your current address and phone numbers.
A microchip alone is not enough if a friendly neighbor sees your pet out and about and wants to return him or her to you. However, a microchip is very important should the collar or tag come off and your pet ends up at a shelter where they have a microchip scanner. A combination of all three (collar, tag and microchip) will vastly increase the chances of your pet being returned to you quickly if he or she gets away.
For dogs and even cats, giving them plenty of exercise on New Year’s Eve day will help them to rest more peacefully that night. Plus a good long walk or hike with your dog will help you burn off those extra holiday calories too!
3. Keep Toxic Food and Drinks Out of Reach
Alcoholic beverages are very toxic to pets. Some people will not know this and may leave a cup in a place where your pet can access it. Be sure to let all guests know that alcoholic beverages and foods should be kept out of reach at all times. The #1 reason pet owners end up at the emergency vet on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day is because a pet is sick from too much people food, or the wrong people food. Even human foods you think are “safe” for pets can cause pancreatitis, which can be fatal. It’s best if your guests simply avoid sharing with your pet.
2. White Noise
Loud music and fireworks can upset even the calmest of pets. If you don’t have a white noise machine, putting classical music on where the pet can hear it can help cover up outside upsetting noises. If you have an anxious sound-sensitive dog, many pet owners find relief using a Thundershirt pet wrap, available at most pet supply stores.
1. Happy New Year!