5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Calm on New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve is a fun time for humans. It’s usually a time for parties and celebration, replete with music and fireworks. But as entertaining as fireworks and sparklers may be for us, it isn’t quite the same for our furry companions. The New Year’s Eve festivities can cause intense fear in dogs, making it a very dangerous time for them.
Stressed dogs react with panic. It can even manifest in physical symptoms like diarrhea. Unfortunately, even if you forego the parties, the rest of the world will go on with the loud festivities. You can hardly stop the flashing lights as people ring in the new year. What you can do, though, is help minimize pet stress and keep your dog calm during the event.
The New Year’s Eve Danger for Dogs
German animal welfare organization TASSO noted that more dogs are reported lost during New Year’s Eve than any other day of the year. In the US, the only other day wherein more pets go missing is the 4th of July. So what do the two celebrations have in common? Fireworks and noise.
The following can scare dogs enough to run away and seek shelter elsewhere:
- Loud noise
- Large crowds
- Unfamiliar environment
- Change to the usual routine
Minimize the risk of your pet getting lost by following these simple tips to keep your dog safe and calm during New Year’s Eve.
Tip #1 – Tire Your Dog During the Day
Give your dog plenty of physical activity during the day. A tired dog is more likely to sleep more soundly, enough to ignore the New Year noise. Take a longer walk than usual or play with them longer.
Just be mindful of a few things when walking outdoors.
- Bundle up properly. This time of the year is usually freezing.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Some people test their fireworks early.
- Don’t set off too late in the day.
Keeping your dog on a leash will also ensure you have a firm hold on them if they get surprised and suddenly bolt. Make sure their collar ID tag is secure. A GPS tracking collar will also be handy in times like this, so even if your dog does run away, you’ll be able to track where they went and bring them back home.
Tip #2 – Keep Up Routines
Dogs thrive on routine. The holiday season can trigger frenzied activity. This disruption in their typical day can be very stressful for them. Keeping up routines will help tremendously in keeping them calm and relaxed. A relaxed dog is less likely to run off when scared.
- Ensure they have access to water.
- Feed them during calm moments.
- Let them sleep at their usual time.
Tip #3 – Create a Safe Space
Dogs can hear so much better than humans. If you think fireworks and firecrackers are loud, just imagine how it sounds to them. This is why New Year’s Eve celebrations are particularly stressful and anxiety-inducing for your furry companion.
Keep your dog inside the house and away from the cold and noise. If you’re hosting a party, prepare ahead of time. Set a room or dedicate an area for them. Fill the space with their bed, toys, or other items that’s familiar to them. This will help them with knowing that the space is safe.
If you’re partying elsewhere, make sure you leave your dog with a companion to look after them while you’re out.
Tip #4 – Keep Away from Dangerous Foods and Substances
The holiday season is ripe with more food and drink than usual. This makes it a precarious time for pets. Keep in mind that there are many holiday food harmful to dogs. Meanwhile, fireworks cause stress and anxiety with the noise they make. They’re also toxic to dogs when ingested.
Protect your dog and keep them away from human food and fireworks.
Tip #5 – Keep Your Dog Busy
Dogs are naturally very curious creatures. Giving them a new toy to play with can distract them from the hustle and bustle of New Year’s Eve. A squeaky toy can work wonders in keeping your dog entertained. You can also try watching a movie together or listening to calming music. Even simply cuddling up on the couch and talking to them is fine. Dogs love hearing their humans talk to them, even if they don’t understand every word.
When they don’t care about what’s going on around them, they’re less likely to be stressed as well.
Ring in the New Year but don’t spark panic in your pets. Keep your dog safe and calm with the above tips and welcome the New Year without worry.
PetsTEK wishes you and your pets a Happy New Year!