While we all love to celebrate New Year, it doesn’t mean that our pets enjoy it quite as much. During the evening of 31st December, we often celebrate with friends and family. It’s a great excuse for a party and a celebration as we see out the old year. Although humans often celebrate with fireworks, loud music, fun and games, this can be a very distressing and unsettling time for our pets.
Our 6 top tips for a fun and safe New Year’s Eve with your pets
There are many things about New Year’s Eve that can make our pets anxious and afraid. Strange people coming into their home, loud shouting out in the street as people celebrate together. Not to mention the loud bangs and explosions from the many fireworks that will ring in the New Year at midnight. Follow these hints to make sure you pet is happy and relaxed at home:
No 1. Keep your pet safely enclosed at home
Close the blinds or curtains, and make sure all windows and doors are firmly closed. Play some relaxing music or put a pet friendly movie on the TV. This will help to mask some of the alarming sounds from outside.
No 2. Make your dog comfy in his own bed
Settle your dog with his favourite toys and plenty of blankets. He will have somewhere to snuggle when the fireworks begin.
No 3. If possible, take your dog out for a walk and toilet duties before it gets dark.
The New Year’s fireworks don’t usually begin until midnight, but some early celebrations means they are set off sooner. Make sure that your dog is wearing a collar with his ID tag, and is microchipped, just in case he is startled and runs off.
No 4. Distract your dog when at home, away from the outside noises.
Treats and toys will keep him occupied, or you could play games so that his mind is occupied. A new toy will keep him intrigued for quite some time.
No 5. Stick to feeding routines
So that you don’t upset your pets with any changes to their general feeding and drinking times and always make sure your pet has access to fresh drinking water at all times.
No 6. Keep alcohol well away from your dog.
Many pets find the smell from alcohol appealing, but it can do lots of damage. Keep any alcoholic drinks well out of your pet’s reach. Make sure that any house guests don’t think it’s a fun trick to give your dog any beer – it will only cause health problems.
Having a party at home
If you have invited guests into your home to celebrate the New Year, give your dog a space of his own, well away from the strangers and party music. He will probably be unsettled with more people than usual being in his home, not to mention the food and alcohol that will be carried around. Ensure that your guests don’t feed your dog any party snacks, especially chocolate treats that are meant only for human consumption. The last thing you need on New Year’s Day is an expensive visit to the Vets surgery. Party poppers and Christmas crackers used at a party can be very frightening for a dog or cat.
At New Year, many people set off fireworks in their gardens and at parties. If your dog is anxious and worried about these loud banks and crackles, try to make things easier to reduce the problems. Play the radio or TV louder, and give your pet a safe place to hide.
If you stay calm around your pet, then he will be less anxious too. Speak in a soothing voice, give lots of attention and praise and reward with a treat when he is being calm. Your pet will soon associate your calmness with his peace of mind and know that he is very safe when near to you.
Keep these tips in mind and hopefully both you and your pet will have a stress-free New Year’s Eve celebration.
Happy New Year and all good wishes for 2019 from the Finchley Dog Walker.