(Party Girls Penny & Kiki)

A Happy and Safe New Years for You and Your Pets                        

 

Tips for Hosting 

If have pets, and you're ringing in the new year by hosting a New Year's Eve party, it's important to take some precautions to keep your pets safe and happy in your home.

Exercise pets before your guests arrive: Take your dogs on a long walk or special trip to the dog run before the party. If you have a cat, set aside some playtime with them to tire them out and keep them out of trouble. 

Keep an eye on exits: Make sure your pets don’t escape in the chaos and excitement of friends arriving, or leaving. If you have a pet that acts as a flight risk or a runner, you might want to leave them in a secure, cozy and familiar room when your guests are coming or going. 

House rules: If your dog or cat is planning to join your New Year's celebration, make sure your guests know not to feed your pets table food, or give them any alcohol. Even though it may seem obvious, it's better to be safe than sorry. 

Alcohol can be toxic to pets, even in small amounts. If your pet does get into any kind of alcohol, call your vet right away to get the right advice about what to do next.

Fireworks

Fireworks are not just for the the Fourth of July, so remember to protect your pets from the stress and dangers that come along with them. At least 40% of dogs have noise-related fears. Fireworks can trigger a stress response that affects your pet’s overall health. The danger is even greater if your pet gets close enough to get burned or have their hearing damaged.

Different pets will react to fireworks in different ways. You can have one dog who doesn't even notice and sleeps through fireworks, and another that shakes uncontrollably at the first pop of them. Some dogs and cats are born with these fears and others can develop them by being exposed to a traumatic experience. Understanding why your pet is scared of fireworks can help you come up with a plan to protect them and keep them safe.

Signs Your Pet is Scared of Fireworks

Dogs

  1. Non-stop barking
  2. Trying to dig up your carpet
  3. Pacing or panting
  4. Cowering or hiding behind the sofa, bed and other furniture
  5. Trying to run away or escape
  6. Potty accidents

Cats

  1. Excessive meowing
  2. Scratching on the furniture
  3. Over grooming
  4. Hiding under a sofa, bed and other furniture
  5. Trying to run away or escape
  6. Potty accidents

Tips for Keeping Your Pet Calm(er) During Fireworks

1. Keep Your Dog Away From Fireworks
If you plan on taking your dog out with you, make sure that your party or event doesn't include fireworks. Keeping your pet inside and secure on NYE is the easiest way to keep them safe.

2. Make Sure Your Pet Has Proper ID 
Did you know: nearly 1 in 5 lost pets go missing after being frightened by loud noises in general, especially fireworks. If they do run away or go missing, it is important that they have proper ID. Ensure that the information on your pet’s collar is current and make sure your pet is microchipped. You should also check to see if your microchip information is accurate and up-to-date. A GPS device on their collar is also a great reinforcement in case they take off. If they panic and escape, it will help ensure that you can get them home safely.

*You can ensure your microchip information is correct and current by entering the number in the American Animal Hospital Associations microchip finder. Some microchip companies may charge a nominal fee to have your information updated but doing so is a crucial key to improving your chances of being reunited with your pet.

3. Create a Safe Haven For Your Pet
Try setting up an area in a quiet space away from windows, so that they can’t hear or see fireworks. This is also a great idea if your pets have trouble with many visitors or crowds. Use a crate if that’s where your pet feels the most safe. Make a bowl of their favorite treats and leave a basket of their favorite toys in the room. Try bone broth ice cubes or treat-filled Kongs to keep them busy and focused.

You may be planning a night out with family and friends to celebrate the oncoming New Year, which means that your pet might be home alone with loud, confusing noises coming from outside. Before you go out, do a quick double check around the house to make sure that all exits are secured, and do what you can to make your pet feel comfortable and safe in your home.

4. Play White Noise
Leave the TV on or have Alexa play some easy listening. They even have pet music on Spotify!

5. Comfort your Pet
Nothing will soothe your fur baby more than your presence and reassurance. If you can, try staying home with your pet or leaving them with a close family friend.

6. Desensitize Your Pet to the Sound of Fireworks
If you are worried that your pet will freak out at the sound of fireworks, try playing sounds of fireworks (softly) in advance to get them used to hearing them. Give them their favorite treat while playing a video of fireworks, so they have a positive association when they hear them next. 

7. Talk to Your Vet
If your pet’s anxiety is severe, consider booking an appointment with your vet well in advance of the holiday so you can discuss a medication or other options that could help soothe them. 

8. Consider Hiring a Trainer for Your Dog
If fear is negatively impacting your pet's life, consider hiring a professional dog trainer. Working with a trainer can help desensitize your dog (or cat) to fireworks and other noise sensitivities. So you will be prepared for all the New Years to come!

Celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of another can be a nostalgic and exciting time. Planning your New Year’s Eve party with pet safety in mind can help you celebrate New Year’s safely with your furry family members.

Stay safe this holiday season, and if you fear that your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous ingredient or object, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888)-426-4435 right away.

Happy holidays and a happy New Year!

 

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