While you’re popping the champagne and letting the bubbly flow with your besties, it’s important not to forget about your dog.
With great parties comes great responsibility. The noisemakers, alcohol and potential drunk drivers on the road means your dog could possibly suffer stress, trauma or illness associated with the festivities. As a pet parent and responsible caretaker, you should educate yourself on the holiday’s hazards and proactively prepare to protect your pooch.
We want you and your dog to enjoy a stress-free NYE, so here is the 4 (Paws)-1-1 on how to keep your dog happy and healthy this holiday.
According to i Love Dogs’ Ask a Vet, Dr. Patrick Mahaney, you should restrict your dog’s access to the immediate or adjacent area where fireworks are being set off. “Keep your dog indoors in a quiet, cool, isolated part of your home,” he advises. “Put on his favorite television program (Animal Planet, anyone?) or play music to mask firework sounds. If needed, confine your dog to a comfortable crate to prevent them from escaping through open doors, lunging at windows or eating inappropriate materials, which can happen if your pooch becomes stressed or anxious.”
Dr. Mahaney also suggests that pet parents “participate in appropriate exercise with your dog in the hours leading up to midnight. An adequately fatigued pet has a greater physiologic need to seek rest during your celebration, and is less likely to exhibit anxious behavior. You can also give your dog a dose of a safe, over-the-counter, stress-relieving product one to two hours before a potentially distressing event. If that doesn’t provide sufficient calming, ask your veterinarian to prescribe an appropriate sedative or anxiety-relieving medication.”
Food and Alcohol
New Year’s Eve parties are filled with festive foods, cakes, cookies – the works! But Dr. Mahaney notes that letting your pup partake in these holiday goodies “can alter his normal feeding patterns and cause digestive imbalances. Additionally, keep all trash away from your dog’s snooping snout. There is potential for him to contract a life-threatening illness should he engage in some holiday dietary indiscretion.”
As we warned you about Thanksgiving foods, some dogs like beer and other alcoholic drinks. If you’re serving champagne or any other alcohol during the party, be sure your dog isn’t in the kitchen when you pop the cork, and keep all drinking glasses out of your dog’s reach. Ingesting alcohol can make your dog seriously ill and can even lead to coma or death. If you think your pup has ingested alcohol, contact a local emergency animal hospital.
The Cochrane Animal Hospital stresses the importance of keeping balloons and confetti away from your dog. “These fun New Year’s party decorations can cause your dog to choke or obstruct their intestines if ingested,” according to its website. “Keep an eye on your pets when they’re around these items or move them to an area that is not decorated.”
Candles are also a hazard for pups on New Year’s Eve. “Even momentary contact between a lit candle and your dog’s fur can set him on fire, leading to life-threatening burns,” according to Dr. Mahaney. “Besides the pain and suffering burned dogs must endure, your entire family may be at risk if your pup knocks a candle over and causes combustion of flammable household materials.”
Dr. Mahaney also noted that scented candles “emit appealing aromas and may cause gastrointestinal abnormalities if consumed.” So when you’re decorating in preparation for the new year, you might want to leave out candles if your dog is going to be sniffing around.
Christmas Lights and Ornaments
Some pet parents love to keep their sparkling lights up until the new year, which makes for a gorgeous NYE. But to dogs, hanging lights and cords on the floor are begging to be chewed. So while they may look nice, electrical cords mean that dogs could potentially be electrocuted.
According to Dog First-Aid 101, “Electrical cords present a life-threatening danger to your dog. If he likes to chew, and especially if he likes to chew anything that resembles an electrical cord (like his leash or a rope), he is at risk of electrocution.”
Try to discourage your dog from chewing on the cords by keeping them hidden and off the floor. When you’re not at home, unplug them and put them somewhere safe.
Any leftover Christmas ornaments, or balls to a dog, are extra inviting, and a potential hazard. Be sure to keep any ornaments out of your dog’s reach.