New Years Eve means parties and lots to drink for many of us, and for many dog owners, having to dedicate a reasonable portion of their attention to keeping the dog calm and under control whilst fireworks are being let off in the local area too.
All dog owners know that New Year’s Eve can be stressful for dogs, just as we all know that Christmas the week before can introduce a range of hazards into the home that can pose a threat to our dog’s health, like a lot of chocolate lying around in easy reach!
However, aside from the usual New Year’s Eve fireworks and the potentially unpredictable canine behaviour that they can trigger, we don’t generally think of seeing in the New Year and particularly New Year’s Day (a.k.a. “the morning after” for many of us) as being potentially hazardous to dogs in its own right.
However, whether you intend to party most hearty on New Year’s Eve itself or if you wish to sit it out entirely and have a quiet night in, there are a few New Years Day hazards to dogs that all dog owners should be aware of and keep a lookout for.
Once you know what type of things can be dangerous to dogs at New Year, protecting against them is usually really simple and won’t involve much work; and so with this in mind, this article will advise you of five often unexpected hazards dog owners need to keep a lookout for on New Year’s Day itself. Read on to learn more.
All dog owners associate New Year’s Eve with fireworks to an extent, whether that be with great dread at the way the dog is apt to react, or a feeling of gratitude that your own dog is fairly calm about it!
However, one commonly overlooked aspect of fireworks on New Year’s Eve when it comes to dogs is the amount of discarded and burnt-out fireworks that can be found in parks and on the streets the following day.
People usually let off fireworks in the dark of course, and so they might not be able to see or be bothered about finding where the remains land to clear them up. Burnt-out fireworks are novel and not usually found in the streets and so some dogs are likely to be interested in sniffing them or even picking them up.
However, there tends to be the odd dud firework in any given box, which won’t light or that doesn’t go off for whatever reason; but this doesn’t mean the firework is dead, or might not go off in another situation.
It is unlikely that a firework that failed on New Year’s Eve is going to explode in your dog’s mouth on New Year’s Day, but regardless, it is very unwise to let your dog pick up discarded fireworks, and you should be mindful of the dangers of fireworks that might be dormant or unused.
Lots of partygoers on New Year’s Eve will go out clubbing or to pubs and other venues away from home, and due to the alcohol involved in such festivities for many people, this means walking when they might usually drive!
Areas well served with pubs or clubs are also usually well served with late night takeaways too, and anyone who ever had a couple of drinks too many will know all too well how appealing a giant pizza or unsavoury-looking kebab that we’d never normally eat can look in such situations!
Not everyone who grabs a takeaway on the way home or that picks up a pie and chips to eat on the walk is going to be as vigilant as they should be about disposing of the remains of it properly.
This means that New Year’s Day tends to be a day when the streets and parks will offer rich pickings for scavenging dogs in the form of discarded food, food that is apt to be bad for them at best and in the cases of things like fried chicken or chicken wings, potentially dangerous.
Street cleaners don’t usually work on New Year’s Day either, so be extra vigilant with your dog and what is in their mouth!
On which note, most households generate a lot more rubbish at Christmas and New Year than normal, and the bank holidays involved mean that this isn’t usually collected at the standard times. Many families will take bins outside even when a collection isn’t expected for some days, in order to avoid having festering food inside of the home.
These too can be highly tempting and fraught with hazards for your dog, particularly if they involve food waste bins with lids that don’t lock on, or bin bags left outside of bins.
The streets tend to be quieter than normal on New Year’s Day as most people have the day off and some are in no fit state to drive! On the one hand this reduces the risks on the roads, but if your dog gets used to not seeing any cars for several minutes on their walk when they are usually quite streetwise, this may result in them being less vigilant than normal and cars will of course still potentially pass.
Ensure you remain as vigilant and keep your dog on a lead when walking by the road.
Finally, if you had a party in your own home or even just a few friends over for drinks and nibbles, when midnight has come and gone, getting started with the clean-up is likely to look highly unappealing. This means that it is entirely likely that when you all go to bed, you’ll just close the door on the room with the mess and deal with it tomorrow.
This is fine; but ensure that your dog is closed firmly out of the room too, and that they aren’t allowed back into it on New Year’s Day without close supervision, and someone going around first to lift discarded food out of their reach!