All dog owners know that the New Year’s Eve festivities can be a trying time for pet owners, as dogs are often stressed out and unsettled by the noise, upheaval and party spirit, coming right on the heels of Christmas too! The fireworks, bangs and noise of the night itself can all serve to make dogs very nervous and jumpy, but as well as the obvious, there are several other potential risks and problems that can arise on New Year’s Eve too, which catch many dog owners unawares until they are right on top of them, which can all serve to add to the problems as well!
In this article, we will look at a few of the potentially unexpected risks and challenges that can occur on and around New Year’s Eve, which all dog owners should get a head start on for the night itself. Read on to learn more.
Whilst many dogs are very pleased to meet new people and other dogs and enjoy the added attention that having guests over can bring, having a lot of people over, particularly when everyone is in the party spirit, on top of the general excitement and atmosphere of New Year’s Eve, the party spirit itself along with a lot of other people and possibly dogs around can all serve to add stress to your dog’s day.
Make sure that your dog has a quiet room that they can get away to where people who do not live with them, and particularly, other dogs, cannot go, in order to help to keep them calm and feeling safe.
If you are going to a party or gathering elsewhere over New Year’s Eve, you might decide that it is a good idea to take your dog with you, so that you can keep an eye on them and make sure that they are not too worried by the bangs and noises. Whilst there is definitely merit to this idea in the right situation, a change of scenery and being in an unfamiliar place when there’s a lot going on can potentially upset your dog and cause them more stress, so think about this carefully before you take them to a party with you.
Whether you have friends over to your place with their dog or take your dog to someone else’s house that has dogs of their own, you will need to keep a special eye on your canine companions to ensure that they are all getting on and not stressing each other out. If the dogs are stressed and pressed into close quarters, they are more likely to become defensive and even possibly snap at each other, and also, if one dog is not coping well with the noise and fireworks, this may rub off on the other dog and cause them to act out too.
Whilst fireworks are an obvious challenge for dog owners to deal with on New Year’s Eve, one thing that is often overlooked where the dogs are concerned are things like party poppers and noisemaking streamers, which can all startle your dog and cause them to panic, jump, and potentially snap. Try to keep these away from the dogs, and not in use when the dogs are in the room or within close earshot.
Not all New Year’s Eve decorations make a lot of noise, but some can still be a risk to your dog nonetheless. Silly string, the ribbons from party poppers and glow sticks should all again be kept out of your dog’s way, as they might be ingested and make your dog ill over the holidays.
Finally, many people have a range of nibbles and snacks out over the New Year celebrations, with foods like nuts, cheese on sticks and chocolate. Because New Year’s Eve snacks are often informally left out on the tables, many dogs will be keen to take the opportunity to steal a few bites, or your guests might befriend your dog by enticing them with treats!
Make sure that none of the snacks or food products out on New Year’s Eve are dangerous to dogs, and that cocktails sticks and other serving accoutrements are not left lying around where your dog might start to chew on them, get them stuck in their paws, or otherwise come to harm.
When people are having a few drinks and getting into the festive spirt, they are also likely to lose some of their inhibitions and judgement where dogs are concerned, and will be less adept at making good judgements on when to leave the dog alone, or how to read their warning signals. Ensure that someone keeps an eye on the dogs when people are drinking, and make sure that they aren’t getting stressed or potentially, snappy.