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11 New Year’s Eve Safety Tips for Dogs: Safety Guide

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

11 New Year’s Eve Safety Tips for Dogs: Safety Guide

Welcoming in the new year is one of the most exciting and joyful celebrations. The gathering of friends and family, great food, celebratory drinks, and of course, the mesmerizing display of fireworks that light up the sky. Unfortunately, the joy these festivities bring for us is not the same for our dogs. The loud bangs, flashes of light, and unfamiliar smells can cause them stress, which often results in them running away.

If you plan on celebrating this new year, here are some helpful tips you can follow to keep your dog safe.

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The 11 New Year’s Eve Safety Tips for Dogs

1. Keep Your Dog Indoors

Before any festivities begin and the fireworks start, make sure your dog is indoors and can’t escape outside. If your dog is usually outside, slowly get it used to being inside before the new year approaches.

It’s wise to keep your dog indoors because loud and sudden noise could cause fright, sending your dog on the run and potentially getting lost or encountering a dangerous situation. Before you close your dog in, ensure it has used the bathroom and is calm with a full tummy.

If you have plans to celebrate away from home and cannot take your dog, find a friend or family member and ask them to look after your dog for the evening.

brown dog in its bed inside the bedroom
Image By: Jamie Street, Unsplash

2. Provide a Safe Haven for Your Dog

While your dog is indoors with you, it’s crucial to create a space or haven that will help it feel safe. If your dog is crate-trained, a cozy crate will also provide a sense of security. Provide a soft and cozy bed with your dog’s favorite toys, preferably in an area away from windows, and close the curtains to minimize bright flashes and to help drown out the noise.

This area could be in a separate room, the laundry room, under the bed, or in a closet, but it should be somewhere your dog is familiar with and comfortable. Keep checking in during the evening with some cuddles and a treat to reward their calm behavior.

3. Exercise Your Dog During the Day

Ensuring your dog has had enough exercise during the day will help tire it out. This could include a long walk, a swim, or some fun games in the yard.

It’s important to remember that if you choose to take your dog for a walk, make sure it is on a leash. Some people already start setting off fireworks during the day, which could startle your dog and trigger it to run off.

An australian shepherd dog is running on a green meadow in a dog zone
Image by: TeamDAF, Shutterstock

4. Keep Harmful Food and Drinks Out of Reach

During this time of year, there will be all sorts of delicious treats that your dog may be curious about, which can be dangerous. Edible substances such as cakes, cookies, and alcohol can be left unattended and easily accessible for a curious pooch to sniff around. Alcohol and sugary treats are harmful to dogs, so try to keep them out of reach or in a designated area.

Also, keep streamers, tinsel, party poppers, and hats away from your dog.

5. Keep Your Dog Busy

Your dog may get excited about the festivities or startled by the noise and light, so it’s helpful to keep them busy and distracted. You can offer your dog a new toy that can keep it occupied for a long period. Chewing toys or large bones they can chew on will help keep them distracted. Take 5 minutes here and there to spend time with your dog, like playing a game of fetch in the living room, to keep it distracted, and your dog will love the attention and quality time with you.

red border collie dog chewing on a bone
Image Credit: Sebastian Quinn, Shutterstock

6. Provide Some Noise to Drown Out the Sound of Fireworks

You can help drown out the sound of fireworks by providing white noise. You can leave the television on, keep a fan going, turn on the radio, or play calming music. The sound will help distract them.

You can even find playlists on online platforms that provide soothing playlists for dogs. Some music is created specifically for dogs and contains frequencies only dogs can hear.

7. Stay Calm

Your dog looks up to and admires you and feeds off your energy. By remaining calm throughout the day, your dog will also feel calm and safe. Pet your dog often and talk to it in a soothing tone. If you have guests over, keep the party away from them because people get excited around dogs, which can add to their stress.

siberian husky dog resting his head on his owner while lying on the floor
Image Credit: Benevolente82, Shutterstock

8. Make Sure Your Pet’s ID Is Up to Date

If your dog is microchipped or has a collar, ensure all your information is up to date. Some dogs are known for escaping their homes when fireworks scare them, and your pet is more likely to be found if your contact information is accurate.

9. Desensitize Your Dog to Fireworks

If you suspect your dog is sensitive to the loud sounds of festivities, you can help prepare it for the evening by gradually desensitizing it to the sounds. Play an audio recording of fireworks at a low volume, so your dog gets used to hearing them. Then, offer your dog a treat while playing the sounds to make a positive association. The volume should be low enough that your dog can still hear it but doesn’t show signs of stress. You can gradually increase the volume, so your dog becomes familiar with them.

woman listening to a music with her dog at home
Image By: Monkey Business Images, Shutterstock

10. Talk to Your Vet

You can talk to your veterinarian beforehand for some tips and advice, especially if your dog is prone to becoming very stressed. They will discuss options with you and possible medication to help reduce your dog’s anxiety.

11. Clean Up Firework Debris and Decorations

Even after New Year’s Eve, you should not let your dog outside right away. If you have set off fireworks and have decorations lying on the ground, clean them up before you allow your dog outside. A plastic streamer or the remnants of a candy bar could send your dog to the emergency clinic if consumed.

cleaning after a new year party
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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Finding ways to keep your dog safe during the new year’s festivities is the responsible thing to do if you choose to celebrate and take part. By making sure your dog gets plenty of exercise, as well as quality time, will help them feel tired out and calm.

Keep them indoors with you, create a safe haven, and check on them regularly. Make sure you have their favorite treats available and don’t forget to give them a little extra attention. If you follow these safety tips, you can confidently welcome the new year knowing that your dog is safe.

Featured Image Credit: smrm1977, Shutterestock

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