With the New Year right around the corner, people are gearing up to get together and celebrate. For a pet parent — especially if they’re hosting a party in their home — preparations involve a few extra steps. While they’re getting ready to have fun, they need to make sure their pet stays safe and comfortable amid the extra noise and activity. The following pet advice can help pet parents reduce potential stress and ensure their pets have a happy new year, too.
New Year's Eve Pet Safety: Behaviors to Watch For
New Year’s Eve often comes with a lot of noise and routine disruption that pets don’t usually experience. Fireworks and parties can quickly lead to a spike in cat or dog anxiety. Unfortunately, pets can’t tell their pet parents they’re upset or anxious with words.
If a pet parent lives where they can hear fireworks or is hosting a New Year’s party, they should be on the lookout for symptoms of dog or cat anxiety:
- Tucked tail
Destructive behavior (clawing or chewing on furniture, destroying pillows, etc.)
- Snapping or biting
- Decreased interest in food or treats
If a pet exhibits these symptoms and pet parents are not able to provide relief, the Fuzzy Veterinarian Team is on hand to support with cat and dog health advice 24/7, even during New Year’s festivities.
Collars and Microchips
With unfamiliar people, loud noises, and lots of movement, pets can become frightened. Spooked pets may try to escape through an open door or garage to escape the chaos. Pet parents should always be aware of doors opening in their homes and take steps to ensure pets can’t run out.
Even if pet parents are sure their cats or dogs can’t escape, they should prepare for the risk. If their pet wears a collar, they should make sure all of the information on the tag is up-to-date. Microchipping (and registering those chips with current contact information) is also an excellent idea.
House Rules for a New Year's Party
Pet parents hosting a New Year’s party can send a list of house rules with their invitations. Those rules might include things like leaving pets alone while they’re in their safe spaces, knocking to announce their presence, and waiting for someone to open the door.
Pet parents may also want to include a rule that guests should not feed pets unsafe foods, such as:
- Grapes or raisins
- Anything with onions or garlic
- Peanut butter with artificial sweetener
- Chicken wings (or any meat with bones)
Requesting that guests ask before feeding a cat or dog any food can prevent accidents. To keep it simple, pet parents can also ask that guests don’t feed pets at all.
Safe Spaces for a Comfortable Escape
Another way to ensure New Year’s Eve pet safety is to create a safe space. Pet parents can designate a room where pets can go to escape the chaos of the party. They can fill it with toys, blankets, a comfortable bed, and a bowl of water. Leaving on calming music or a television can provide background noise for a pet in a louder than usual environment. Pet parents can introduce them to the space before the party and help their cats or dogs feel comfortable retreating there when they need a break.
Even without a party, the sudden sound of fireworks can frighten pets. Pet parents can provide stress relief for dogs and cats with calming supplements such as chews, collars, or pheromone sprays. Some pets respond well to thundershirts, a dog anxiety wrap that offers constant gentle, calming pressure. Providing chew toys and cozy blankets can also help.
A Happy New Year for Pet Parents and Pets Alike
New Year’s Eve pet safety is essential for keeping pets calm and happy. It can also help ensure pet parents have an enjoyable evening with friends and family (or just a cozy night at home). The above tips can make sure everyone has a Happy New Year. If pet parents have any concerns, they can always get dog or cat health advice from qualified vets online.