New Years Eve Dog Safety Tips | Pupford
December 29th, 2023
Filed under Pet Parenting
Are you ringing in the new year with your dog by your side? Or are you leaving them to a more relaxing, quiet evening at home while you paint the town red? Either way, you’ll want to make sure you are taking your dog’s safety into consideration.
Whenever there is a change in routine, environment, or other outside factor, it can put our dogs in danger if we’re not careful. Not to worry, there is plenty of time to prepare your dog – and yourself – for a safe and happy New Years.
That’s why we wanted to share the most important safety tips for New Year's Eve. But rest assured that these tips will help long after the clock strikes midnight – they can help keep your pup happy and healthy from here on out.
NEW YEARS EVE DOG SAFETY TIPS
COLD WEATHER SAFETY TIPS
In most places, this time of year brings frigid temperatures, snow, and ice. Whether you’re bringing your dog to a new environment for the holiday or not, knowing cold weather safety is important.
- Know how cold is too cold - A dog’s cold tolerance depends upon breed, body type, health, and more. However, if you notice your dog is cold to the touch, having trouble breathing, shivering, or seeming weak or dazed, it’s time to immediately bring them indoors.
- Learn the signs of dog hypothermia - Strong shivering, difficulty breathing, weakness, lethargy, and ignoring stimuli are potential signs of hypothermia. If you notice those, check for additional signs of hypothermia and provide care right away. Learn the signs and symptoms of dog hypothermia here.
- Dress for the weather - You wouldn’t go out in the cold weather without additional layers, so your dog shouldn’t either. Dress them in a warm coat or sweater, and use paw booties or paw balm to protect their paw pads against the cold or ice melts.
- Keep your dog’s fur, paws, toys, and bedding dry.
- When possible, avoid outside time when it’s dark, in the early morning, or at night.
- Switch to indoor forms of activity during heavy snow or extreme cold, like fetch, flirt poles, training sessions, and games.
If you are traveling with your dog for the holidays, make sure you have plenty of warm, snuggly things to keep them from getting cold and extra towels to make sure they stay dry. Also be mindful to plan your day, including walks and potty breaks, around the weather this time of year.
Related Reading: Dog New Year's Resolutions
ACTIVITY SAFETY TIPS
No matter what you plan on doing with your dog for the New Year, you’ll want to make sure they are given opportunities for activities that keep them safe and happy. Our advice for this:
- Make sure your dog gets plenty of physical and mental exercise on New Year’s Eve and the days leading up to it. This is especially important if you are going to be leaving your dog home alone while you celebrate elsewhere. Try mixing up a variety of activities like enrichment toys, new games, lick mats, walks, etc.
- Try to maintain your dog’s routine as much as possible, whether traveling or leaving your dog at home. Keep exercise times, meal times, and potty schedules as consistent as possible to keep your dog calm and happy.
- If you are bringing your dog with you, make sure they have a place to decompress from all the stimulation. Bring their bed or crate with a familiar toy/blanket or have a gated off area away from the commotion for them to relax if they need it.
- Have items on hand that will provide a distraction from either being home alone or being in a new environment. These include dog chews, sound machines, calming beds, and a comfy cozy area.
- Make sure your dog is properly supervised if you are bringing them with you to your celebrations, as new environments and people can cause dogs to get uncomfortable.
Remember that each situation is unique – every dog is different and environments are better suited for different dogs. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so be sure to ask the host questions about how dog-friendly the event is, including if there will be other dogs or any extreme stimuli to be aware of (loud noises, bright lights, etc.).
The more you know about a situation, the more prepared you will be to make the right decision for your dog.
FIREWORKS/LOUD NOISES SAFETY TIPS
Many people use firework displays and other loud noises to celebrate the new year – that’s usually well and good for us people who understand what’s happening, but may not be the case for your dog.
Loud, unpredictable noises can freak dogs out and even scare them into thinking there’s a threat, which is why unfortunately many dogs run away during fireworks or other loud noises.
If your New Year’s celebration involves fireworks or other noises your dog isn’t used to, be sure to follow these safety tips:
- Keep your dog away from fireworks - The flashing lights and excitement might draw your dog towards fireworks but they could get burned, injured, or disoriented. Keep them indoors if possible, but use a leash or crate to keep them away from the fireworks if they must be outdoors.
- Have grace with your dog and yourself - Some dogs are not bothered by loud noises and commotion. Others, however, have a harder time. That’s not a reflection of them as a dog or you as a dog parent. If you adopted a dog from a shelter or at an older age, there’s no way of knowing what their upbringing was like, but if there was a history of traumatic experiences then it may be even more difficult to keep your dog calm during these situations. Be honest with yourself about your dog’s situation and understand that although it’s not their fault (or your fault), it may mean a change of holiday plans for your furry friend.
- Work on desensitization early - There are steps you can take to get your dog used to loud sounds like fireworks ahead of the holiday. Use the Desensitization Sounds on the Pupford app and strategic rewards to get your dog to gradually associate those sounds with positive experiences. That link also provides steps and tips for desensitization!
For more on sound sensitivity and fireworks, see our Dogs and Fireworks article.