The festive season is laden with people, parties and presents – and all that extra excitement can sometimes be just too much for your four-legged friend. Party poppers, fireworks and rich foods can be a real danger to dogs on New Year’s Eve. That’s why it’s important to think about the needs of your pet when planning a do.
For the latest helpful advice on how to keep your dog safe and happy, here are some top tips to guide you in your pet-friendly party preparations, courtesy of Everypaw .
Put safety first
Banners, streamers, lights and other decorations can help get everyone in the mood to party, but may be too tempting for your furry friend. Naturally curious, canines will nose around your creative decorating – so keep breakables out of reach of wagging tails and sparkly lights well away from inquisitive mouths. If chewed or swallowed, they could cause everything from a stomach upset to an electric shock – or even an internal injury. Plug in your lights just before the party starts or use battery-powered lights as an alternative.
Make time for walkies
A proper routine is important for your pooch but can be difficult to achieve over Christmas. With the excitement of visitors, extra attention and treats, your dog may be prone to over stimulation, so fitting in a regular daily walk and maintaining normal mealtimes and activities is essential to help keep them calm and happy. Aim to walk earlier on New Year’s Eve to prevent your dog from suffering any unnecessary distress from noisy revellers, loud neighbourhood parties and fireworks.
Party food’s not for everyone
Whether you’re creating a delicious dinner or a range of fancy snacks for your guests, don’t feel tempted to share your party food with your dog. Everypaw’s handy guide to human foods you shouldn’t share with your dog may surprise you, but it’s doggy treats only for your four-legged friend as something new may cause an upset stomach. Chocolate, alcohol and sweets are dangerous for dogs, so call your vet for advice if you fear your dog may have swallowed something they shouldn’t have.
Keep fireworks under control
If you’re finishing your New Year’s Eve party with a bang, remember that loud noises can be truly frightening for animals. The RSPCA estimate that over 45% of dogs in the UK show fear when they hear fireworks, so do all you can to help your dog feel calm during the party finale. Closing windows and curtains can muffle outdoor noise, while turning up the TV or radio will help to mask firework sounds. Used sparklers, party poppers and fireworks could also cause a potential problem for your curious pooch, so take care to clear the debris from your garden after the party.
Create a safe space
It can suddenly get busy once everyone starts to arrive, so try to settle your dog in a quieter part of the house beforehand. Your mood will influence your dog, so act as if everything is normal and continue with routine where possible. Provide them with a favourite blanket, bed or crate for comfort, and soothing music and toys to offer distraction from loud noises. If a friend is happy to keep your dog company during your firework displays, then this will help to put your faithful hound at ease.
Parties are great for lifting everyone’s spirits through the winter months, and the chance to celebrate, have fun, and take a break from routine is often very welcome.
To keep your pet safe and happy through the party season, try to maintain a normal routine of mealtimes, walks and activities, and make sure your dog has a safe space in your home where they feel in control, whatever’s going on around them.
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