How to Ring in the New Year Safely With Your Dog

Dec 28, 2020

We’re almost there.


2021, of course.

We’re saying goodbye to the weirdest year ever (so far…) and we’re ALL IN for a bright and shiny new one.

But is your dog?

New Year’s Eve is traditionally a pretty tough time for pooches. Almost as tough as the 4th of July and that’s because there’s all sorts of merriment that makes your dogs pretty nervous.

While there (likely) won’t be tons of strangers or extra family your dog will have to deal with coming and going, there are still some things about New Year’s Eve that may throw him off.

Namely, fireworks.

Here are a few tips for ringing in the new year with your dog in a safe and happy way.

Fight the fireworks fear

Dogs are not notoriously known for their love of fireworks. In fact, they don’t typically like them at all. They don’t know where that crazy loud boom is coming from and they can hear it way more intensely than we can dream.

Since there are fewer ‘party’ opportunities this year, it stands to reason that fireworks are going to be outrageous everywhere they can be. You’ll want to make sure you act preemptively to protect your dog. Make sure that they have a safe and comfortable place they can go to–their crate, your bedroom…somewhere INSIDE and safe. And be sure that if you’re going to have noise makers with explosives or poppers or sparklers–you keep those away from your dog. They’re dangerous for several different reasons and they can frighten your dog just as much. You may even want to consider some calming pheromones or a calming shirt.

Just say no (for your dog)

It’s been a year. And you may want to celebrate with a bit of the bubbly…or some other stuff that is becoming legal in more or more places. You do you, of course, but be careful when it comes to your dog accidentally getting any alcohol or being around any substances like marijuana. Dogs can suffer from alcohol poisoning (intoxication looks a lot like in humans, and even a small mixed drink equivalent can be fatal for small dogs) and they can suffer from marijuana intoxication too. Yes, that also looks very similar in dogs as it does in humans, but the scary thing is that often, dogs will suffer not just from marijuana intoxication but from the effects of the often chocolate ‘edible’ they may find it in. For your dog’s sake, keep all substances out of paw’s reach. It’s just safer that way, and keep your dog away from any second-hand smoke too. If you believe your dog may have ingested either alcohol or marijuana, you should contact your vet immediately.

Running isn’t just for being chased

Take your dog out during the day and RUN them as best you can. Get them good and tired and full of exercise and not only will the endorphins help relieve anxiety, but your dog will also be so tired, they may just want to rest and not be bothered with NYE festivities. Exercise can be stress relief for them and for you, so get out early in the day, tire them out and worry less that night.

When one door shuts…

It needs to stay closed. At least on New Year’s Eve. Keep your dog INSIDE if at all possible in the evening and after dark. Or, on a leash. Even in your ‘fenced’ backyard, the noise from revelers and fireworks can make them do cray cray things–like dig out from under fences and run for cover. Just keep your dog inside unless they must potty and then do that with a leash.

Who goes there?

Which leads us to a super important tip. UPDATE YOUR DOG’S INFORMATION. Yes, right now. (Well, when you’re done reading!) Update their microchip info so that IF they should get out for some reason, their info will be up-to-date and increase the odds of them being found if they’ve run off. Consider GPS tracking on their collar and be sure they’re wearing their collar.

We’re all thrilled to be ringing in a new year, and you can do it safely and wisely with your dog. Another great tip is to make sure that you’re helping their gut be as strong as it can be. Good gut health is linked over and over to better mental health and frame of mind. This better frame of mind may make them more tolerant of noise and crazy on New Year’s Eve, so make sure they’re getting their Bernie’s. It keeps your dog’s gut health going strong, and keeps the anxiety at bay!

And don’t forget–have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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