Keeping Your Dog Safe and Stress-Free on New Year's Eve: Expert Tips

Phoebe Cooper · Dec 29, 2023 · All

Author: Natalie Szymiczek

As the countdown to the New Year begins, so does the hustle and bustle of celebrations. But amidst the excitement, have you ever noticed how your furry friend feels about all the fireworks and noise that come with ringing in the new year? For many pups, New Year's Eve can be a source of stress and anxiety.

In this guide, we're diving into expert tips and tricks to ensure your canine companion stays safe, comfortable, and stress-free when the clock strikes midnight. From simple yet effective strategies to understanding your dog's behavior during the festivities, we've got you covered.

Why Is New Year’s Eve Dangerous for Dogs?

Besides dogs disliking the loud bursts of fireworks, New Year’s Eve poses potential dangers for our furry companions. In the US, it stands as the second-highest day for lost and missing pets, second only to the Fourth of July.

The reason? Dogs (and cats) can get easily spooked by the boom of fireworks, and flee in terror. If your dog is anxious in general or gets scared during storms, you’ll want to be extra careful on New Year’s Eve to keep them safe and calm.

How to Keep Your Dog Safe During New Year’s Eve

Here are 10 expert tips to keep your dog feeling safe and secure during the end-of-year celebrations:

1. Create a Safe Haven

Designate a cozy, familiar space for your dog to retreat to—an area where they feel secure. Fill it with their favorite toys, blankets, and bedding to create a comforting environment. If you aren’t sure where to build this safe space, think about where they have hidden in the past when they felt scared. Many dogs flee to the lower level or basement when they are scared, while others prefer to hide underneath a bed or in their crate.

2. Exercise Early

Take your pup for a good, energetic walk or play session earlier in the day. Burning off excess energy can help them feel more relaxed later on. Take them outside for a bathroom break in the early evening before the festivities begin to avoid accidents later on. Once the fireworks have started, your dog may not want to go outside for their usual bedtime “potty” break!

3. Provide Distractions

Keep your dog entertained with long-lasting chews and bones that engage their mind. Options like Filled Bones and Stuffed Collagen Sticks come in a variety of enticing flavors, offering a novel and enjoyable experience. Encourage them to chew on these favorite treat-filled toys; it's a fantastic way to redirect their focus away from loud noises and keep them happily engaged.

4. Stay Calm Yourself

Dogs often pick up on their owners' emotions. Remaining calm and composed can reassure them that everything is okay, even with the loud sounds outside.

5. Use White Noise

Play calming music or turn on a white noise machine to help drown out the noise from fireworks or parties outside. This can create a soothing background for your dog. Make sure that all of your windows are closed. Open windows not only allow the sounds to enter but also provide an escape route for dogs who, when frightened, showcase surprising skill in slipping through or even pushing out screens.

6. Desensitize Gradually

In the days leading up to New Year's Eve, play recordings of fireworks or loud noises at a low volume while engaging your dog in positive activities. Gradually increase the volume to desensitize them to the sounds. You can find plenty of fireworks videos on YouTube!

7. Comforting Techniques

Consider using a snug-fitting wrap or a calming vest designed for dogs. These can provide a gentle, reassuring pressure that mimics the feeling of being held and may help reduce anxiety. Your dog may be calmed by brushing or petting as well.

8. Seek Professional Help

Consult your vet if your dog experiences severe anxiety. They might recommend supplements, medications, or other strategies to help manage your dog's stress levels.

9. Stay Indoors

This one is obvious but worth noting: Keep your dog indoors during fireworks displays or noisy celebrations. This reduces exposure to loud sounds and potentially frightening situations. Never leave your dog outdoors alone on New Year’s Eve!

10. Make Sure Tags And Microchips Are Up To Date

Before New Year’s Eve, make sure that your dog’s identification tags and microchip information are up to date. Microchipping dogs has become increasingly common and is widely recommended by veterinarians. If a lost dog is found, animal shelters, veterinarians, or animal control facilities can scan the microchip to retrieve the owner's contact details and reunite them with their pet.

Remember, every dog is unique, so try different techniques to see what works best for your furry companion. With a little preparation and care, you can ring in the New Year with your pup feeling safe, secure, and stress-free.

Make sure to check out Natural Farm’s online store to learn more about our premium selection of all-natural dog treats, chews, and bones, perfect for keeping your dog calm and distracted on New Year’s Eve!