What to do on New Year’s Eve with your dog: 5 safety tips

15 January 2021

Many dogs go missing on New Year's Eve. Find out how to keep yours safe - and safely celebrate New Year's Eve with your dog - with these essential tips.

two dogs sitting on bench with party hats, decorations, and drinks: What to do on New Year's Eve with your dog

Wondering what to do on New Year’s Eve with your dog? You’ve come to the right place. New Year’s Eve is a wonderful time with fun, music and fireworks. Who doesn’t love it? Well… sad to say, but your dog. Celebrations like New Year’s Eve can be dangerous and even cause intense fear in your dog. Read on to see how to keep your beloved dog safe and sound this New Year’s Eve.

Why New Year’s Eve can be dangerous for your dog

You might think it’s just like any other day for your dog – but think again. New Year’s Eve, according to the German animal welfare organization TASSO¹, is the day of the year when more furry friends are reported lost than any other. In the United States, the only other day on which more pets go missing is the Fourth of July.

Fireworks, noise and loud music can turn even the bravest dog into a scared puppy. When your dog is scared, they have the natural instinct to go and find shelter.

Dogs are more likely to run away on nights like New Year’s Eve due to the following reasons:

  • Loud noises, like parties, fireworks, music
  • Large crowds of people
  • Unfamiliar surroundings
  • A change to their normal routine

Your pup may get frightened under these unusual circumstances and hide, or run off at the first opportunity they get. This is why it’s important to follow the advice below to keep your dog safe, calm, and happy this New Year’s Eve.

The secret to keeping your dog safe on New Year’s Eve

One pro tip to prevent your dog from getting lost this New Year’s Eve,  is to keep a Tractive GPS attached to your dog’s collar or harness during the entire evening. By doing so, you can enjoy the evening and rely on the Virtual Fence and LIVE Tracking features to keep a virtual eye on your dog at all times.packaging of the Tractive GPS DOG 4 - GPS dog tracker what to do on new year's eve with dogNow that you are aware that New Year’s Eve is not usually a fun day for your dog, you can take some other extra precautions.

What to do on New Year’s Eve with your dog

Having a dog-friendly New Year’s Eve requires using common sense first! Always keep an eye on your dog during the evening and be extra attentive when fireworks, noise and loud music increase. Don’t forget to take into consideration these 5 tips:

1. Make sure your dog gets plenty of physical activity.

One way to ensure that your dog will be more relaxed and calm on New Year’s Eve is to tire them out a bit during the day. Take your regular dog walks, and go a bit further or on a more uphill path than you normally would. Track your dog’s physical activity with an activity monitor for dogs to ensure they get enough exercise. This way, your dog will be calm and more likely to have a good sleep in the evening.

Hint: Be extra careful during dog walks outdoors.

It’s important to be extra careful while walking your dog, since some people test out fireworks ahead of New Year’s Eve, or set them off even before it’s dark out. As we mentioned above, loud noises (especially a sudden bang) might scare your dog and trigger their instinct to run away. So keep your dog on a leash, and make sure their collar ID tag and GPS tracker are properly attached. In case your dog bolts, you’ll be able to track and find them with the help of your tracker.

2. Create a safe space for your dog indoors.

As a general rule, keep your dog inside. If you are hosting someone for New Year’s Eve, think ahead and dedicate a room or a confined space to your dog. Fill the space with your dog’s bed sheets – some food, if you wish – and other familiar items. This room will be your dog’s safe place during the evening.

If you have plans to be somewhere, it would be best to find a friend or family member (with more relaxed New Year’s Eve plans) and ask them to look after your dog for the evening. Together, they can watch TV or listen to some relaxing music (see the video below), and enjoy a peaceful New Year’s Eve together.

Did you know? Dogs can hear four times as well as humans². So fireworks, firecrackers, and the like may cause extreme stress in your furry friend. If possible, take your dog to a quiet place, away from the party or fireworks. If they could, your dog would thank you for it.

Hint: Keep up routines involving sleep, food and water.

Always make sure that your dog has access to water and food. Keep to their daily routines, and try to make sure your dog goes to sleep at their usual time. Routines will help a dog to feel safe and secure. By doing this, your dog will feel more relaxed and less inclined to run off if scared. Above all, make sure to feed your furry friend in calm moments to avoid the risk of swallowing or choking.

3. Keep your dog away from dangerous substances.

Keep in mind that on this day, there might be unusual substances around which are actually toxic to your dog – so don’t forget to protect your dog from these dog poisons. Dangerous substances include:

  • Alcohol
  • Fireworks, sparklers
  • Chocolate
  • Cigarettes and drugs, including second hand marijuana smoke²
  • Chemicals
  • Toxic houseplants
  • Salty snacks
  • Meat with bones

It should be self-explanatory, but keep your dog away from the firework festivities. Your dog might get hurt or accidentally poisoned. And do not let your dog ingest any alcohol, human foods, or drugs. Dogs who have consumed alcohol may become lethargic, vomit, have difficulty walking, or even experience drops to blood pressure and body temperature³.

Especially if you’re at a friend’s house or away from home; there might be unknown dangerous substances around. You don’t want to have to take an emergency visit to the vet on what could be one of the most fun days of the year. So protect your dog from these dangers!

4. Keep your dog busy.

Dogs are very curious animals. To counter the excitement and bustle of New Year’s Eve, find alternative ways to entertain your dog. Try buying a new toy; if a dog has something new to play with, they are far less likely to care about what’s going on around them.

5. Spend quality time together.

Try to spend as much time with your dog on New Year’s Eve as you can. Since they are likely to be frightened on this day, be sure that when you engage with your dog, you do so calmly.

So; what to do on New Year’s Eve with your dog to spend quality time together? Here are some ideas:

  • Play ball – while you watch the ball drop. Your dog’s favorite round toy will be sure to bring joy to their little heart.
  • Have a movie marathon.
  • Take a holiday together – somewhere peaceful.
  • Host a small, dog-friendly gathering – invite your dog friends!
  • Bake dog (and human) treats together.
  • Build a fort together.
  • Listen to calming music.

Conclusion: What to do on New Year’s Eve with your dog

Here’s a summary of what we’ve covered, in one helpful checklist:

  • Make sure your dog gets plenty of activity beforehand.
  • Keep an eye on them at all times with a dog GPS tracker – and try your best to keep them away from harmful substances.
  • Reassure your dog and keep them entertained.

That way, you can ensure a smooth and successful New Year’s Eve for both you and your furry friend.

Now that you know what to do on New Year’s Eve to keep your dog safe and sound – we wish you a lovely holiday celebration!

Stuck at home this New Year’s Eve due to a coronavirus lockdown? Get our tips for caring for yourself (and your furry friend) while in lockdown. Or check out the video below for some more tips on how to celebrate a dog-friendly New Year’s Eve!


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