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How to celebrate New Year's Eve with your dog

Are you worried about the first New Year's Eve with your dog, or do you have an older dog who has been anxious or scared on New Year's Eve in the past? If so, we'll give you tips and advice on how to act and think to make New Year's Eve an enjoyable night for both you and your dog.

Plan the day

First of all, you need to plan what New Year's Eve will look like for you and your dog. Are you planning to have lots of guests in the house, will your dog be home alone, in a dog-sitter's or will he be joining in the New Year's celebrations? This is something that every dog owner may have to think about but then it is important to have the dog as a priority. New Year's Eve can be a difficult day and evening for some dogs and therefore you need to adapt the activities to your particular dog.

It is important to mention that dogs can be frightened by fireworks and this can happen to a puppy as well as to older dogs who have previously been perfectly fine with firecrackers. Therefore, you need to plan the day and days around the New Year based on your dog being exposed to fireworks as little as possible.

Walks on New Year's Eve

By planning the day, you can minimise the time outdoors when there is the greatest risk of fireworks and loud bangs. Think like this: 

  • During the day, go for a long walk with your dog, making sure to activate it at the same time so it gets a good walk. This way you can spend less time outdoors in the evening when fireworks are usually more likely.

  • Try to stay in quiet areas when walking the dog in the evening. 

  • To be on the safe side, keep your dog on a lead on New Year's Eve and also in the period before and after. This is because it is common for dogs that are frightened by firecrackers or fireworks to run away, this can be avoided by keeping your dog on a lead both during the day and in the evening.

Give your dog a quiet and safe place in your home

On New Year's Eve, give your dog a quiet and safe place to be, where it can choose to be left alone or to be with you. To reduce the risk of outside light and noise, it's a good idea for this quiet place to have no windows. Don't lock your dog in a room of its own, as loneliness can worsen the condition of an anxious dog.

Provide your dog with a new toy or chew to entertain it during the evening. You can also try giving your dog his food in an activation toy or hiding the food in different places in your home, this way your dog gets to activate both his brain and body indoors. 

As an owner, you need to be mindful of keeping calm, if you show fear or anxiety there is a risk that this will affect the dog. As a dog owner, it is unfortunate that you miss the midnight meal because you cannot leave your dog alone. Therefore, plan your activities according to the dog's conditions. Never leave a dog alone during midnight.

Fear of fireworks

Unfortunately, it is common for dogs to be afraid of firecrackers and fireworks. If you have a dog that has previously been scared or anxious on New Year's Eve, we recommend reviewing the option of spending New Year's Eve at a fireworks-free airport hotel. You can read more about what you can do to manage your dog's fear of fireworks here. 

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