Dogs are more likely to run away on nights like New Year’s Eve due to the combination of several reasons. One being fireworks – fireworks can turn even the bravest dog into a scared puppy, and when dogs are scared, their natural instinct is to go find shelter. They will run or hide at the first opportunity they get, so it is important that you keep an eye on your dog during the evening, and also ensure that they are chipped so that they can be returned to you in the unfortunate event of them becoming lost.

 

Other reasons for pet distress around New Year’s include:

- loud noises such as party atmosphere and music

- large crowds of people

- unfamiliar faces

- unfamiliar surroundings

- a change to their normal routine

 

Tips to Combat Stress

- Ensure your dog gets plenty of physical exercise during the day – this means that they will be more likely to sleep through the evening when the celebrations typically kick off. It’s not a good idea to walk dogs during the evening when fireworks are being set off, so making sure they get enough exercise during the day is important. However, some people may choose to test out their fireworks before the evening commences, so it is imperative that your dog is kept on a leash and is microchipped as any sudden bangs may scare your dog and trigger their natural instinct to run away.

- Where possible, keep your pets indoors. Create a safe space for them which is away from any New Year’s celebrations, and fill the room with some of their favourite things to offer them comfort. If you have plans to go out around New Year’s, it is advised that you ask a family, friend or neighbour to care for your dog as leaving them alone will increase their fear.

- Try to keep to your pet’s normal routine where possible, including feeding and sleeping times. Routines help to make pets feel safe and secure, so will reduce the chances of them becoming scared and being inclined to run off. Reassure them and try to keep them entertained as much as possible – perhaps buy them a new toy, or play with their favourite toy.

 

Food and Drink

Although some human consumptions can be safe for pets too, some are extremely toxic so it is best to stay clear to be on the safe side. Below are some items that you should definitely keep away from pets:

- alcohol

- chocolate

- salty snacks

- meat with bones

- cigarettes, including second hand smoke