6 New Year's Eve Safety Tips for Dogs

by Britt

New Year’s Eve is an exciting time as we welcome a year full of new opportunities. It’s often a time that we associate with celebrations and excitement with friends and family. But, for our dogs, the festivities surrounding New Year’s Eve can be a time of extreme stress and anxiety.

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As you make plans for the holidays ahead, here are six steps you can take to keep your dog both safe and comfortable.

Keep Your Dog Indoors

Even if your dog normally enjoys spending time outside, the safest place for your dog to be on New Year’s Eve is inside. Loud noises like fireworks may cause your dog to bolt in search of cover. This leads to a high number of dogs going missing every year at this time. Take your dog outside for short bathroom breaks and avoid going out during an active fireworks display.

Double-Check Identification

Make sure that your dog is wearing appropriate identification. Take the time to check your dog’s ID tag to ensure that the information is legible and up to date. If your dog does escape at any point during the night, this will greatly increase the likelihood that they will be returned home safely.

Create a Safe Space

Make sure that your dog has a safe space to retreat to if they are feeling scared or anxious. If you are hosting a New Year’s Eve party, this should be a room or space away from the activity. Keep any windows closed to help reduce the sound of fireworks in the area. Include things that make your dog feel more comfortable and relaxed such as their dog bed or a favorite blanket. If you have a television or radio in the room, you can also turn that on for a comforting distraction from outside noises.

Consider Offering a Distraction

One way to help your dog overcome any stress or anxiety during this time is to offer a distraction. Food puzzle toys and interactive dog toys, like a KONG toy frozen with some tasty treats, can give your dog something positive to focus on.

Keep Alcohol Out of Reach

The sweet smell of alcohol may be tempting for your dog. Our dogs can’t metabolize alcohol as well as we can making all types of alcohol very dangerous. The warning signs of alcohol toxicity in dogs include drooling, vomiting, decreased respiratory rate, low body temperature, lethargy, depression, loss of coordination, and weakness. If you believe your dog may have consumed any alcohol, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Consider Anti-Anxiety Supplements and Medications

There are many great anti-anxiety supplements and calming treats on the market that could help your dog relax and get through New Year’s Eve safely. If you aren’t comfortable giving your dog a supplement, there are other options available. Consider using Dog Appeasing Pheromones (DAP) to naturally calm your dog. You may also wish to try a calming wrap like the Thundershirt.

If the natural options aren’t working and your dog has a history of anxiety, contact your veterinarian to discuss medications. There are fast-acting anti-anxiety medications that your vet can recommend for use on an as-needed basis during times of high stress. Never give your dog medications without first consulting with your veterinarian to avoid unnecessary complications. 


Britt Kascjak is a proud pet mom, sharing her heart (and her home) with her “pack” which includes her husband John, their 2 dogs – Indiana and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx. She has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. In her free time, she enjoys traveling around the country camping, hiking, and canoeing with her pets.

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