New Year’s Eve Fun with Your Dog!
Plus, How To Help a Dog Who Is Scared of Fireworks
We’re coming to the end of the year, and that means New Year’s Eve parties are right around the corner! Are you ready to have some New Year’s Eve fun with your dog? Or are you a little nervous, especially since your dog may not love all the fireworks common on this night?
First of all, there are lots of great ways you can throw or attend a New Year’s Eve gathering and bring your dog in for some fun! Second, there are a few great ways to help your dog find peace even when fireworks are going off. Here are a few ideas to get your celebration off on the right foot!
How To Have Fun with Your Dog on New Year’s Eve
Unless your dog is a big party animal, you probably won’t be taking them out on the town. If, like many pet owners, you’d like to stay in with your dog on New Year’s Eve, here are some great ways to celebrate the holiday with them at home!
Make Delicious Dog Treats
One of the best things you can do with your dog is set up in the kitchen with some holiday music blasting and make some delicious holiday dog treats! With a few key ingredients like peanut butter, bananas, and rice flour, you can make some treats your dog really loves that are special just for them!
Of course, if you don’t love baking or don’t think your dog will enjoy such an activity, you can always buy holiday dog treats instead. There are lots of options available!
Throw a Dog Party
If you want your dog to enjoy the new year as much as you do, why not throw a dog party and invite all their friends! Your friends who have dogs will be happy to take their pup out and spend some time in your home enjoying good company and lots of doggie playtime.
Ask each friend to bring a dish and maybe some dog toys or treats to share and make sure you have lots of space for dogs to run around and get crazy together.
Teach a New Trick
New Year’s Eve is a long night and if you’re not throwing a party, you’ll probably have a lot of time on your hands. What better way to use it than to teach your dog a new trick? Get some treats or other prizes, choose a trick you want your dog to learn, and start practicing.
If you reward your dog each time they do their new trick, they’re sure to have an amazing night! Treats AND your undivided attention? It’s a doggy dream come true! Just make sure to take breaks as necessary and don’t get too frustrated if things don’t go exactly according to plan…your dog still loves you!
Watch A Holiday Movie (Or Three)
Again, you’ve got a long night ahead of you! Choose one or more of your favorite holiday movies, whether you’re still in a Christmas mood or simply want to watch some of your favorites that you don’t get to see as much throughout the year.
Your dog will love cuddling with you on the couch with a chew-toy or a yummy snack to watch a movie. Bonus if there’s a dog in the movie—your pup is sure to enjoy catching sight of a fellow canine!
Set Up a Photo Booth (and Make a Dog Calendar!)
Are you crazy about your dog? Well, then, what’s stopping you from setting up a little photo booth so you can take pictures with your best friend? You can make a DIY photo booth, set up your iPad or phone for pictures, and snap away!
Of course, be sure that your photo booth is safe for your dog! You don’t want to decorate with anything poisonous or that your dog would be tempted to tear apart immediately.
Once you’ve set up the booth and taken a few pictures, consider making a calendar! You can find templates online at Walmart, Costco, Staples, or similar places and create calendars with pictures of your beloved pup decorating each month.
Keep It Safe
New Year’s Eve is definitely a time for good food! However, you must be careful to provide your dog with safe treats and keep poisonous items out of reach. Popular treats like alcohol, chocolate, almonds, and xylitol (a common sugar-free sweetener) can cause your dog to get seriously ill or even die without proper treatment.
When setting up your party, be sure that these items and others that are poisonous to dogs are out of reach. Also, avoid setting out real candles and other dangerous items where your dog can reach them. Mistletoe and poinsettias are poisonous, for example, while tinsel and streamers could be dangerous if your dog tries to eat them or tear them down.
How To Help If Your Dog Hates Fireworks
Many dogs dislike loud noises and flashing lights, and that’s totally understandable! If your dog is one of them, there are a few things you can try to help them out.
- Play calming music or turn on the TV or radio for a distraction. Your dog will be more calm and relaxed if they have something to listen to aside from loud pops and bangs outside.
- Provide a safe space for your dog to unwind. Whether they love their crate, a specific couch or chair, or even a hiding spot under your furniture, make sure it’s available for them to settle down and get comfortable.
- Be available to offer pets, hugs, and yummy treats to comfort your dog and help them settle into the evening with you.
- Consider a road trip to another part of town or even out into the country if your dog REALLY hates fireworks.
- Stay inside if you can. If you MUST take your dog for a walk during a fireworks display, keep to quieter streets and make sure your dog won’t run away and pull you along for the ride.
- You can try preparing your dog beforehand by playing videos of fireworks on YouTube throughout the weeks leading up to the New Year. It may also help if you wear your dog out by taking them for lots of walks and hours of play before fireworks shows begin.
Keep an eye out for signs of anxiety such as:
- A lowered head
- Whining and whimpering
- Tense body and expression
- Loud, unreasonable barking
If you notice these signs, offer your dog as much support as you can. You may want to call a vet and ask if getting an anti-anxiety medication would be helpful—but always talk to the vet before getting one!
If you follow these tips and tricks, you should be able to have a fun New Year’s Eve with your dog! Just listen to their needs and provide them with all the things they love to ensure they have a grand old time.
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