December 27, 2016

Celebrating Safely: Ringing In the New Year with Your Pets

Dog DJ

While Yuletide treats, gifts and holiday bouquets are probably making their way out of your home, the season isn’t over just yet. There’s still one more holiday we are counting down the days to, so before you bust out the noisemakers and champagne, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) wants to prepare you with these New Year’s Eve safety tips.  

Keep an Eye on the Alcohol (and Other Substances)

New Year’s Eve is a unique holiday, and it’s one time of year when a large number of pets get into alcohol. Alcohol ingestion in pets can lead to depression, unsteady walking, vomiting, and in severe cases, a serious drop in blood pressure and body temperature. Just one mixed drink can be fatal for a small dog. What’s more, pets (dogs in particular) love to sniff out seasonal chocolates that may be filled with alcohol—so be sure to keep any and all alcoholic substances safely out of paws’ reach.

In addition, the APCC has seen an increasing number of calls about pets ingesting marijuana as it becomes legalized in more and more states. Marijuana in edibles, such as chocolates or brownies, is also becoming more popular—meaning that the drug can be found in a curious pup’s favorite off-limits treats. Marijuana can cause your pet to become unsteady, sleepy and sensitive to touch, and can cause a decrease in their heart rate and body temperature. In rare cases, seizures and death may be possible. If you suspect your pet may have ingested marijuana, make sure to contact a veterinarian or the APCC right away, and always be sure to keep any marijuana or marijuana-related products and treats up and away from your pets.

Be Wary of Fireworks

While the Fourth of July is biggest holiday for fireworks, the APCC does receive a large number of calls about these potentially-frightening noisemakers on New Year’s Eve. Not only will you want to ensure that your pet has a safe, comfortable place to find sanctuary away from the booming sounds of fireworks, but you should also remember that dogs will eat anything—even if does not seem like it would taste good! Be sure to monitor poppers, noisemakers and explosives before, during and after displays, and always keep a close eye on your pet to prevent any potential problems.  

Don’t be Taken by Surprise

You may be planning a night out with family and friends to celebrate the oncoming New Year, which means that your pet might be home alone with loud, confusing noises coming from outside. Before you go out, do a quick double check around the house to make sure that all exits are secured, and do what you can to make your pet feel comfortable and safe in your home. As always, remove anything harmful (plants, foods, medications, etc.) that your pet could get into, should they decide they need to chew on something.

If you fear that your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous ingredient or object, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888)-426-4435 right away.

 Happy holidays and a happy New Year!