Celebrating Safely: Ringing In the New Year with Your Pets
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 break out the noisemakers and champagne, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) wants to help you prepare for a fun and safe New Year’s Eve with your pets with these 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 received an increasing number of calls about pets ingesting marijuana as it becomes legalized in more and more states. Marijuana in edible form, such as in chocolates or brownies, is also becoming more popular—meaning that the drug can be found by a curious pup seeking 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 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.
Also, if you plan on having guests over, keep in mind that new visitors can unknowingly bring with them dangerous substances and plan accordingly.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
While we want you to be prepared for any potential dangers, we also want to make sure you have fun with your favorite furry friends as you wave goodbye to 2017 and say hello to 2018. Below is a list of activities you can try with your pet for a fun celebration:
- Don your dapper apparel. Dress up with your pet to make for a very Instagram-worthy New Year’s Eve.
- Cuddle up for a movie marathon. This is the perfect activity for those looking for a comfortable night in.
- Have a baking party. Invite some of your friends and their furry friends over and have fun baking some pet-friendly treats.
- Watch the ball drop together! What better way to ring in the New Year than with kisses from your favorite furry friend?
Stay safe this holiday season, and 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!