While festive treats and gifts are probably making their way out of your home, the holiday season isn’t over just yet. We are counting down the days to the New Year—and new decade—but 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 celebration with your pets with a few safety tips.
Where’s the alcohol (and other substances)?
For many people, New Year’s Eve and alcohol go hand in hand. But alcohol ingestion in pets can lead to depression, unsteady walking, vomiting, and in severe cases, a serious drop in blood pressure and body temperature. Depending on the type of alcohol, just one mixed drink could be fatal for a small dog.
Additionally, 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 safe, secure and well out of paws’ reach.
In recent years, APCC continues to receive many calls about pets ingesting marijuana as it becomes legalized in many states. Marijuana in edible forms, such as in chocolates or brownies, is also becoming increasingly popular—meaning that the drug can be found by a curious pet who may be looking for some off-limits treats. Marijuana ingestion can cause your pet to become unsteady, sleepy and sensitive to touch. It can also cause a decrease in heart rate and body temperature. In rare cases, seizures and death may be possible. If you suspect that your pet ingested marijuana, contact a veterinarian or APCC right away, and always be sure to keep any marijuana or marijuana-related products up and away from your pets.
Fireworks: fun or frightening?
While Fourth of July celebrations are known for fireworks, APCC also receives calls about these potentially frightening noisemakers around New Year’s Eve. Always make sure your pet is safe, comfortable and has sanctuary away from the booming sounds of fireworks. Also bear in mind that dogs will eat almost anything—even if it 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.
Expect the unexpected!
If you are planning a night out with family and friends to celebrate the new decade, your pet might be home alone with loud, confusing noises coming from outside. Before you head 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.
Remove anything potentially harmful (plants, foods, medications, etc.) that your pet could get into, should they decide they need to chew on something.
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 2019 and say hello to 2020. Below is a list of activities you can try with your pet for a fun celebration:
- Put on your party dress! Dress up with your pet to make for a very social media-worthy New Year’s Eve.
- Cuddle up for a movie marathon. This is the perfect activity for those looking for a comfortable night in.
- Host a baking party. Invite some of your human and furry friends over and have fun baking some pet-friendly treats. No xylitol allowed!
- Watch the ball drop together! What better way to ring in the New Year than with kisses from your favorite furry friend? The slobbery, the better!
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