When you think of New Year’s Eve, you probably think of resolutions, ball drops and, of course, parties. Many celebrate the end of the year and the dawn of a new year with fireworks, champagne, and good old-fashioned revelry. While that may also seem like fun and games for you, your pet may not enjoy the loud and boisterous activities of NYE as much as you and your fellow humans. In this instance, you have a few choices–stay home with your pet, go to a party elsewhere and leave your pet at home alone, or, if you live in an especially lively neighborhood that’s guaranteed to get loud on NYE, pack up your things and your pet and go stay somewhere quieter for the night. No matter the choice you make, we’ve got several tips on how you and your pet can have happy and safe New Year’s Eve.

How to Have Fun

Planning on staying in with Lilo the pug on December 31? Make it a night in to remember by inviting a few of your fellow pet parent friends and their pets over to bake human and pet treats and celebrate the ringing in of the new year quietly. You can have a movie marathon, dress up your pets in their finest attire and watch the ball drop together at midnight! Who needs champagne when you can have doggy kisses and kitty love instead?

How to Keep Your Pet Safe and Anxiety-Free

If you’re planning to throw a (human-only) party at your place, make a plan to help your pet feel safe and calm during the festivities. Even if your pet isn’t normally anxious they could react differently to the loud activities of an NYE party. Here are a few ways you can make sure they stay safe and happy.

  • Keep alcohol and foods that could be harmful to your pet out of reach. The last way you want the night to end is in the vet emergency room because your pet has alcohol poisoning or a tummy ache.
  • Keep your pet away from the fireworks–before, during and after shooting them off. Unused fireworks are dangerous to anyone, especially children and pets. Shooting fireworks off with your pet nearby could frighten them and leftover firework scraps have their own hazards so make sure you clean up after the show, especially if your pet spends a lot of time outside.
  • Make sure the safe space you’ve planned for them is free of any hazards and possessions you don’t want to be damaged in case your pet reacts to anxiety by tearing everything in its path apart. You also want to make sure the room is secure so that your pet can’t get out easily.
  • Use positive noise in their safe space to keep your pet calm like classical music or their favorite television shows. You can also use naturally calming therapies like pet-safe lavender oil and synthetic pheromone sprays designed to calm pets. These sprays are also available in diffusers and plug-ins. Don’t forget to add your pet’s favorite toys and games to their safe space.
  • Exercise your pet before the festivities begin. Take your dog for an extended walk or go to the park and use cat toys that encourage them to run and chase. Make sure to use a collar or harness that is snug to prevent your pet from slipping through. Like with humans, exercise is a great way to calm anxiety.
  • If you’re heading out for the night, hire a pet sitter or take extra measures to ensure that all exits from the home are locked tight and secured and make sure your pets have everything they need to stay calm like music and their favorite toys.
  • If you know most of your neighborhood plans to party and shoot fireworks all night and you don’t want to be part of the revelry, consider checking you and FeFe into a pet-friendly hotel or plan an overnight visit with a friend or relative who lives in a quieter area.