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Celebrating New Year's Eve with dogs and cats

New Year's Eve can bring mixed feelings for many pet owners. Maybe you have a dog or cat that gets worried on New Year's Eve, or you are a new dog / cat owner and wonder how your pet will react to parties and fireworks. Here we share our best tips for you and your pet to have a safe and happy New Year's Eve!

This article was written by a FirstVet vet


Did you know that FirstVet offers video calls with experienced, UK registered vets? You can get a consultation within 30 minutes by downloading the FirstVet app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.


✓ Included free as part of many pet insurance policies
✓ Help, treatment and if you need it, a referral to your local vet
✓ Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year


Plan ahead

Think carefully about what New Year's Eve will look like for your pet. Will you have visitors at home? Will your pet stay at home, stay with a pet sitter or perhaps go to a boarding house? If your dog or cat does get scared, how about staying at a hotel in a firework free area, such as near an airport?


Walking and outdoor activities

  • Your dog will love to go for a good walk during the day to get some exercise and mental stimulation. This will help to ensure that they are a little more tired than usual and will probably come home for a contented rest. Later in the evening, offer your dog a relaxing place to sleep, or build a den in advance, in as quiet an area of the house as possible
  • If you are outside, keep your dog on a lead both before and during New Year's Eve. This is a high risk time for dogs to be scared by fireworks and run away, even in the middle of the day
  • Allow your cat to stay inside on New Year's Eve, and always offer an accessible and clean litter tray


Quiet and safe place to be

  • Regardless of whether your dog or cat is at home, make sure it has a quiet and safe place to be. Allow them to choose where they feel safest
  • Never shut your worried dog or cat in a cage as it can aggravate the problem
  • It is important that the animal can choose whether or not it wants to spend time close to you
  • Make sure that there is a quiet place for the animal to go where they can feel as protected as possible, preferably without windows, to reduce noise and light from outside
  • Cats prefer quiet places and to be a little higher up where they can have a view of the people in the room


Keep them occupied

  • Offer your dog or cat a toy or some treats to entertain them
  • Feed part of their food in an interactive toy, such as a KONG or snuffle mat, or hide the food in different places, so that they have to use their brain and body a little more


Fear of fireworks

If you know that your dog or cat is afraid of fireworks, read more about how you can better prepare your pet for fireworks here.


Access to a vet

Make sure you add your pet to FirstVet and you will always have quick access to veterinary advice. We are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and can help you with an initial assessment, advice on treatment and, if necessary, referral to a clinic.


When should you contact a vet?

If you are worried about your animal, you should always contact a vet. Here you can book a video call with an experienced vet.


We wish you a Happy New Year from everyone at FirstVet!

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