Sunday, December 27, 2009
Tips for a Pet-Safe New Year
Fireworks and noisemakers; confetti and champagne – these are the makings of a successful New Year's bash, and potential hazards for your four-legged family member.
Have a pet-safe New Year Celebration:
Make sure the party favors are pet-safe. If your dog decided to chow down on some confetti, it can cause problems in her digestive track. It is best to forgo confetti altogether if your pup likes to munch on everything and anything, but paper-based confetti is generally safer than plastic or metallic-based varieties.
Don't share the champagne with your dog. And be sure to clean up any glasses that are within your dog's reach. Every year, hundreds of dogs die from alcohol poisoning. Sharing that bubbly beverage with your dog isn't cute, it's dangerous. If you're not sure if your dog has ingested alcohol, knowing the signs can help you realize there is a problem: vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, difficulty breathing, and tremors.
Prepare for your dog's reaction to fireworks and noisemakers. The best plan is prevention. If you're not sure how your dog will react, make sure he is in a safe area and wearing proper id. If you already know your dog has a problem, the best plan is to work on desensitizing your dog throughout the year to the loud noises that may startle him. But if you haven't already done that, there are many other ways to help him cope with the stress on December 31st.
Give your dog a quiet place to retreat from the party. If you're going to have people over to the wee hours of the morning, be aware that it's not just the kids that will get cranky because they stayed up past their bedtimes. Dogs that are not used to the late night schedule or the comings and goings of so many strangers can become stressed. Make sure your dog has an area away from the festivities to escape it all if need be.
Keep emergency contact information handy! During any party where your dog might slip into the trash can unnoticed, it's a good idea to keep contact information for a 24-hour clinic handy, as well as the number for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center National Hotline: 888-426-4435.