How to keep your pets safe on New Year’s Eve

(WETM) — Pet parents should plan to take some extra precautions to protect their furry friends as they say goodbye to 2023 and celebrate the new year.

Parties and holiday celebrations pose extra risks for pets. This is especially true when alcohol and loud noises are around. The ASPCA released some tips to help pet owners keep their cats and dogs safe on New Year’s Eve.

According to the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) specialists, alcohol ingestion can lead to depression, unsteady walking, vomiting, major blood pressure drops, and major body temperature drops. Marijuana ingestion can cause unsteady walking, sleepiness, sensitivity to touch, decreased heart rate, and decreased body temperature. All alcohol and other substances need to be kept out of reach of pets. If you’re hosting a gathering, be sure to tell your guests not to leave their drinks or marijuana products (like edibles) unattended in case a curious cat or dog decides to take a taste.

Regular human food at parties can pose a risk to cats and dogs as well. Like with alcohol and marijuana, keep all human food out of reach of pets during parties. Most pet owners are probably aware that chocolate, grapes, garlic, and more are toxic to pets, but some guests might not know. To avoid a well-meaning guest giving a pet some human food they shouldn’t have, politely ask guests not to feed your pet human food as they arrive. If your pets might be begging for food during your party, consider having some of your cat or dog’s regular treats available for guests to give to them.

As people arrive at your party, make sure your pets can’t get out the door. It’s important to secure all possible exits in the home, even if you’re spending a low-key New Year’s Eve at home. Some people might be setting off their own fireworks. Loud sounds, like fireworks, can be scary for pets, so make sure they can’t run out of the house if they get spooked. Keep your pets inside as the clock approaches midnight as well.

The ASPCA recommends providing a quiet and comfortable place for pets to hide during the holiday, whether it be from loud noises outside or party guests. Consider keeping your cats and dogs in a quiet room with cozy blankets and their favorite toys on New Year’s Eve.

If you think your pet might have eaten something toxic or hazardous during the holiday or any other time, you can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 at any time. If you’re at someone else’s house and suspect that their pet might have eaten something they shouldn’t have, be sure to tell the owner immediately so they can take action.

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