New Year’s Eve (NYE) is a fun event to celebrate with friends and family, so why not include your dog, too? Here are a few ways you can welcome in the new year with your BFF, including throwing an NYE party for your dog’s puppy pals. If your dog isn’t the party animal type, we’ve also got some tips for keeping them calm and comfortable if you’re hosting a party for people at your house. And we’ve thrown in some doggie New Year’s resolutions, too!
Look for Dog-Friendly NYE Events
If your dog is a social butterfly and you’d both like to get out of the house for NYE, look online or on social media for a local dog-friendly event. A popular theme for these events is “Noon Year’s Eve” which centers around a countdown to noon, so you can party at a time that is much more suited to your dog’s sleep/wake schedule (and possibly yours). They may even do a tennis ball drop at noon!
You could also see if your local shelter is hosting an event, or if they would like help comforting dogs during NYE fireworks displays.
Host a Dog-Safe NYE Party at Your House
Another option is to invite your dog’s friends over to your home and bring in the new year with a house full of dogs and their pawrents. Again, you may want this to be a daytime affair, not a countdown to midnight, so that your canine guests aren’t curled up asleep on the couch with hours still to go. It’s also a good idea to invite dogs who already know each other — that way there are fewer chances for the new year to start off on the wrong paw.
Many NYE parties have a theme. You could choose a color (gold and silver are popular for NYE) and ask the dogs to wear a bandana or collar of that color. Or throw a “Show and Woof” party and invite everyone to bring their favorite toy. If you’re going to hang decorations to go with your theme, make sure they’re dog-safe and won’t pose a choking or obstruction hazard. Or you can hang them out of the reach of curious canines.
Obviously dogs can’t bring in the new year with a celebratory toast of human champagne (alcohol is toxic to dogs), but non-alcoholic champagne for dogs is a real thing. You could also hand out a dog toy champagne bottle as a party favor.
You’ll need to have plenty of water bowls available because the dogs will need frequent drinks while they’re partying. You’ll also need to create a quiet space for the dogs to retreat to if the party is getting a bit rowdy for them. And make sure the humans know to keep any people food and drinks out of the reach of sneaky pooches, in case the food is toxic to dogs.
When Your Dog Wants to Sleep the New Year In
If partying and socializing is not your dog’s thing, but it is yours, there are some things you can do to keep your dog comfortable during the party. Before the guests start arriving, set up a room for your dog that’s away from the noise and has all of their favorite things — their bed, favorite toys, food and water bowls. You could also give them a new toy to keep them occupied or a food puzzle. And a couple of treats. Because, after all, it is NYE.
Tell your guests not to go into that area to avoid stressing your dog. You should also designate someone as the “dog watcher” for the night. They can check on your dog periodically and also take them outside for potty breaks. You don’t want a party pooper ruining your event!
If your dog is sensitive to noise, try not to have the music up too loud and avoid the traditional noise makers of NYE. If the doorbell sends them into a frenzy, it is possible to untrain your dog from barking at the doorbell, but you’re probably not a superstar dog trainer who can achieve that before the party. So put it on your New Year’s resolution list and move them to their quiet room before the guests start to arrive.
New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Dog
Speaking of New Year’s resolutions, have you thought about some combined resolutions for you and your dog? What about spending more time playing? Learning some new tricks? Or brushing their teeth more often?
If your dog could make their own resolutions, maybe they would be something like these:
- I will practice self-control and ignore the squirrel who taunts me from the tree branch.
- I will maintain my dignity and not turn into a wiggling ball of giddiness when my human scratches my belly.
- I will let bygones be bygones and play nice with the cat.
- I will use my inside voice when talking with the neighbor dog through the fence.
- I will let my pet parent sleep in on weekends and not ask to go potty at 5 a.m.
We all know those New Year’s resolutions aren’t happening!
There are plenty of other fun ways to celebrate New Year’s with your dog, too, like spending the day teaching them a new trick for the new year. Whatever you decide to do, we hope the new year is full of sweet puppy cuddles and is a happy one for you and your dog. Happy New Year!
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