If there was ever a new year we wanted to ring in more than 2022, we’re not sure we’ve seen it yet. The bad news? Probably not wise to hang with people this New Year’s Eve. The good (maybe best) news? That’ll be perfectly okay because it’s way more fun to spend New Year’s Eve with your doggo anyway.
Bid adieu to 2021 (FINALLY) and say, “Hello, we didn’t know if we’d ever get here,” to 2022 with your best friend! This is likely to be the most different New Year’s Eve anyone in our lifetime has ever had and who better to go through that with than your furry family member. Just because it’s different, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and meaningful, so follow these tips for a safe, fun celebration with your dog.
Keep it Quiet
Fireworks and New Year’s Eve: The two go hand-in-hand, usually to the dismay of our poor furry friends. Find ways to keep the noise down at home. Consider turning on the TV or radio to provide some background noise. If your pet’s anxiety seems extreme, consult with your vet beforehand to decide on a stress-fighting solution. The truth of the matter is that since there are not likely to be large fireworks displays for mass gatherings this year, more neighborhoods will likely celebrate on their own with poppers, firecrackers and sparklers that may sound much louder to our dogs. This may be the time to be sure you use something like Adaptil Calm to ensure your dog’s nerves are not shot before the clock strikes midnight.
Related: Dog New Year’s Resolutions
Scared pets can bolt, so keep them contained safely in the house. Even if you’re able to get out or to celebrate in a socially distanced manner outside, you don’t want your dog to take off. While it may be tempting to bring your dog along, it may be safer to keep your dog secure indoors during the New Year’s festivities. Enjoy your outdoor party and save your celebrations with your pup for after your return home or even the next day. It’s better to celebrate at a different time than to risk your dog’s safety.
Inside, consider putting a second barrier in place. When loud noises like fireworks are scaring your pup, they may look for the easiest escape route possible. This has led to tragic situations for many dogs as they run out doors or jump through windows. Use a baby gate or exercise pen to add an additional level of security when your dog is overcome with panic. It would be wise to consider something like the Whistle GO Explore tracker just in case he makes a dash. The Whistle GO Explore will give you real-time tracking and priceless peace of mind.
Dog-Friendly Treats and Mocktails
New Year’s celebrations need lots of tasty treats and cocktails. Don’t leave your pets out of the deliciousness. Whip up a batch of dog-friendly treats like these festive Orange Carob Dog Treats. Cut your treats using festive cookie cutters to celebrate the big day including party hats, noise makers, glasses of champagne, and more. You can even decorate your pup’s treats with dog-friendly icing for the Instagram-worthy snack picture. If you prefer a simpler, more minimalistic approach, you can make your dog something as simple as a cup of frozen Greek yogurt or a “mocktail” of a little Parmesan cheese sprinkled in your pet’s water.
For a fun, fruity mocktail option, blend your dog’s favorite fruit such as strawberries or watermelon. In your pup’s dish, mix a little of this blended fruit into a lot of water for a twist of flavor. You can make yourself a matching cocktail by mixing the same fruit mix with champagne or sparkling wine. Just be cautious with alcohol around your dog so that he doesn’t get confused and drink the wrong drink!
Related: Ask The Hairy Dogfathers: New Year’s Resolutions
Craft Pet-Approved Party Hats
Whip up a festive hat (like these mini top hats) to bedazzle your dog. Take tons of social media-worthy pics of your pets in cute party hats. Or, if your dog isn’t the hat-wearing type, a festive collar looks just as cute and can be more comfortable for some pets. Think sequins! Think fedoras and feathers. Think FABULOUS like this hat from Chewy. Pick up a sparkly and eye-catching bandana to give your dog a little bling this New Year’s Eve. You can choose one that announces the year to come or stick with a more generic message like ‘Happy New Year’ that can be used year after year.
Set Up a Pet-Friendly Photo Booth
If you and your pup are both dressed and ready for the holiday season, why not take some pictures to look back on later and smile? Set up a photobooth space with a bright, sparkly backdrop. However, avoid anything that your dog may be tempted to chew such as hanging strings of tinsel or plastic. You can also put together a basket of photo props to use in your pictures that are also dog-friendly, in case he gets into them to style his own outfit. This is a fun way to get the whole family involved! You don’t need an expensive camera, just set up your computer or cellphone with a timer and enjoy.
Make NY Resolutions for You and Your Dog to Do Together
Sat around and binged watched Tiger King and Schitt’s Creek this year? Need to work off the COVID-19 (and we’re not talking about the virus)? Want to make 2022 the year you get fit? Sign up for a new dog sport like agility for the two of you to get in shape together. Commit to a daily walk or a weekly adventure like testing out new hiking spots. You’ll be more likely to stick to your resolutions if your best bud is involved, and you can do all of those things relatively safe and physically distanced. Besides, it’s more fun with them anyway.
Have A Ball While The Ball Drops
While Times Square will look weird and different, the ball is still going to make its famous drop. So, why not have a ball with your pup while you wait for the ball to drop (from the comfort of your television, of course)? Your dog will love the individual one-on-one time with you, and you can even make it an Insta fest and take some fun pics to post for posterity. And you can get ready to pucker up so you can….
Throw a Small Dog-Friendly Gathering
Dog lovers that are looking to ring in the new year with family and friends, but still want to stay home to care for your pup, here’s a great compromise! Invite a few other dog lovers to come together and celebrate as a group. This is a great option for those that are worried about how their pup will handle the fireworks and excitement everywhere. Your dog can play with his four-legged friends, distracting him completely from everything that’s going on.
Kiss Your Pup at Midnight
As the clock strikes 12, give your pooch a smooch to ring in 2022. The New Year’s kissing tradition harkens back to superstitions about love. The midnight kiss can supposedly dictate whether you’ll have a lucky, love-filled year… or not. (Did the whole world forget to kiss someone in 2019? Is that the reason 2020 and 2021 have gone the way they did?)
Whatever your beliefs on superstitions, there’s no one better to smooch than your best friend, most loyal companion, and the guy or gal who loves you no matter what. So snuggle up and look forward to a new, brighter, better year!