For most people, New Year’s Eve is a time of great celebration. We can look back on all the wonderful things that have happened to us over the past 12 months, and look forward to everything we want to achieve over the coming year. It's a euphoric time and a fantastic evening - though maybe not just a fantastic morning the day after!
But for dog owners, it can be a totally different story. What many people look forward to all year long can be a massive source of anxiety for some of us, along with the dreaded Bonfire Night celebrations.
If your dog is afraid of fireworks, you're not alone. It’s estimated that 45% of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when they hear fireworks - but even with that knowledge, you can still feel so helpless watching your poor pup quiver in terror at the strange sights and sounds. Which is why we've put together our guide to keeping your dog safe this New Year's Eve, whether you're heading out to party or staying in with Jools…
Make sure your dog gets lots of activity during the day so that he's more likely to sleep right through, and less likely to make an escape!
Don't take your dogs to fireworks.
Even if your dog isn't afraid of fireworks, taking them to any displays isn't a good idea. You never know when a sudden fear might arise, and it just isn't worth the risk in case they run away.
Keeps windows and curtains closed.
The noise alone can be frightening enough without having to encounter strange lights in the sky, so try to keep your windows and curtains closed. If the kids want to peek outside to see the fireworks encourage them to stand under the curtains - you get a better view that way anyway!
Let them take comfort where they need it.
You might want to keep your dog close and cuddled up, but this may not be what they want to do. Make sure they have access to a safe and concealed space - behind a sofa, under a bed or tucked up inside a dog bed with hood (have you checked out our range, here?).
Make sure windows and doors are locked & your dog has proper ID.
Even the laziest and most loyal dog in the world can become Houdini when they're afraid, so double-check the house for any escape routes before festivities commence. Also make sure your dog has been chipped and that their collar details are up to date in case they do make a run for it .
Give them something to do.
If you're heading out for New Years, try to leave them something to do. A box stuffed with bits of ripped up newspaper and a few hidden treats will give them something to search for, or freeze a dog bone in ice a few days before then leave it out to melt before you head off.
Don't act bothered or phased.
If you're staying in, try not to act bothered by any fireworks you hear - even if it's positively! Dogs will look to you for reactions, so even the slightest reaction - tilting your head in the direction of the noise, for example - will let him know that there issomething to worry about. Act as cool, calm and collected as you can, and hopefully your dog will do the same.
Do you have any top tips for keeping your dogs safe and happy over New Year's Eve? Let us know! Leave your advice on any of our Facebook posts and we'll feature our favourites.