New Year’s Hazards

New Year’s Eve is full of excitement, parties, and new beginnings. While this day may be fun for us, it
can be very stressful and loaded with possible toxicities for our pets. Before your champagne corks start
popping, take a few minutes to think about keeping your furry four-legged friend safe and healthy
during the festivities.

Dogs and cats do not metabolize alcohol the way that people do. The ingestion of even small volumes of
alcohol can cause serious damage to the liver, nervous system, and blood glucose (sugar), which could
require hospitalization and may be fatal in extreme cases. Many dogs experience acute kidney failure
after ingestion of grapes or grape-containing products, such as wine or champagne. Long story short,
keep your pets far away from your libations during the celebration! Be sure to contact your local
emergency veterinarian if Fido sneaks some of your cocktail.

Fireworks and parties
New Year’s Eve goes hand in hand with fireworks and parties. While these may be fun for us, these loud
and chaotic events can pose a lot of stress to our furry friends. Some animals run and hide, tremble,
have accidents in the house, or bark incessantly. Even though fireworks are unavoidable, you can set up
a safe space for your pet with their favorite bed and toys in a quiet, confined area of your home. Avoid
taking your dog outside during the fireworks, as this is likely to worsen any anxiety and could result in
your dog running off. If your pet seems to be nervous around partygoers in silly hats, masks, or loud
noisemakers, it may be best to confine them to their safe space.

Prepare ahead for this noisy evening by taking your dog for a long walk or play with your cat extensively
earlier in the day in an attempt to wear them out for the potentially stressful evening. For pets with
extreme stress, anxiety-reducing prescription medications from your veterinarian may be necessary.
Calming pheromone collars or diffusers, such as Adaptil® or Feliway®, or  ThunderShirts®  can be helpful
for some pets. See our blog article from 12/15/20, Managing Noise Phobias on New Year’s Eve.

Running away
Because of the stress and anxiety resulting from noisy fireworks and parties, or due to party guests
leaving the door open, New Year’s Eve is a prime time for dogs and cats to run away. If you are hosting a
party, it may be best to keep your pets confined to a smaller area within the house so they can’t bolt out

the door. In preparation for the New Year, be sure that your pets’ identification tags and microchip
registrations are current just in case they slip away!

Parties go hand in hand with plenty of delicious foods for us, but these foods can be toxic to pets. The
onions and garlic found in many traditional pork and sauerkraut recipes can injure the red blood cells,
chocolate found in many decadent desserts can affect the heart and nervous system, and grapes and
raisins can lead to kidney failure in dogs. All of these foods can also cause gastrointestinal upset,
resulting in vomiting and diarrhea. Try to feed your pet before the party begins and keep them far away
from your scrumptious treats. Don’t hesitate to call an emergency veterinarian if your pet eats
something he shouldn’t!

Everyone from Animal Medical Clinic would like to wish you a Safe and Happy New Year!