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New Year's parties are full of perils for pets

Andy needs to be careful for 2009.

Andy needs to be careful for 2009.

Dear Fisher:

I have survived the Christmas holidays and now I am wondering how I am going to get through the New Years Eve party my humans are planning. I remember last year, when people seemed to ring the doorbell for hours on end, and then the loud music and raucous merriment until all hours of the morning. I try hard to be sociable and calm, but it is not always that easy. What's a fella to do?


Dear Andy:

Some of us are lucky enough to have our people go out instead of inviting a lot of people for this very special celebration. I know that it is the eve of a whole new beginning — another year to make good on all those resolutions and such. But it can get a little out of hand sometimes, and I encourage you to look after your own safety. Your people are likely kind and good-hearted, but sometimes even the best of intentions can cause their pets harm. Okay, I'll say it: Pets can even take on some very neurotic tendencies when such parties happen in their domain.

Let's face some facts about pets and holiday hoopla. Some of you will be into it and enjoy the heck out of it. Some of you will take the hidey-ho attitude and show how aloof you really can get. Then, there are those who get completely freaked out and will likely end up sequestered to your own private area of the house. Overall, the most important thing is that your people keep you in mind at all times during the celebration.

Just because there are now gobs of guests in the house, it is still your home, too, and safety precautions must be kept. Many of the rules apply to almost all holidays. For example, the No Chocolate or Alcohol rules must be enforced. And I just heard of a new one: avoid eating aluminum foil and plastic wrap! Funny, I personally would never have thought of that.

There are things to do ahead of time to prevent dangers and mishaps:

• Consider a microchip. There are usually more lost pets than usual after New Years. No matter how much you want to run out that door to find solace, consider the consequences.

• Your people can schedule some time out with you. A nice walk around the block with your human can be very calming for both of you. After all, the abundance of noise is now inside the house!

• At the stroke of midnight, your people likely know of at least one person who will bring fireworks. They should make a huge effort to see you are comfortably inside, preferably tucked into the Master's bed. It will not hurt a thing if they should also place some tasty pet treats on the nightstand. Hey, live it up!

• You are not alone in your concerns. John Steinbeck once observed, "I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts."

Check out a very comprehensive article on Holiday and Seasonal Hazards from the American Dog Trainers Network ( ). Have a very safe and happy new year!

Your friend,


— Fisher lives in Tampa Bay with her humans and loves to give advice. Send questions and a photo to or visit

New Year's parties are full of perils for pets 12/25/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 28, 2011 1:32pm]
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