If you're planning on going out for NYE, you may find that your dog becomes more anxious. Leaving your pet alone for long periods of time can be stressful for them anyway, but if you don't often go out in the evening, it can be much worse.
On top of you not being home, NYE can be quite a noisy night, especially if you live in a busy area or if people are prone to setting off fireworks. All of these things can make your dog's anxiety even worse.
While you shouldn't have to cancel your plans just to stay home with your pooch, there are some things you can do to make the night easier for them. These tips also come in handy if your dog suffers from separation anxiety at all times, as they can help keep them distracted and ensure they are more comfortable being left alone.
Don't make it a big deal
Pointing out to your pet that you are leaving the house and fussing over them before you go can make their anxiety worse. By simply leaving the house without talking to your pet or looking at them, you are putting across to them that you heading out the front door is no big deal.
If your dog suffers from severe anxiety, you might want to try ignoring them for an extended period before you leave the house. This will show that you going out is just another part of their day.
Take them for a walk
Dogs are more relaxed after exercise and so taking them for a walk before you are planning on going out will help them to stay calm when you leave the house. Wearing them out with a walk or a run and then giving them a treat as a reward when you get home will set them up for some chill out time.
This means they will likely be happy and quiet when you go out, reducing their anxiety overall.
Try to organise your time so you aren't running out the door late as you rushing around can make your dog nervous and jittery, which will only get worse once you have gone out. Instead, leaving in a calm manner will help them to feel calm as you leave as they will take their emotional cues from you.
Say goodbye early
Rather than making a fuss of your pooch as you are going out the door, give them some love and attention about an hour before you are due to go. This means you don't feel so guilty about leaving them but they also get a bit of attention before being left alone.
If you are worried about how your dog will cope when you leave the house, practice leaving them on their own for a while. Leave them in one room by shutting the door as you head to another area of the house.
Do this for small periods of time at first before building up to longer periods apart. This will mean they are prepared for you to go out for the day or the night without it being a big issue.
Keep them occupied
Giving your dog toys and treats to enjoy while you are out ensures they are occupied and have something to play with when you aren't there. Balls, Kongs and other toys that don't require your input can help them keep themselves amused while on their own, so you not being there isn't a big deal.
Don't feel guilty
Feeling guilty about leaving your dog can mean you overcompensate when you get home. This means they can start pining for your return even more, undoing all your hard work to keep them at ease.
Avoid giving them a treat as soon as you get in the door or making a big fuss of them. Instead, come home and get yourself settled by taking off your coat and putting your bag down before you make a fuss of them. This will show them that you coming home is just as normal as you going out.
Written by: Hannah