5 Pet-Friendly Ways to Ring in the New Year

Posted December 21, 2018 @ 10:57am | by Heidi Brenegan, MBA, CVPM

I’ll be honest with you. My New Year’s Eve party days have come and gone. Truth be told, they really never were. In Minnesota, you can count on New Year’s Eve being one of the coldest (or snowiest) days of the year. A few winters of climbing over snowbanks in high heels, and I decided New Year’s Eve parties aren’t for me. That being said, I like to mark the occasion in some way. I like to have a nice dinner with my family, watch the ball drop in Times Square, kiss my hubby at the stroke of midnight, and call it a night. 

This year, I thought it might be nice to include the pets in some of the festivities. If your pets are anything like mine, they’re family. So why not have some pet-friendly options to ring in the New Year? Read on for some ideas!

  1. Confetti is a fun way to celebrate the New Year, and imagine how much fun your cat (and potentially, small dog) would have chasing it as it falls! Commercially-made confetti sticks are great, but the confetti itself may be toxic if eaten. However, if you make your own confetti cannon, you can stuff it with dime-sized or smaller DIY plain paper confetti that won’t harm your pets. Better yet, load the cannon with pieces of dog or cat food! Just be aware you might still be finding pet food behind your couch in July…
  2. How cozy would it be to spend the night watching movies (featuring pets, of course) in a blanket fort? If you don’t know how to build a blanket fort, then I’m sorry your childhood sucked. Just kidding! In all seriousness, you probably know how to make a blanket fort, but just in case, here’s a tutorial. If your pet shows reluctance at joining you in your amazing fort, bring his/her bed inside and some snacks for both of you. Now for the movie part! You can always bring an Ipad or a laptop into your fort, but how fun would it be to project the movie onto a blanket? Here’s a DIY on how to build a very inexpensive smartphone projector. Popcorn, anyone?
  3. If your family also includes children, what about an activity with both kids and pets? You’ll need a variety of art supplies – paint, markers, crayons, pens, colored paper – whatever your kids like the most. Spend some time talking about your favorite pet memories of the past year, then ask each (human) family member to capture their favorite memory via art. Get your pet in on the fun by assigning one family member to photograph your pet or make a paw print picture, and make sure you offer plenty of treats or favorite toys as a reward for a good pose! This activity can be especially meaningful if your pet is in his or her golden years. My dog George is 14-years-old, and I don’t know if he’ll see another New Year’s Eve. So this year is the perfect opportunity to record what we love most about him for all posterity. Once your artwork is complete and your photos are developed, make a pet portrait gallery of all of your creations.
  4. New Year’s resolutions: they’re a “love ‘em or hate ‘em” kind of thing. This year, for some added interest, try including some pet-related goals in your resolutions! It can be hard to stick to our own resolutions. But if you’re resolving to better the life of your pet in some way, a resolution might be easier to keep!
  5. Lastly, if your pet has some animal friends, invite them to your house for a New Year’s Eve Pawty! Yes, I know I said I didn’t like parties, but a party for dogs? Heck yes! You can do any of the activities above with all attendees, and you can provide New Year’s Eve banana peanut butter cookies for the dogs! Just make sure you only invite pets that your pet really likes, and keep the gathering small. Too many animals – two-legged or four – will cause stress for everyone!

We hope these ideas inspire a fun New Year’s Eve for you, your family, and your pets! If your pet does experience a pet emergency while ringing in the new year, both our Oakdale and St. Paul clinics are open 24/7 and our team is ready to help! 


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