Say cheers to a new year with a pup party to remember. Here are tips on how to celebrate safely.
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group of young adult with New Year's photo props and a dog
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We're (somehow) at the end of the year. That was fast! As we look back on the fond memories we've created with our canine companions this year, it's only appropriate we close it out with one last holiday bash for their favorite people and pups.

With the New Year quickly approaching, here's how to throw the best dog-friendly New Year's Eve party.

1. Invite Your Dog's Besties

four dogs sitting together on sofa; dogs at new year's party
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Ring in the New Year with your dog's favorite pups and people. While it may be tempting to "go big or go home" when it comes to the guest list, it's best to keep it to about a handful of friends your dog is already familiar with. NYE is a massive—not to mention loud—celebration that can be stressful for dogs. Hosting a small-sized party helps reduce stress for pets and people alike. Plus, it allows every pet parent to keep a close eye on their furry friend.

2. Bake Festive Treats to Serve

Peanut Butter Banana Grain-Free Dog Treats
Credit: Jason Donnelly

No celebration (OK, day) would be complete without treats. You can whip up some cranberry oatmeal dog cookies and chicken bacon dog biscuits or keep it simple with sweet potato dog treats and peanut butter banana treats. Either way, your canine guests are bound to love 'em! Prefer to buy dog treats? Or just want to give each guest some goodies to go home with? There are plenty of yummy holiday-themed treats to choose from.

In addition to treats, make sure to set out bowls of water throughout your party space so all dogs can eat, drink, and be merry.

3. Count Down to the New Year With Thrilling Toys and Activities

dog playing with dog puzzle; dog activities for new year's party
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Since it's likely there will be a lot of surrounding noise with holiday parties and fireworks, you'll have to keep furry attendees entertained. Give every dog a chance to let loose and romp the night away with some wag-worthy party activities.

A few ideas to keep your doggy guests engaged include:

It's also a good idea to have music (or the New Year's Eve Countdown) playing in the background at an appropriate volume to minimize any startling party sounds.

4. Skip the Noise Makers

dog under bed; skip the new years noise makers
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Making a lot of noise is a New Year's Eve tradition that is said to bring good luck in the new year—hence, the popularity of noise makers, air horns, poppers, and hand clappers. And although these NYE staples are lighthearted fun for us humans, they're anything but for our four-legged friends.

Dogs have keen senses, hearing included. With hearing that's far superior to ours, loud, random sounds can inevitably cause stress.

Signs of a stressed dog can include:

  • Lowered head
  • Paw lift
  • Tense body posture
  • Tense expression
  • Barking or whining
  • Pacing
  • Trembling
  • Yawning, licking, or drooling
  • Running away

Pup-friendly parties are meant to be a blast! Avoid noise makers altogether at your dog NYE party to reduce any chances of causing your dog or doggy friends any additional stress or anxiety.

5. Assemble Timeless Goodie Bags for Pets and Humans

dog goodie bags for new year's party
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Thoughtful and practical party favors will never go out of style. Give all pups and parents a reason to smile and prepare for the new year with gifts they'll both appreciate. You can fill their bags with toys, training treats, slow feeders, waste bags, and anything else a pet parent needs.

6. Decorate With Dog-Friendly Decor

flameless candles; dog friendly New Years decor
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When decorating for your doggy NYE party, remember that if something looks interesting enough to a pup, there's a strong possibility it can be used as a chew toy.

For this reason, it's best to avoid decorating with potentially harmful items including:

You can get the same festive look for your NYE party with safer decorations, such as banners, LED strip lights, artificial trees, and flameless candles. (Also, watch to make sure no batteries, chocolate, candy, or breakable ornaments are accessible to pets.)

7. Create a Safe Space in Your Home

dog chewing on toy; quiet space for dogs at New Year's Party
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Abrupt fireworks. Loud music. Holiday hoopla. These sounds can be overwhelming to our beloved pups and cause them great distress. If your dog or any of his friends are giving any indication they're scared or anxious, you'll want to give them a quiet place—whether it's a crate or room—to rest and feel safe. Set up the area with a dog bed, blankets, and toys to help them relax.

8. Make a DIY New Year's Eve Photo Booth

group of young adult with New Year's photo props and a dog
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What better way to capture some final memories of the year with your best pal than with a super cute photo booth? Set up your very own photo booth with a backdrop, lighting kit, and tripod to get started. You can then fill a basket with props, like NYE-themed party hats, bandanas, bow ties, and prop kit sticks for the cutest pet-and-human photos.

9. Keep Human Food and Drinks Away from Dogs

dog with paws on table; how to keep dogs away from food at New Years Party
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Dogs are inquisitive pets. Sometimes, they sniff out a scent and feel inclined to conduct a taste test. This can be dangerous depending on what they ingest, which is why it's important to keep all pets safe by either using a gate to dog-proof an area of your home or simply designating a room for people to eat solo.

When celebrating the New Year, make sure to keep toxic foods out of reach, including:

In the event a dog eats something potentially harmful, call:

  • A veterinarian
  • Your local emergency vet facility
  • ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: (888) 426-4435
  • Pet Poison Helpline: (855) 764-7661

10. Reminisce and Make New Year Resolutions With Your Canine Companion

group of people discussing new years resolutions with their pets
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As you prepare to bid adieu to the current year with "Auld Lang Syne" and a slobbery smooch from your dog at midnight, encourage guests to take some time to reflect on the memories shared with their sweet pooch. Did you go on any exciting adventures together? Exercise as much as you wanted to? Meet your training goals? Invite all pet parents to think about what they'd like to focus on or do more of with their pups. This is a fun way to brainstorm resolutions for the new year and get off on the right foot—er, paw.