6 Pet Hazards to Avoid as We Enter into a New Year

Dr. Aman Kanwar

Dec 20, 2021

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Keeping your pet safe during the holiday season, and any time of the year, can be tricky. Pets are often interested in what’s going on around them, and they may be frightened by the chaos as you interact with family and friends. Even during the New Year holiday and into the beginning of the coming year, it’s important to keep an eye on your pet and any potential hazards that could impact their safety!

Common Pet Hazards to Keep an Eye Out for in the New Year

In the article below, you’ll find out more about six common pet hazards that may affect your furry friends at the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. These events can also happen during different parts of the year too, so it’s important to keep an eye out for them all year round. 

6 pet hazards to look out for going into the new year include:


With the weather becoming much colder around the holiday season, cold temperatures and even snow or ice are usually in full swing for many locations by New Year’s Eve. If you live in a place where the weather becomes very cold at this time of year, be on the lookout for signs of frostbite after your pet has been outdoors.

Frostbite can appear as bright red, blue, gray, or black skin on your pet’s paw pads and other exposed areas of his body. If you’re ever unsure whether your pet has frostbite, it is always better to play it safe and pay a visit to your closest emergency vet!

Ingestion of Foreign Objects

We see this all the time! You likely have a lot of decorations around your home for New Year’s Day, and you may still have other holiday decorations around too. Pets are usually very interested in these decorations and may be prone to chewing on, biting, playing with, or trying to swallow them.

If your pet does swallow part of a decoration—or any other foreign object—this should be treated as an emergency. Your pet may suffer an intestinal blockage or could have an airway obstruction from this problem. Some foreign material may even be toxic to your pet. Both situations require emergency surgery and may need additional emergency vet care to help your pet recover.

Fear and Anxiety

Large gatherings around this time of year may leave your pet feeling more anxious than usual. If you plan to host a New Year’s Eve party or have a lot of family and friends over for dinner on New Year’s Day, your pet may be afraid of all the commotion.

Keep your pet safe and secure in a guest room or another space that is fully separated from everything else going on. You might also want to put your pet in a crate if he is already crate trained, as this can help him feel safer and give you more peace of mind, too.

If none of these methods work for your pet, reach out to your veterinarian regarding other methods that can help keep your pet calm during stressful events.

Ingestion of Toxic Human Foods

Make sure you always keep an eye out for your food and drinks during this time of year, especially if you have a four-legged friend around! Pets may try to steal bites of food from plates belonging to you or to your guests, and it can be difficult to supervise a pet in a group of multiple people. Pets may also be interested in trying to drink alcoholic beverages.

If your pet ingests any toxic human food or drinks any alcohol, pay a visit to your closest emergency room as soon as possible. The earlier you arrive, the safer it is for your pet. If you are ever unsure, call the vet and ask if they think he needs to come in or not based on the food he ate and the amount consumed.

You can call your closest VEG and speak directly to a doctor! Having numbers for your local pet poison control may also be a useful tool in case of this event.

Injury from Another Animal

If your guests bring their own pets to stay with you for a while during the holidays or if you will be traveling with your pet to another home with animals present, there is always a risk of the pets not getting along. If your pet gets into a fight with another pet, you will need to monitor the situation for signs of an emergency.

Emergencies resulting from pet fights include broken bones, excessive bleeding, or any trauma or damage to the pet’s eyes.

Running Away

Loud noises and overwhelming situations can easily spook some pets. The holiday season is one of the most popular times we find pets running away from their home. This can also be a concern during other parts of the year, too.

Be aware of any firework displays, loud gatherings around you or any events that make your pet feel especially triggered. We also advise to not let your pet stay out in the yard without supervision during a chaotic holiday gathering.

Additionally, if you are expecting a lot of guests to come and go on their own, keep your pet crated or safely contained in a distant room away from the front door. This way, there will be no risk of your pet slipping past your guests and getting out. Having a plan for your pet prior to any planned events can save you a lot of trouble later down the line!

Be Mindful of Any Potential Pet Hazards in the New Year

Your pet’s safety should remain a priority in the next year as well. For this reason, it’s important to make sure you keep up with all of your pet’s required and recommended vaccinations and other treatments depending on his age and activities.

This is also a good idea to refresh your vet’s contact information in your phone and address book. You should also double-check emergency vet contact information in these locations as well, and make sure the same emergency vet is still available in the coming year.

If you encounter an emergency situation with your pet, or if you’re unsure on whether or not your pet needs immediate help, call any of our VEG locations today. We have locations all over the country, each staffed with expert teams to help you and your pet in any situation.