Friday, December 28, 2012

New Year's Eve Fireworks—What to Do If Your Dog Runs Away

Fireworks - CC image courtesy of bortescristian on Flickr
New Year's Eve is almost here, and so is snow and freezing cold! You have to leave the house with several layers of clothing just to make sure you won't get cold. Does it sound familiar? Imagine if you are not prepared at all and have to spend some nights out there in a snowstorm. A runaway pet might face a situation like this.

It's very important to make sure that your dog (or even cat) is in a warm, cozy and secure area during the night of New Year's Eve. It's a lot of fun for people to put on fireworks displays, but our pets may not feel the same. Some more sensitive dogs or cats can get so frightened by all the noises that they decide to run away from all this craziness.

Tips to Prevent Pets From Running Away:
- If your dog is an outside dog, double-check any weak parts of the fence.
- Give him or her warm blankets for extra coziness in the doghouse. With all the noises going on on the streets, your dog might feel safer in his or her comfy hideaway.
- Play or walk with your dog in the afternoon so that he or she will sleep deeper at night. 

8 Tips If the Dog Has Already Run Away:
1. Don't panic! First of all, put some water and a blanket by the part of the fence where the dog escaped from, just in case he comes home. 

2. Call up some of your friends and start exploring the neighbourhood. 

3. At least one person should stay at home to keep an eye on the property and the street and to be available in case someone returns the dog or calls the number on his tag.

Dog hiding from fireworks - CC image courtesy of Dave Parker on Flickr
4. When out on the search, call his name out and have a treat ready. Be extra careful around busy areas, though. You don't want your dog to see you and start crossing the road with the risk of being hit by a car. If you spot him, try to approach him without his noticing you.

5. Don't forget to take his leash, water and a blanket with you so that you can help him right away when you find him. Read our cold weather tips for dogs. Additionally, a flashlight for searching culverts, etc., and a squeaky toy to draw him out can come in handy.

6. Make sure you have your veterinarian's or an animal hospital's number with you. Roaming the streets alone in the dark is very dangerous for any dog. Read about dog first-aid here or here.

7. If he's been missing for more than a day, start putting "missing dog" posters out in your community and run a listing in the local newspaper. Register him on and post his picture on Facebook and Twitter. Ask your friends to share it so more locals will see it.

8. Contact the local shelters and let them know about the situation so they can call you as soon as someone shows up with your dog.


  1. Very relevant post! Our little girl ran away last year through a hole under the fence about the size of a grapefruit. You never know what a pet is capable of when they are scared. But at least we had a happy ending with our girl back at home now.

    1. Thanks, Laura! Yes, it's true, sometimes things like this happen.

      But I'm glad you found your girl in the end! :)

    2. My dog, despite being safe in the porch (the door was also chain locked)... got really terrified of the new-year fireworks, squeezed through the chained gate, and jumped over the main wall and fled. It's been 2 weeks now, i've been searching for him day & night, still no luck. I haven't given up though, cuz i've read several stories where owners find their dogs after 25 - 30 days (or even more) time. But it's really hard to cope with this.

    3. My dog ran away fearing the new year fireworks. He was safe in the porch (that's where he loves to sleep, eat and spend his time), the grilled-gate was chain locked. Despite all of this, he squeezed through the chain gap and jumped over the main wall and fled real quick. It's been 2 weeks now, and we feel more devastated as days go by. We've tried many things (flier circulation, newspaper ads, informing the cops, searching within a 5 kilometer radius, checking out the shelters and informed our vet).... still no luck. I haven't given up though. Cuz i've read several stories where owners find their lost dogs in 25-30 days time (or more). But it's really hard, missing him and all.


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