With a New Year comes lots of fireworks, and lots of fireworks means some possible serious anxiety for your pets. Here are a few friendly reminders on how to keep your pets calm when the clock strikes twelve:
- Definitely keep your pets indoors before the fireworks are set to begin.
- If possible, keep your pets with you. They will feel the most at ease in your presence.
- If you plan on being away from home, avoid leaving your pet alone. Having someone around with whom your pets are familiar with is a great alternative. If you plan on leaving them at a boarding facility, it’s better to be sure they have been there before. It may give them extra anxiety if it’s a new experience combined with the loud noises.
- If your home is an area where you expect to hear a lot of fireworks go off, it’s not a bad idea to start preparing your pet by acclimating them to the sound of fireworks. Playing firework recordings or videos will help prep your pets a bit more experience with the noise instead of completely catching them off guard the night of the celebrations.
- Drown out the loud booms by having some music playing inside the house or having the TV on at a decently loud volume. Make sure you have blinds and curtains closed in the house.
- Keep in mind that many pets love to crawl into confined spaces when they are scared. Dogs in particular may want access to their kennel or to hide under the bed. Allow them access to these spaces to seek out extra comfort.
- For pets who already have major anxiety, you may want to ask your vet about some medication options for sedation and/or look into purchasing a ThunderShirt.
- Provide your pets with lots of extra exercise that day to help wear them out.
- Give your pets something fun to play and occupy their attention such as a Kong toy filled with treats or xylitol-free dog-safe peanut butter for your dogs or new catnip toys for your cats.
Remember, all pets should have their collar on with identification tags in case they do escape and get scared away. Even better would be to have your pets microchipped too with up to date information. New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July are the two biggest days of the year for pets on the loose. By taking some precautions to comfort them we can help ensure that our furry friends won’t be lost and scared at the beginning of the New Year!