We’re coming to the end of another year, which means it’s time to celebrate! New Year’s Eve is synonymous with fireworks and loud celebrations – which is exciting and entertaining for us, but is often something many animals fear and dread. It’s important to take our pets in to consideration and be prepared, so take a look through our top tips to keep your pets as safe and happy as possible this New Year:
As you make yourself up for a night out, make sure your pet is prepared as well:
- Consider walking your dog in the daylight hours. This will allow you dog to use up excess energy and hopefully sleep through the loud celebrations.
- If you know your pet is particularly affected by loud noises, consider skipping the celebrations and stay home. At the very least, make sure they have someone with them at all times to keep them safe and prevent any accidents. Every year we see animals (mostly dogs) that have been left home alone, only to climb fences or jump through glass windows in a bid to escape what has frightened them. This causes great physical and emotional damage to the animal, as well as to their owner’s home and wallet!
- If your pet requires medication due to anxiety and/or noise phobia, make sure to visit your vet in advance of the celebrations and have medication on hand. Don’t wait until your pet is already in a panic before contacting your vet, as by this time it’s already too late.
- Consider using products like Feliway or Adaptil to help reduce anxiety.
A Safe Place
Giving your pets a safe place to stay is one of the most important things to remember.
- Keep your pets inside once the sun goes down on New Year’s Eve; draw curtains to avoid bright flashes if you expect the fireworks to be close by.
- Provide additional blankets and pillows as a safe place for cats and dogs to hide in. Consider creating a blanket fort by draping a blanket over a table and filling it with comforting things such as cushions, toys, and things that smell like you.
- If you are having a party in your own home, allow your pets somewhere to escape from all the noise and confusion of a crowd. Guests often want to pet and cuddle pets without understanding that this can cause a great deal of distress.
- If your pet does find a hiding place, leave them be until the excitement is over – don’t try and force them to leave their save haven as this will only reinforce their fears.
- Try masking the sound of the fireworks by turning on the television or radio.
- Provide distractions to take your pet’s mind off their fears – give them their favorite toys or treats, play with them, give them a relaxing massage etc.
- Don’t forget the little guys! Rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals are all susceptible to loud noises too. Make sure they are moved to a secure location and have adequate bedding and places to hide.
Prepare for the Worst
While we cannot stop a pet feeling anxious and afraid, we can help lessen the severity, hopefully reducing any destructive or self-harming behaviours. However, it is always recommended to be prepared for the worst:
- Always ensure that your pets are wearing up to date ID tags and/or that they are microchipped and registered with current contact details. If your pet manages to escape, this will help them to be reunited with you as soon as possible.