Happy New Year?
By Ash Tree Vets | 29th December 2018
New Year is often celebrated with fireworks at midnight, but this can cause huge stress for many pets. Make sure you’re prepared this year
Other measures you can make to help your dog cope include:
- Walk your dog during the day before it gets dark, long before fireworks are due to start. Ideally give them a longer walk than usual so that they are physically and mentally tired and therefore more likely to be relaxed once fireworks start. Ensure that cats are shut inside for the evening.
- Keep curtains and blinds closed to block out the flashing lights and also to muffle the sound of the fireworks.
- Put the TV or radio on in the background to block out the noise as much as possible. However do not have the TV or radio turned up too loud as this could also stress your dog.
- Provide a den like area for dogs. It has been proven that dogs that have a hiding place recover from a fearful experience much more quickly than those dogs that had nowhere to hide. Create a den by using a dog crate covered with a blanket or towel or by putting a large blanket over a table and allow it to hang down either side. Put some tasty treats and a new toy in the den for your dog to explore. If your dog wants to hide during the fireworks then let them! Cats also like to hide; provide your cat with a cardboard box or similar and ideally place this up high as cats like a high vantage point as it helps them to feel safe.
- Feed your dog a carbohydrate based meal an hour or so before the fireworks, rice, potato or pasta based would be fine. This may help your dog feel sleepy and relaxed.
- Consider the use of pet remedy spray/diffuser or Zylkene capsules to help your pet cope with firework season. Ask a member of staff for more information regarding these products.
- If your dog seeks out human contact when they are fearful then it is fine for them to do so, don’t feel that you can’t give your pet attention because they are scared. However if your pet chooses to hide away or avoids human contact when scared then try not to force attention or affection on to them as this may make them feel worse.
- Provide your dog with a stuffed Kong toy or a chew to help distract them from the noise going on outside.
- Remember to shut cats inside as soon as it starts to get dark. A frightened cat might run away or try to hide in somebody’s garage and get locked in.
- Most importantly, do not reprimand your pet for being scared, this will only make their anxiety worse. Try to act as normal so that your pet doesn’t pick up on your stress.
Please contact the surgery for advice on long term treatment plans for fear of fireworks or for more information on the products available to help your pet cope with fear of fireworks.