Minimize Your Pet’s Stress During New Year’s
Even while the New Year's Eve celebrations can be a lot of fun for people, your pets may find it a stressful event.
Your dog or cat may become agitated by fireworks, parties, odd activities, and any changes to their regular schedules. New Year's Eve might be more of a problem for pets that become tense or frightened by loud noises.
In this blog post, we have some tips on how to minimize your pet’s stress during New Year’s. In this way, both you and your fluffy friends will be able to enjoy the year-end parties that you have in store.
Tips for Dogs
Early Training and Desensitization
It's crucial to progressively expose your puppy or young dog to a variety of stimuli and circumstances, including loud noises. This way, when they develop into adult dogs, they will be able to deal with different situations like fireworks more easily.
An effective technique to acclimate your dog to loud noises is to play fireworks noises. Depending on your dog's sensitivity, the noises are first played softly and then gradually become louder.
Additionally, you might also play videos of fireworks displays with their accompanying sound. Again, using different progressive approaches to help lessen any sensitivity to loud noises is your main target.
Make sure that your training begins months or even weeks before a fireworks display.
Go for an early walk
Try to take your dog for a walk while it's still light outside or if it’s still quiet. You wouldn’t want to get caught far from your house in the thick of an unplanned fireworks display with a terrified dog.
It's advisable to go on New Year's Eve walks before it gets dark. When you need to let your dog out later to use the restroom, check the noise level outside and wait for a quiet period.
You should also take reasonable precautions to make sure that your dog does not flee if fireworks are set off while you are out on a walk. Your dog should generally be chipped! Even more so if he flees in fearful situations.
You can also put a tag with your contact information on your four-legged friend's collar. Also, make sure all the information is up to date, both on the chip and on the tag.
Currently, there is also a GPS tracker specifically for dogs!
White Noise or Music
If the fireworks are about to start, play calming white noise for your dog. To lessen the sounds of the fireworks outside, you can choose rain and waterfall sounds as well as wind noises. There are some white noise devices that you can buy online or in retail stores.
But you can also find a lot of them on Spotify, YouTube, or wherever you listen to music.According to recent studies, dogs seem most relaxed or calm when listening to soft rock, reggae, and classical music.
Music variety is essential aside from rhythm and genre. Dogs often ignore the music they constantly hear. Once the music becomes background noise, the calming impact starts to diminish. So make sure that you provide different sound stimuli.
Anti-Stress Blanket, Jacket, Harness, or Bed
It has been demonstrated that anti-anxiety blankets, harnesses, jackets, and comfy pet beds have a calming effect on animals. Their construction applies a consistent, moderate pressure to the dog's body, which helps to lessen anxiety.
Much like giving your fluffy friend cuddles, a well-constructed pet bed or blankie is where they go if they need a warm stress-free environment.
Animals that are extremely afraid of loud noises like fireworks can be treated with the assistance of a competent behaviorist or veterinarian.
Your dog may be able to overcome its anxiety with the use of a properly designed desensitization and conditioning program that is specifically customized to tackle its deep fears.
There are several medications available on the market that could benefit your dog at times of stress. Then again, it's crucial to consult a veterinarian first before buying and administering any medication.
Your dog has to be examined by a veterinarian if noise sensitivity is a new symptom for them to make sure nothing else is to blame and that they are healthy medically.
What to do in case of anxiety
Your dog must have a secure hiding place, such as under the couch or the bed, in case they become stressed despite all safety precautions.
It’s also necessary to keep your dog company if they're feeling frightened so you can comfort them.
If you’re away during New Year’s, have someone to pet sit or take care of your dog. Make sure that they know that your fur baby is scared of loud noises.
Tips for Cats
Cat owners are strongly recommended to microchip their pets. In this manner, there is a greater likelihood that you will be reunited with your cat if it manages to escape. Your cat should remain indoors even after the peak of the fireworks.
There are firecrackers, rockets, and flares that may occasionally be set off until the early hours of New Year’s day. Keep your cat flap closed. You should close the drapes and the windows to be on the safe side.
Cats need to be able to access their hiding places when they feel anxious. This implies that you should let your furball into any spaces that ordinarily aren't accessible to them.
This might apply to the bedroom, where an open wardrobe or a space under the bed might serve as a hiding place. It’s equally important to establish a comfortable area for them such as a cat bed. Having their private nook can reduce stress and improve well-being.
Felines can be calmed by soft, calming music. The best course of action is to play the music your cat responds to most frequently throughout the year—regardless of any fireworks celebrations.
Recent studies show that your feline companion responds well to music created specifically for them.
David Teie’s Scooter Bere’s Aria is cat-specific music that can help your furry friend. The odd music was created by using cat vocalizations and 55-200 Hz frequencies.
Toys and Games
A few new toys can distract your cat from the fireworks. You can also spray the toys with catnip mist to keep them engaged.
Similarly, you can play games with your cat but don’t force it if it looks like your kitty is not interested.
Like with their canine counterparts, felines must be checked by a behaviorist or a veterinarian if the fear of loud noises seems to be chronic. Don’t give medication without any advice from your vet.
You might be able to ask your veterinarian to call in a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication for your pet if they already know your situation. However, this won't help if you have never discussed your pet's anxiety with your veterinarian.
What to do in case of anxiety
You shouldn't leave a stressed-out cat alone. Your presence can be incredibly calming during this anxious period.
Although, even when done with the best of intentions, excessive emotional attention might backfire! You should understand if your feline fluffy friend doesn't want to be petted in order to calm it down.
Over-talking to your cat can also be bad at times. Moreover, don’t yell at your stressed-out cat if they change their manners in the household while under fear. The most important tip is for your pets to get used to loud noises or flashing lights.
Your pup or tabby will grow less reactive to these stressors if you work with them. Although it takes time and won't yield benefits right away, doing this will be worthwhile in the long run.
New Year’s should be a special occasion for you and your pets. While you can never truly avoid fireworks during New Year’s eve, you can always prepare your Fluffy Friend to face the start of the year with less stress and anxiety!
My dogs will not go out to eliminate several days after New Year’s Eve, 4th of July or after hearing gun shots. Two of them will “hold it” until I lead them out of their crates on a leash to the outside. It takes them awhile to get back into their normal routine ..
Thank you for this advice!