Loud noises and celebratory commotion can send even the calmest of pets into an anxiety-powered tizzy. While New Year’s Eve is often a fun filled night for us, for our animals it can be a night of anxiety-causing blasts and booms. When a pet gets scared, they will often try to escape the cause of fear thus leading to New Year’s Eve being the night of the highest run-away rates for pets. Protect your pet this New Year’s Eve with a few simple tricks.
Desensitize Them. This is something you can do before the festivities. By making excess noise before the fireworks start or throughout the day will allow your pet to become use to unusually loud noises and will lead to a calmer pet when it comes time to celebrate. However, some pets are anxious by nature so this won’t work for all pet personalities.
Distract Them. Your behavior will often effect your pet’s behavior. By staying calm and treating them the same way as you usually would allow your pet to calmly play through the loud noise of fireworks. If your pet shows no interest in playing don’t force them. Forcing them to play will stress them out even further. If they don’t want to play and are still stressed try something else.
Find a Happy Place. Most pets have a happy place they like to go when they want a good nap or to reflect on the day. Use this spot when you notice your pet becoming stressed out by the noise. For my dog, it’s snuggled on the bed between a pillow and his favorite teddy bear. For other pets it could be a crate, the space behind the couch or underneath a blanket. However, for most pets, their happy place is being right next to you.
Stay Together. For most pets, their favorite place to snuggle is somewhere near their owner. Be it on their lap, next to their feet or curled up nice and close on the couch. If fireworks are going on in the neighborhood and you are simply watching a movie, let your pet watch the movie with you. Often just being near their owner can calm a pet down. If you are going out, hiring a pet sitter might be a good idea especially if your pet is an already anxiety-prone.
It’s important to remember that your pet is acting out of fear. So if your pet makes a mess or is a bit destructive don’t scold him or yell. Your pet is afraid and is finding a way to express this fear or even to escape it. For this reason, it’s important not to tie him up outside or constrain him in any way that will lead to injury if he tries to escape. Keep your pet’s collar on so that if he does manage to get away you can still track him down.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to Geary Veterinary Services at (724)437-4191. We will be more than happy to help you through this high anxiety time.