It’s almost upon us! Yes, Christmas is behind us and New Year’s Eve is on its way. If you’re looking forward to the parties and fireworks displays, you’re not alone. But not everyone shares your enthusiasm. Dog and cat owners across the globe both dread and curse NYE because of what it does to many animals and pets. If you’re the parent of a dog or cat that does not handle loud or rumbling noises well, you can relate.
To begin, if your pets aren’t chipped, they should be. The day after NYE and July 4th are two of the busiest days of the year for animal rescue groups and shelters in America. It’s amazing how pets can manage to pull a Houdini and run off during firework displays or your neighbors’ kids’ stash of loud reloadable mortars. If your pet is among the runaways and they’re chipped, you’ve just upped your chances of being reunited. Reminder: your contact info provided on the paperwork must be up to date or the chip is useless.
Preparing Pets for New Year’s Eve
Secondly, just like the 4th of July, it’s important to have a quiet space planned for your nervous Nellys, assuming you’ll have them ensconced at home for the evening. It can be a bedroom, a basement, or even a bathroom, but you want to pick an area for them to retreat to when the explosions begin where they feel comfortable. If they’re prone to hanging out in a crate, then by all means include it in the room you’ve selected.
Also, shut the doggy door in your home and take your pets out for periodic potty breaks only if they’re leased — and none of this collar-only business. Collars can easily be slipped. Make sure they’re wearing a harness as well.
You likely already have thunder vests and Benadryl on hand to help lower their anxiety levels, but you can always ask your veterinarian if they can recommend an approved sedative for the scardiest of scaredy cats. Whether it’s over-the-counter or prescription medication, be sure to administer the proper dosage to avoid an emergency vet visit on top of everything else.
Fanning the Flames
One final note is to be aware of how you’re talking to your pets and if you’re overcompensating or overreacting. For instance, pets, like small children, pick up cues from people. If you jump into action and murmur nervously each time an explosion rocks the house, you’re only reinforcing that there’s something to be afraid of. Stop wringing your hands and muttering about your thoughtless neighbors. Try to act nonchalant instead and strongly consider noise desensitization training for your fur babies before the next loud celebration.