Protect your pet for New Year’s

by Gail L. Winfree
Stripes Europe

New Year’s celebrations pop and bang with fireworks. But as popular as fireworks displays are, their bursts of light and deafening explosions can be traumatic to animals. Dogs have been reported to jump fences, break chains, tear through screen doors, and even leap through glass doors in a desperate effort to escape. These actions cause them to seriously injure themselves. Not surprisingly after fireworks displays, animal shelters report an influx of lost cats and dogs.

If you’re a pet owner, you can take precautions to protect your furry family members this New Year’s. Here are 9 ways to help your pet deal with fireworks.

1. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise during the day. Make your daily walk early to avoid times when fireworks are likely. Also, feed your pets early and ensure they are well fed in the evening.

2.  Never take pets to fireworks displays or leave them outside alone during fireworks. Instead, keep them indoors, and if possible, stay home with them.

3. Close all windows, curtains and blinds to muffle the sound and hide the burst of light. Frightened dogs will sometimes attempt to jump through windows even on upper floors.

4. Provide a safe place inside for your dogs to retreat. You want to create a quiet space where your dog can feel in control. Cats will seek out hiding places; create some around your home.

5. Play music or turn on the TV to help drown out the sounds of fireworks when they begin.

6. Distract your dog by playing games and providing a little extra TLC. Be generous with treats. Surround him with his favorite toys and blanket.

7. A Thundershirt provides gentle, consistent pressure that can help both dogs and cats feel more secure and relaxed during fireworks displays.

8. Melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that can also be synthesized, works wonders to calm dogs down. Many other natural calming supplements for dogs are also available at any pet supply store. Check with your vet to make sure your pet can take supplements.

9. If you have small animals such as birds and hamsters, partly cover the outside of their cages with blankets only leaving one side for them to look out from.

Most pet owners say that New Year’s, or any celebration involving fireworks, is the worst day of the year for their pets. It is up to us to keep our animal companions calm and comfortable. Follow the above suggestions to make your pets feel safe and secure this New Year’s.

 

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