New Years Eve is just around the corner and fireworks can be worrying for us as pet owners as our pets can become very anxious and distressed over this period.
One of the main reasons for such stress from our pets (and some humans!) is the fireworks going off time and again, and not just from the constant bangs, but the flashes of light that go with such fireworks - these quite often start a couple of days before New Years Eve (we have heard some already) and may well continue well into the New Year!
So with that in mind, we have put together a list of our top tips to help your keep your furry friend as happy and safe during this stressful time!
On New Years Eve ensure all windows and doors are firmly shut. Close all the curtains or blinds to help limit the flashes of light, and turn on your TV or the radio to disguise or distract from the loud bangs from the fireworks. On the main night of the fireworks, ensure there are lots of things to keep them occupied.
Make sure your pet has its favourite comfy bed with lots of blankets and their favourite toys.
You could even buy a dog den with a bed and a covered flap for burrowing under when the fireworks start. We have a little igloo shaped bed for our Mylo, which is like a little hiding hole for him to feel warm and safe in!
Going out to celebrate the New Year?
If you are not going to be at home during the fireworks, then make sure there is nothing in the room that can cause them harm should they become stressed.
Walk your dog in the early evening before it gets too dark and ensure your dog is microchipped, so that if they run away you are more likely to be reunited with them.
If they are creatures of habit and prefer their routines, then maybe a week or two before the end of the year, take your dogs out slightly earlier for their walks to help them adjust.
Ensure your pet is microchipped and that their details are up to date. Also have a collar on them with your phone number engraved on it. If they do happen to escape, you want to make sure they can find their way home to you easily.
Many pets get lots every year during New Years Eve. If you find a pet wandering the streets without an owner, without a collar or ID tag, take it to your nearest vet so it can be scanned for a microchip and reunited with its owner.
Consider investing in a calming jacket. They really do work and will help make your dog feel less anxious when at home and out and about.
There are also many products out there to help. Products such as 'Pet Remedy' - a natural de-stress and calming product containing natural essential oils that you spray, or plug in the room you have your dog in.
If you have a cat close the cat flap up and keep them indoors as much as possible over this period. Consider buying a Feliway diffuser which mimics the cat own pheromones and helps create a state of calm if they get stressed with the fireworks.
RABBITS & GUINEA PIGS
Rabbits and guinea pigs living outside should be brought indoors to muffle the sound of the fireworks as it will be really loud outside.
Did you know that your behaviour can have a big influence on your pet! Try not to treat them any different than usual on New Years Eve. If you make a fuss of them they will know something is different, and this in itself could make them think that something is not quite right. Talk to them in a calm, normal manner.
If your pet does cause a mess or disturbance during fireworks don't yell at them or punish them, they are only doing it out of fear.
REMEMBER AND ENJOY THE CELEBRATIONS
For us fireworks can be exciting and fun but for our pets they can cause anxiety and stress. With a little bit of preparation we can help reduce their anxiety so it is not a night for them to fear. And this means we can enjoy the night without worrying about our beloved friends.
Keep these pointers in mind and rest assured, you and your pet can get through this New Year celebration stress free! Plus your pet is bound to appreciate all the extra love and cuddles coming their way!
"A very Happy New Year to you all and to your pets too" - from Claire and Tim Downer and Mylo, Co-Founders of Smiley Myley