Is your pet afraid of fireworks? 5 tips
Stress, trauma and pets going missing: New Year's Eve can be very hazardous for animals. Fireworks not only cause a lot of anxiety and stress, many pets also tend to run away and get lost. Are you a pet owner or a pet sitter? Be sure to take extra measures to prevent accidents and your pet from going missing.
One can recognize fearful dogs by their body language: tail between the legs, ears flat, panting, licking lips, yawning, trembling, walking around nervously, wanting to hide, not caring about food, games, cuddles etc. Does your (host) dog display one of these signals? Then read these tips carefully to help him make a great start of the new year!
Preventing fireworks anxiety: noise training
If you want to reduce firework anxiety in the long term, start preparing in advance, ideally start in November (nice new year's resolution?). You can help your pooch getting used to sounds with a CD or fireworks app. Build it up slowly, don't force your pet, then the fear can only get worse.
Prevent your pet from going missing
Around New Year's Eve, twice as many pets go missing than on a regular day. So it's important to keep an extra close eye on our animals these they, because can show really unpredictable behavior. Dogs and cats that are normally confident can suddenly run away or hide out of sheer anxiety.
Make sure your animal is chipped and tagged. Keep your dog or host dog on-leash around New Year's Eve. And don't ever let a dog alone, waiting outside the supermarket, for example. The dog may be frightened by the people walking by or even worse: by people lighting fireworks. If the dog is then alone and tied up, this can even be traumatic.
Double check whether all animals are safely inside then close all windows, doors and cat flaps. Are you a pet sitter and are you responsible for someone else's pets? , don't let your guest walk off-leash. Are you doing drop-in house visits? When leaving or entering the house, always check whether the cat isn't silently slipping away. And with every home visit, make sure the cat is still in the house so you can send an update to the pet owners for peace of mind. Some cats try to hide in their favorite secret places. Make sure you know what those are before you start your pet sitting job.
Close curtains to keep out those 'scary' light flashes, leave doors in your house open so your pets can find their own place where they feel comfortable. You can help your dog or cat by creating a nice cozy and sheltered place, preferably near you so you can keep your pooch company. Put a cloth over the cage of your birds or rodents for extra shelter. Turn on the TV to neutralize noise from outside.
First of all: Make sure you have already exhausted the dog in a quiet park in the afternoon. Make an extra long walk before the evening with lots of movement and games. Is your dog not being able to concentrate in the afternoon because of fear of fire? Then enter nice (search, search and pull games with your dog so that he is tired and satisfied in the evening.) Go on the streets no later than 22.00, from that time fireworks can be burned.
Dogs who are extremely anxious about fireworks can get stuck in a state of stress where their body stiffens. By wrapping your dog in a cloth or a Thundershirt he will feel more secure in his body and he will calm down.
Don't ever punish your cat or dog for his anxious behavior, that'll only make him more insecure. Try to stay calm yourself, your confident energy will help your pet to feel safe. Talk to your animal in an encouraging way ('good booooy, you're doing fine') and make him feel that he is not alone.
Fireworks free zone
There are firework free bungalow parks and pet-friendly hotels where you and your dog can celebrate a quiet and peaceful New Year's. Many of those hotels are booked quite early, so make sure to plan ahead.
Do you want to celebrate New Year's Eve with plenty of fun & fireworks, but do you want to board your pet in a quiet, safe and homely environment? Book a Pawshake pet sitter in a quiet environment. Pawshake pet sitters offer home dog boarding during New Year's Eve so your furry friend can enjoy a calm and safe New Year's Eve.
Happy New Year!