Helping your Dog Cope with New Year

New Year’s is one day of the year that causes dog parents a lot of anxiety. There are bound to be fireworks all over, and just when you think the neighbors are done with the celebrations, another bang goes off.

Dogs hate explosions. To them, an explosion means danger and that they should run and hide.

Since New Year’s will always be here and fireworks are synonymous to this holiday, a dog owner has to find a way to keep her dog calm.

Make sure you take the dog for a walk during the day on New Year’s Eve to make to avoid being outside when the bangs begin. If you wait until later in the day the dog will be even more scared if the bangs go off when he is outside.

If you notice your dog is only slightly bothered by the noise as opposed to terrified, you can easily distract him. Give him a chewing toy or a treat to occupy his mind. This way, his attention will be drawn to eating instead of worrying about the explosions. You can also play games to distract him.

Prepare a crate where your dog can hide when the fireworks are ongoing. When dogs are scared, they like to hide in snug places in order to feel safe. Line the crate with blankets to keep the dog warm. Draw curtains and keep windows closed to keep out as much noise as possible and also to stop stimulation from the fireworks’ light which serve to scare the dog further.

You can reduce the firework noise reaching the dog by turning on the TV or the radio. When there is some noise in the house the bangs won’t be as loud and scary.

As a preventative measure, train your dogs from puppyhood to tolerate noises from thunderstorms and fireworks. You can do this using noise CDs, meaning the dog will be familiar with these noises when they happen and will only be slightly bothered.

Some dog parents swear on tranquilizers to keep their dogs calm during fireworks. You can get these medications from your vet and administer them about one hour before the time you anticipate the fireworks to start going off as a first line of prevention. You can also use them to treat anxiety especially if the fireworks are going off unexpectedly.

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