Firework displays are dazzling for humans, but the effect is not as blissful on pets. Pets are naturally afraid of loud noises. This can be attributed to their ability to pick higher pitched sound.
Such sound triggers their nervous system, causing them to become afraid or anxious. The bright flashes and smells from fireworks can have an overwhelming effect on your pet. If you want your pet to enjoy the celebrations on New Year’s Eve as you do, you must keep it calm.
Several animal charities and pet owners have provided some guidance on soothing your pet when the clock strikes midnight.
How to Tell When Your Pet is Distressed
Distressed pets exhibit symptoms that vary from one animal to another. On a general level, they may drool, pant heavily, or attempt to escape. While these signs are easy to pick, there are more subtle ones a pet owner should observe.
Toileting in the house is among them. The pet may also be overly restless for unexplained reasons. No matter what you try, calming them when already distressed may take a long time. Cats tend to hide from the source of distress, while rabbits may keep still and thump the ground heavily with the back feet.
Fireworks phobia is a common occurrence in pets around New Year’s Eve. If left unchecked, it can escalate into full-blown fear where even the slightest thud throws the pet in anxiety mode.
It’s advisable to have preparatory measures in place before the fireworks begin. Take the time to walk your dog before dusk. A pleasant long walk will wear the dog out.
If the dog is exhausted as the fireworks begin, he’ll be less prone to panic because of the sound.
As you walk your dog, let them have the leash on. Remember that even the best-behaved dog can get frightened and take off. This is regardless of having a fenced-in yard.
Keep the house secure for your dog to prevent him from running away when the fireworks go off. A safe and comfortable hiding place within your home will help in easing his suffering. Keep your dog company during this “hiding” period to prevent him from panicking.
Keep the curtains closed in the area you intend to keep the dog. Turn on some light soothing music on radio or TV to lessen the effect of the sound from the fireworks. You could also keep the dog occupied by playing games until the fireworks have ended.
Animal welfare organizations recommend keeping your cat indoors during fireworks. Before the season begins, have the cat microchipped. If this has already been done, check that it’s up to date. Micro-chipping is crucial as it increases the chances of being reunited with your pet should they get lost.
In the same way you calm a dog, you can comfort a cat by putting on some calming music during the fireworks. Ensure your cat stays indoors by blocking off your cat flaps. Keep the curtains closed and allow your cat to roam around the house or put it in a safe place.
If you have a pet in the form of a rabbit or guinea pig, you also need to consider its safety. If you keep them in a cage or pen outside, you could consider one of two available options. You could either move them indoors or have their cages soundproofed.
Soundproofing the cages doesn’t have to be costly or a huge project. Simply covering them with heavy blankets will do the trick twofold. It will prevent the flashes and keep the firework sounds muffled.
Alternatively, move the cages to the garage or shed. Increase their beddings to increase their safety and make them feel snug.
For all kinds of pets, you may want to speak to your veterinarian about your concerns. The vet will recommend some therapies like CBD for dogs to help in keeping the pet calm during the fireworks. Another therapy is the Canine Noise Phobia series that comprises sound therapy and desensitization.
It works best for fireworks, thunderstorms, and city sounds like a set or individually.
If you’re not able to reach your vet for one reason or another, consider leaving the neighborhood for a while. If you live on a loud street and don’t have much planned for the night, consider taking your pet somewhere quiet and peaceful.
Just like human beings can get frightened at loud noises, so can pets be disturbed by more subtle noises. Fireworks are some of those sounds that can be distressing to these animals. You can keep your pet from suffering the aftermath of the noise by keeping it calm.
As the New Year’s Eve approaches, protect your pet from the panic caused by fireworks. Play some soothing music, keep them indoors with the curtain closed, or take them away to a quiet place. Overall, enjoy each other’s company and look forward to a Happy New Year.