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Monday, June 24, 2024

Keeping pets safe: A guide to protecting them on new year’s eve

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As the countdown to the New Year approaches, many of us eagerly anticipate the festivities, but for our furry companions, the cacophony of fireworks and celebratory noises can be a source of distress and anxiety. While we ring in the New Year with cheer, it is essential to consider the well-being of our beloved pets. The loud sounds and unexpected flashes of light during celebrations can be overwhelming for animals, causing stress, fear, and even trauma.

Understanding Pet Anxiety

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), many pets experience anxiety or fear due to the sudden and loud noises associated with fireworks, parties, and celebrations on New Year’s Eve. Dogs, cats, and other animals have heightened senses, making them more susceptible to being startled or distressed by the sounds of fireworks and firecrackers.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) says that signs of distress in pets may include trembling, pacing, excessive barking or meowing, hiding, and even attempting to escape. Understanding these signs is crucial in ensuring the safety and well-being of our furry friends during this time of the year.

Create a Safe Haven

One of the most effective ways to help pets cope with the stress of New Year’s Eve celebrations is to create a safe and comfortable environment for them. Designate a quiet room in the house where your pet can feel secure. This room should be familiar to them and preferably away from the noise of the festivities.

A furparent and his daughter comfort a dog on New Year’s Eve.
(Photo from iStock royalty-free images.)

According to the The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), providing a cozy space with familiar bedding, toys, and hiding spots can help pets feel more at ease. Additionally, playing soothing music or white noise can help drown out the sounds of fireworks, minimizing their impact on your pet’s anxiety levels.

Stay Calm and Comforting

Pets often look to their owners for reassurance, especially during stressful situations. Your demeanor can significantly influence how your pet responds to the chaos outside. Try to remain calm and composed, offering comfort and companionship to your furry friend.

Experts from PetMD recommend spending quality time with your pet before the celebrations begin. Engage in activities that help relax your pet, such as playing their favorite games or going for a calming walk earlier in the day.

Identification and Safety Measures

Ensuring that your pet has proper identification is vital, particularly during times of increased anxiety or when there is a higher chance of them escaping. Make sure your pet’s collar is fitted with an up-to-date ID tag containing your contact information. Additionally, microchipping your pet provides an extra layer of security, increasing the chances of a safe return if they do happen to run away.

Furparents cuddle a dog to assure him all is well during the New Year’s Eve celebration. (Photo from iStock royalty-free images.)

The Humane Society advises keeping all windows and doors securely closed to prevent pets from bolting outside when startled by loud noises. It is also recommended to keep curtains and blinds drawn to minimize the visual impact of fireworks or other bright lights.

Consultation with a Veterinarian

In severe cases where pets exhibit extreme anxiety or phobia-like behavior during celebrations, seeking advice from a veterinarian is essential. Veterinarians may recommend various options, including behavioral therapies or medications that can help alleviate your pet’s stress.

The AVMA suggests discussing with your veterinarian potential treatment options like anti-anxiety medications or calming supplements. However, it is crucial never to administer any medication to your pet without consulting a professional.

As we usher in the New Year with enthusiasm and jubilation, let us not forget our furry companions. Understanding their sensitivity to loud noises and taking proactive measures to create a safe and comforting environment for them is crucial. By implementing these strategies and staying attentive to their needs, we can ensure that our pets feel secure and loved during the festivities.

Remember, the well-being of our pets is in our hands. By taking proactive steps and considering their comfort and safety, we can make New Year’s Eve a stress-free and enjoyable time for both ourselves and our beloved animal companions.

About the Author: Mariana Burgos is a freelance artist. She has been a solo parent for 16 years now because she is wife to a desaparecido. She and her daughter are animal lovers and are active in advocating not only human rights but the rights of animals as well.

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