The start of a new year brings a lot of excitement.  For pet owners, however, that excitement is not always a good thing.  Unless your pet is one of the lucky few, celebrations involving fireworks are anything but fun.

It makes sense for your pet to be so nervous.  The noise made by fireworks is entirely unnatural, and your pet has no way of understanding what all the ruckus is about.  Since we can’t turn down the volume on those cracks and booms, it’s up to pet owners to make our best friends comfortable until it’s over.

Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure your pet has had plenty of exercise before the commotion begins. Whether for humans or pets, physical activity has a proven calming effect, and it really makes a difference in stressful situations.
  • Don’t leave your dog or cat unattended, especially when the noise is at its peak. If you have other plans, arrange for someone to stay with your pet.  This gives your pet a calming voice and a soothing touch to help him or her get through the tough parts, and because pets can be unpredictable when they are panicked, it will also minimize potential damage to your home.
  • It should go without saying, but keep your pets indoors during celebrations involving fireworks. This is important for a number of reasons.  Obviously, it’s more stressful for them to be outside where the uproar is happening, but outdoor pets have also been known to make a break for it when they get stressed.  Avoid losing your pets by keeping them indoors where they are safe and secure.
  • If at all possible, ring in the New Year somewhere quiet. Not every town has fireworks displays, and a trip to the country sounds like a great way to welcome 2015.

Photo Credit: MattandAshley via Compfight cc

When it comes to keeping your pet’s anxiety under control, preparation is key.  In addition to the tips we’ve provided here, you can also take extra steps like making sure that they are surrounded by all of their favorite things.  Keep them close, give them treats, and soothe them in the best way you know how.

Of course, if your pet’s panic becomes too extreme, speak with your family veterinarian about other options that may be available, including medications.

Featured Photo Credit: Randy Son Of Robert via Compfight cc