New Year’s is a time for celebration for us. Parties, visiting friends, recapitulating the old year, and of course fireworks! While we are able to enjoy the colorful sparks in the night sky, our four-legged companion feel a lot different about it.
Dogs have different tempers, different personalities, but many of them have problems with big crowds like those that gather at midnight at New Year’s. What’s even worse for them, however, are loud and sudden noises. And that’s all fireworks really are for dogs. As soon as all the noise starts they surely don’t care about the nice sparkles in the sky anymore. A mindlessly scared dog will try everything to get away from the noise. Thus, the reports of missing dogs are never as high as around New Years and – even worse – July 4th.
Spare yourself and your dog the stress this year. Check out the following things you should keep in mind to keep your dog safe and at least somewhat soothed. At the end of the article, you will also find some Ambient Noise Tracks that will create a more familiar and less threatening environment for your dog to be in when we start the countdown to a new year.
How To Prepare Your Dog For New Year’s Eve Fireworks
The best thing you can do for your dog is to acclimate him or her to the situation. That will spare them a lot of stress and you the preparations for July 4th and New Years every year. Getting your pet accustomed to the loud sounds is easy, yet it takes time. At least several months of training with loud and sudden noises that represent fireworks, large crowds or other noises that may startle your dog are needed.
By playing these sounds before taking your dog for a walk, before they get fed or before playtime will condition them to not only not fear the sounds, but actually link them to something they like. Even then you should have a close eye on your dog during the first firework, as you can never be 100% sure if the acclimation worked fully.
In case you couldn’t spare the time so long in advance, here are some tips you should follow to keep your pet safe:
- Get your pets inside before dark. Even dogs (and cats) that are usually outdoors in the garden in their doghouse or kennel should be brought inside. Even a fenced in garden can’t hold back a dog in panic. They become real escape artists.
- Leave them in a comfortable hiding space. Something to hide underneath, a crate or kennel they associate with sleep and safety or even a blanket or sweater that smells like you will help keep their nerves at bay.
- Close up the house and room you leave your pet in. An ajar door or an accidentally left open window is a risk you do not need and want to take.
- Lessen the startling noises by using ambient noise. Familiar sounds or when you leave the TV or radio on will lessen the effect the loud booms of a firework have on your pets.
- Keep them busy. A toy they can distract themselves with, one that dispenses treats for example, or a juicy boom can take their mind off of the noise, burning smell and panic.
- Stay with them. The best medicine for your dog’s fear is, in fact, you. So if you don’t insist on watching the fireworks outside, stay with your pet. Cuddles and soothing words go a long way.
- Show your dog that there is nothing to worry about. When you have the chance to stay with your dog during the fireworks, make sure to not spoil or cuddle or hide them away to the sounds. Talk calmly and behave as if nothing is wrong whatsoever – because there actually isn’t. If you stay calm, your dog will notice and try to calm as well, realizing that the loud noises do not mean any harm.
The Worst Case
In case your furry escape artists managed to get out of the room and house nonetheless, you should be prepared as well!
- Make sure your pet is wearing an ID. That way, when they are found, they can be returned to you a lot easier and less stressful for all involved. If your pet is microchipped, make sure that your information are up to date.
- Immediately start looking when you notice that your pet broke out. Your beloved animal is in panic and you should make sure that it is returned to you as fast as possible – and while it didn’t have the time to get too far.
Ambient Noise Mixes To Calm Your Dog
Following are some ambient noise tracks that you can play during fireworks to expose your dog to more familiar sounds. Of course you could always record your voice and play it back to your pet. Mix it up with some of our suggestions for more comfort and distraction.