Here at Gudog we love ringing in the new year with a spectacular fireworks display, but with the RSPCA reporting that 62% of dogs showing signs of distress during fireworks, New Year’s Eve can be an upsetting night for our poor pooches.
Dogs hear sounds on a range of frequencies much larger than us humans which means those pinprick popping fireworks are actually booming loud noises to our pups.
So with New Year’s Eve fast approaching, we’ve put together five tips to keep your dog safe and happy during New Year’s Eve.
1. Get prepared
Find out the date and timings of any organised firework displays planned in your area and make sure you’re at home with your dog during these times.
If you have a pooch who has displayed severe anxiety around fireworks or loud noises before, it might be worth speaking to your vet about medication they can take, or products you can buy at your local pet store, such as anxiety wraps. Thundershirt Anxiety Coats are a great, trusty brand.
2. Organise a playdate
If your pooch is particularly nervy and you know your area will be a fireworks hotspot, it might be worth finding out if there are any dog owner gatherings going on in quieter areas that you can join. Dog Furiendly is always a great source for local events!
Or, you could visit friends and family, or plan a peaceful trip away in areas where you know there won’t be any loud celebrations.
3. Maintain your usual routine
If you’re statying home, it’s best to try and stick as close to your usual routine as posisble.
Treat your dog to plenty of exercise earlier in the day. Not only will this tire them out and let them do their business stress-free, but if you’re out before dusk you’re less likely to have any run-ins with fireworks out in the open.
Make sure your furry friend has had their usual dinner before it gets dark as fireworks can put them off their meal, and being hungry will only make them more stressed.
You should also keep their water bowl topped up as dogs are likely to drink more when they are worried.
4. Create a safe environment
It may seem obvious but always keep your dog indoors when fireworks are being let off. If you do need to take your dog on a toilet trip, it’s best to keep your four-legged friend on a lead in case of any sudden loud bangs.
Close the curtains to block out the flashing lights and muffle the sound. It may also be a good idea to switch on the TV to help block out the noise, but only do this if your dog is used to the sound of the TV.
You could create a ready-made safe space for your pet by placing their bed in a tucked away area, with a jumper of yours in there. Your scent might help to keep your dog calm, even though they may not want you by their side.
5. Let your dog take the lead
Your pooch might be feeling quite stressed so be sure to give them the space to let them pace or hide if they want to. Once your dog has found a safe spot try not to disturb or overfuss them.
One of the best things you can do for your pet is to stay calm and act normally. Your dog will sense any unease so be sure to offer plenty of praise for calm behaviour and give them a cuddle if they come to you for comfort.
If your dog has a meltdown or an accident, don’t scold them as this will only increase their stress. Keep calm and gently coax them out of any destructive behaviour with cuddles, treats or soft words.
From all the team at Gudog, we wish you a very happy new year, and a wonderful 2020! Share your NYE snaps with us on Insta, and tag @Gudog.
For more tips and information on how to care for your dog during fireworks, you can check out out a piece we posted on the blog earlier this year.