7 Tips to Help Put Your Pets at Ease This New Year's Eve
7 Tips to Help Put Your Pets at Ease This New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve is an evening filled with excitement, time spent with family and friends, and festivities that help us ring in the New Year, but it can also be a night of terror for our pets. Fireworks, laughter, loud music, and other noises can create anxiety within our pets, sometimes to the point where they could bloody their paws trying to free themselves from locked doors, or even jump out of windows to escape from the terror. Here are some tips to keep your pets at ease this New Year’s Eve:
1. Confining Your Pet
Many pets have a favorite hiding place or bed that they retreat to feel when they are frightened. For some pets a crate, or cage can offer safety and security, but for others, it may heighten the uneasiness they already feel. If your pet has not grown up using a crate or confining space, they may find it more stressful and injure themselves trying to chew or claw through the crate door. Assess your pet, and if a crate cannot be used, place them in a room where they cannot hurt themselves or their belongings.
2. Using a Positive Noise to Distract Your Pet
Even if your pet has not been accustom to noise conditioning before, using a distracting noise can still help distract from loud sounds prominent on New Year’s Eve. Calm, classical music can help relieve animal’s anxiety. Turn the music to a volume that helps drown out the party noise, but does not disturb the pet. Some pets also find comfort in watching TV; record a show that your pet enjoys and play it for several hours at a time.
3. Natural Calming Therapies for Pets
For dogs, lavender oil has been found to reduce car ride anxiety, and can also aid in calming them down during a night full of noise. Make sure the oil has the name Lavendula augustifolia or Lavendula officinalis. The oil can either be used on the skin, or by letting your dog smell it, another option is spraying it on your dog’s favorite blanket.
For cats, many owners have found that Feliway sprays are helpful. Feliway is a synthetic copy of the facial pheromone cats use to mark their territory as safe and secure. The scent can be used as a plug-in room scent, or as a spray.
4. Exercise Your Pet to Calmness
If you have a cat, spend time in the morning and early evening before the night’s festivities to play with feather wands and laser toys. Keep your cat moving as much as possible before the noise begins later in the night.
For a dog, get them outside to a dog park or something of that nature for as much exercise as he or she can handle before the night, so that hopefully when the noise starts your pet will be too tired to get stressed out by it.
5. Distract Your Pet With Toys and Games
Give your dog or cat some new toys to play with. For cats, try spraying cat nit spray on the new toy to keep him or her interested, and for dogs, stuffing peanut butter in a puzzle toy can hold their attention for a long period of time.
6. Leave the Neighborhood for the Night
If none of the tips listed above will aid in helping your pets anxiety, taking your dog or cat to friends or family where they can be safe and noise-free for the evening may be the best option.
7. Don’t Hold Back on Comforting Your Pet
The best thing you can do for your pet when he or she is anxious is to stay calm, show your pet by example that there is nothing to be afraid of, speak soothingly, show ample amounts of affection, and give treats when they demonstrate calmness. Some pets may learn that if they are near their owner, they are safe, but our pets, like us, can sometimes be high strung and may need to be comforted during noise filled events.
If pet anxiety is not an issue for your dog or cat, here are some safety tips regarding New Year’s Eve celebrations to keep in mind:
1. Collar, ID tags, and Current Microchips are Essential
Most dogs run away on the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve because of the fireworks and possible loud noises. A combination of a collar, tag, and microchip will increase the chances of your pet being returned if he or she does indeed escape.
2. Keep Toxic Food and Drinks Out Of Reach
Alcoholic beverages are toxic to pets, and some foods such as chocolate are as well. Be sure to remind your guests of this and let them know to keep all cups and drinks out of the reach of pets.
3. Use Non-Toxic Decorations
Tinsel, garland, confetti and other small breakable, easily edible decorations and objects are not smart to have around a curious pet. These items can be toxic if eaten and can also get caught in the digestive track causing complications. Keep these decorations up high and away from your pet.
4. Make Sure Gates and Fences are Secure
It is best not to allow pets outside because the noise can startle the animals and cause them to flee to safety. If you do allow your pet outside, even if it is just to use the restroom, be sure that your gates and fences are secure, otherwise, keep your pet on a leash.