Tips on how to keep your pets safe this New Year’s Eve, and during the summer thunderstorm season
It’s the season for celebrations, and with New Years’ Eve upon us, our thoughts must turn to protecting the safety of our pets during festive fireworks displays.
Fireworks, like thunderstorms, can have a significant impact on the psyche of cats and dogs, particularly those who suffer from noise phobias and general anxiety. The thumps, bangs, pops, crackles and flashes of light often strike terror into the hearts of our furry friends.
Here are some great tips on how to help your pets greet the New Year safely, and to endure the summer thunderstorm season, without major stress or serious injury resulting from panic behaviour.
1. Never tie your pet up during a fireworks display or thunderstorm – collars can cause serious injury to struggling cats and dogs during a noise phobia panic attack.
2. Keep pets safely contained inside your house, in a secure internal room with doors, windows and curtains closed for maximum soundproofing. Clear away objects that might harm them if they panic.
3. Ideally stay with your pet during fireworks so that you can calmly reassure them and deal with any hazards as they arise. This is essential in the pet that has previously shown symptoms of noise phobia. If you can’t be with them, arrange for a close friend or family member who is familiar to your pet to sit with them.
4. Use the television, radio or loud music to drown out the sounds of firework or thunder and distract your pet with food and toys.
5. Give pets access to a small, confined crawl space where they can hide such as a crate with bedding or a dark cupboard.
6. Never punish your pet for displaying fear – this will only increase and reinforce their anxiety.
7. Ensure your pets’ ID is fully up-to-date: including microchips and collar tags with current contact details. In the unfortunate situation that they escape, you will be easily traceable.
8. Training the noise phobic pet is easy and can be very effective. Desensitise your pets to the sound of thunderstorms and fireworks with special Noise Phobia training CDs, available on the internet. Play them regularly but very softly at first, and only increase the volume if the pets shows no signs of anxiety.
Good luck keeping your pet sane this season and HAPPY NEW YEAR!