How to spend a stress-free New Year's Eve celebration with your pet

December 27, 2022


While people enjoy New Year's Eve celebrations with spectacular fireworks, for pets, it is often the scariest day of the year. The endless noise and flashes of light coming from all directions can be not only an unpleasant memory on one day of the year but also a traumatic experience that can cause long-term effects for your dog. Unpredictable reactions to any noise, barking, knocking, howling, extreme fearfulness, and in the worst cases, an attack for a seemingly unknown reason can be the result of New Year's Eve celebrations for your dog.

Here are some tips on how to prepare for New Year's Eve and make it as stress-free as possible for your dog and you.

The best tool is prevention

If you want your dog to feel comfortable even in situations that can be stressful, you need to get him used to these new, unfamiliar, and specific situations. In the case of fireworks, you can download an audio recording of the fireworks and start exposing your dog to the sound. It is important to begin at a low volume. If the dog shows any signs of discomfort, stop, and definitely do not make the sound any louder. It is good if the dog has associated the situation with something pleasant. During the course of exposing the dog to the sound recording, you can reward the dog with small treats.

Prevention works well for puppies. For older dogs too, however, if the dog has had a bad experience, it is not a good idea to stress him by exposing him to unpleasant sounds. In that case, do everything you can to ensure his comfort and that he feels safe and calm during the New Year's Eve celebrations.

Please note that if your dog is afraid of sounds that are common, do not hesitate to contact your vet to discuss the problem so that you can best help your dog overcome his fear.

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What should I do if my dog is afraid of fireworks?

1. Spend an active day together

New Year's Eve is an anticipated event, so it is possible to prepare for it. It is good to tire the dog as much as possible during the day. You can go on a family outing, go for a run with the dog, or just go for a very long walk, after which the dog will be pleasantly tired. At best, the dog will sleep through the fireworks in a quiet corner of the house. If he does not sleep, he will at the very least be so tired that he will pay less attention to the fireworks.

2. Keep away from fireworks

Don't force the dog to go outside with you to watch fireworks. Every year, shelters and trapping stations fill up with pets that have tried to escape the noise and gotten lost. Whether you have your dog outside or inside the house, be sure to put a collar on your dog with your contact information. Make sure your dog is microchipped and has updated information in the registry. This increases the likelihood that your dog will be safely returned home.

3. Find a quiet place

If you can't avoid the noise of fireworks entirely, find the quietest place in your house. A windowless room or closet is best. If you don't have that option, at least draw the curtains and give your dog a place away from the windows.

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4. Distract your dog with other activities

Provide familiar toys and treats to help the dog focus less on the noise. You can let the radio or television play in the background to cover the noise from the fireworks.

5. Comfort your dog with the Half-Wrap Bandage Technique

The dog bandage is used for anxiety problems. By putting pressure on the animal's body and simulating a hug, the bandage calms the dog and relieves stress. There are also dog vests on the market that are called Thundershirts. Like a bandage, they soothe the dog through compression. halfWrap.jpg

6. Do not leave your dog alone

The biggest stress for dogs is being alone when they are anxious. Make sure there is always someone with your dog. If you have to run off for a while and the dog needs to be left alone, use the Barkio app to monitor your dog; if there is any problem, you will be informed and you can return home very fast.

7. Be informed and prepared

Have your veterinarian's contact information on hand in case of emergencies. Make sure that your pet is up-to-date on their vaccinations and has any necessary medications. This will help prevent any unexpected health issues from arising during the festivities.

My dog wasn't afraid of fireworks last year

It is important to remember that even if your dog has never shown fear of fireworks in the past, they may still be affected by the loud noises on New Year's Eve. Dogs have sensitive hearing and may become anxious or stressed by sudden, loud noises. This can lead to destructive behavior, such as chewing on furniture or attempting to escape the house.