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


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.

Why dogs are afraid of fireworks

Dogs and other pets are afraid of fireworks for a few reasons. Here they are.

Fireworks are loud

Even if a dog isn't right next to a firecracker, they can still hear it from a long distance. Their hearing is so sensitive that they can hear sounds that humans can't. The loud noises from fireworks can be very painful for dogs. The sudden bursts of noise can damage their eardrums and cause them to experience hearing loss. In some cases, the noise can be so loud that it can even cause dogs to go into shock and cause permanent noise anxiety that will be hard to get rid of.

Fireworks are unpredictable

Dogs are creatures of habit and they like to know what to expect. When something unexpected happens, it can make them feel anxious and stressed. Fireworks are a perfect example of this. Dogs don't understand what fireworks are or why they are happening, so the sudden bursts of noise and light can be very scary for them. Such situations make animals feel that they are in danger.

Fireworks are frightening

When dogs feel threatened, they go into their fight-or-flight response. This is a natural instinct that helps them to survive in dangerous situations. When a dog hears the sound of fireworks, they may think that they are being attacked by a predator. This can cause them to bark, hide, or try to escape.

Dogs may also show other signs of anxiety when they hear fireworks, such as restlessness, panting, pacing, or whining. If your dog is afraid of fireworks, it is important to provide them with a safe and comfortable place to stay during the celebrations.

Remember, a bad New Year's Eve experience can cause a dog to develop dog noise phobia.

Prevention methods to prepare pets for New Year's Eve

Prevention is the key to minimizing the impact of fireworks-induced anxiety on your pet. Desensitization training, a gradual exposure approach, is a highly effective method to help your dog become accustomed to the sounds of fireworks.

  • Download audio recordings of fireworks: Begin by downloading audio recordings of fireworks sounds. Start at a very low volume and play the recordings while your dog is engaged in a relaxing activity, such as playing with their favorite toy or enjoying a tasty treat.

  • Observe your dog's reactions: Closely monitor your dog's behavior as they hear the fireworks sounds. If they exhibit any signs of discomfort, such as excessive panting, trembling, or hiding, immediately pause the audio and provide reassurance.

  • Gradually increase the volume: Over time, gradually increase the volume of the fireworks recordings, but only when your dog shows no signs of distress. Pair the sounds with positive associations, such as treats or playtime, to help them develop positive connections.

  • Seek professional guidance: If your dog struggles with severe anxiety or has a history of negative experiences with fireworks, consult a veterinarian or animal behaviorist for personalized guidance and desensitization strategies.

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.

FireworkBlogBarkio 1.jpg

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.

iStock-1154458906 1.jpg

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.

Barkio dog monitoring app: A supportive tool

The Barkio dog monitoring app is the best way to ensure your furry companions' comfort during fireworks. Barkio is an invaluable tool, offering real-time monitoring, two-way communication, and behavioral insights to help manage your dog's anxiety and promote a stress-free celebration.

With real-time alerts about your dog's activity levels, barking patterns, and potential distress signals, you can intervene promptly. The app's two-way communication feature allows you to soothe and calm your pet remotely, providing a sense of connection and reassurance.

Make Barkio your partner in pet stress relief and ensure a peaceful New Year's Eve for your beloved companion.

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.

Frequently asked questions

1. Why are dogs afraid of fireworks?

Dogs are afraid of fireworks due to the loud noises, unpredictable nature, and frightening stimuli they present.

2. What are some prevention methods to prepare pets for New Year's Eve?

Desensitization training, ThunderShirts, pheromone diffusers, and creating a safe haven are effective prevention methods for pets.

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

Comforting, distracting, and consulting a veterinarian for medication options are recommended for dogs afraid of fireworks.

4. How can I help my dog cope with loud noises in general, not just fireworks?

Desensitize your dog to loud noises gradually, use calming wraps or pheromone diffusers, manage their environment, and consider professional help if needed.


While fireworks bring joy to humans, they can cause intense anxiety for dogs. By understanding their fear and implementing prevention methods, we can help our canine companions cope with fireworks and have a more peaceful New Year's Eve celebration.

With this knowledge at hand, we hope that this article helps as many dogs as possible to experience a stress-free and enjoyable New Year's Eve. We wish you and your furry companions an awesome New Year 2024 filled with love, laughter, and plenty of tail wags!

Continue reading...

Show all articles
article preview
How to keep your dog entertained when alone: Toy tips

Try Barkio now and see why other pet owners love it!