Whether the event is New Years Eve, Fourth of July or just a celebration, fireworks, flashing lights and loud booms can be pretty scary for many cats and dogs. Unless they are oblivious to loud noises and flashing lights, you can wind up with your pet under your feet, in your lap or on your head pretty fast.
Try these tips for keeping both you and your pet calm during the evening.
- Taking your pet to a fireworks display is not a good idea. Stay at home with them. The comfort and security that you can offer them will make a difference, despite the fact that it may appear that nothing will calm them.
- On the day of the celebration, keep to your pet’s schedule as much as possible. Pets can sense a change in schedule and that can bring on feelings of anxiety.
- Give your dog or cat plenty of exercise before the fireworks begin. Tiring them out may encourage them to rest during the show. Also, make sure they are have an opportunity to do their business so you don’t have to take them outside later.
- Bring them inside and close all the doors and windows before the merriment begins. Although that won’t eliminate the noise, it will help to bring it down a notch.
- Make some noise of your own – turn up the television or music. Although your pet’s hearing is better than yours, the sounds may be a distraction and lessen their attention on the booms they hear outside.
- Don’t discourage their behavior. Give them places to hide if that is what they want to do. Hide with them if you can fit.
- Wrap them up in a blanket with your scent on it or a large t-shirt if they will let you. The bundling can lessen anxiety in some dogs.
- Lavender is a great scent for calming both you and your pet. You can find it in oil, lotions, air fresheners and other products. Apply it to a towel and wrap your pet in it.
- Be a role model. Your behavior will play a large part in your pet’s comfort. Stay calm yourself.
- If you feel that your pet suffers despite your efforts, you can talk to your vet about a tranquilizer, Benadryl or an all natural pet calmer.
- When it is all over, tell them so. “All done” is something everybody understands.
- Give them a treat to celebrate and have a great holiday together.