New Year’s is a time of celebration and looking forward to new things.
For pets that are scared of loud noises, such as thunder and fireworks, this can be an extremely stressful night.
The unexpected and very loud noise of fireworks can frighten dogs, cats and even smaller pets.
Fearful reactions range from mild anxiety to utter panic. Some pets will stop at nothing to escape in their terror, and can hurt themselves in the process.
Every year pets escape, and some are injured or lost. At peak firework times–New Year’s Eve and Australia Day–you can help your pet to stay calm and stay home.
Secure anxious pets, ideally inside with you. If you won’t be home, confine your pet to a small room or enclosed area with music or television playing.
Many pets are not too worried about loud noises and can cope well. However, if thunder makes your pet nervous, it may also be anxious about fireworks.
My dog, Chunk, is terrified of thunder, lightning, fireworks, gun shots (we live in the country), and other loud noises such as these. He is a Lab mix and he tries to get himself in the smallest spaces to hide himself.
According to experts, although it is a natural reaction, avoid patting or comforting a frightened pet. This reinforces the anxiety, and will escalate the problem over time. Reward relaxed or calm behavior instead.
Pets who are extremely fearful of loud noises and such should be placed on a sedative during peak times of celebration where there will be loud noises.
With a little preparation, you and your pet can look forward to a happy 2016 together.