New Year's celebrations can be fright-filled experiences for pets. Here are some tips to reduce their stress.
Holiday fireworks and other fanfare are often frightful experiences for dogs. The loud noises can hurt their sensitive ears, since their hearing is much more acute than that of humans. Frightened dogs have different reactions: some tremble at their owners' feet, others retreat to a hiding place, some try to run off (traveling for miles), and others display bizarre behavior.
Here are some precautions you can take to help your pets:
* Don't take pets to events with fireworks.
* If fireworks are being set off in your neighborhood, or if you're having guests over, find a quiet, secure place to keep your pets. Crating is a good idea. Try to stay with your pets during fireworks displays.
* Don't leave pets outside, even in a fenced yard, on New Year's Eve or anytime when fireworks might be set off in the distance.
* Make sure all pets are wearing I.D. tags.
* Rather than coddle and cuddle a frightened dog, try to distract the dog with physical activity such as playing ball.
* Vets can prescribe tranquilizers for frightened dogs. Some people find that non-prescription remedies such as Rescue Remedy or Serene-um calm their dogs.
* If you're going out of town for the holidays, entrust the care and feeding of pets to an adult friend or a boarding kennel you know very well.