Bubbles, music, the countdown, fireworks…New Year’s Eve is synonymous with fun, but this isn’t necessarily the case for our fur babies.

Whether your loved companion is currently experiencing some anxiety, or you are simply being mindful in preparation for the new and potentially triggering experience of fireworks, we’ve put together some useful tips to ensure both you and your pet happily bring in the New Year.

Put a dog muffle for the sound of fireworks
Put a dog muffle for the sound of fireworks

ID Tag

Many pets are spooked by fireworks and if they are not in a secure setting, escape in an effort to flee the frightening noises. Dogs have been known to dig under fences or even jump through glass windows… Often disorientated and found far from home, it is critical that your pet has its’ collar on and an up-to-date identification tag.

Carry on as normal

If you are home for New Year’s Eve, let you pet be around you, however, do not fuss over them as this may fuel their anxious behaviour. Maintain behavioural boundaries whilst you calm them – if your fur baby is normally allowed on your lap on the couch, great! If they are normally only allowed on their bed on the floor, then that’s where you offer some reassuring pats.

Providing a safe space for your cat.
Provide a safe space for your pets

Exercise

Before heading out, it is always a good idea to exercise your pooch. However, it is even more important if you are leaving your dog alone on New Year’s Eve as a solid exercise session will wear them out and combined with a full tummy, hopefully, allow them to sleep though the majority of the evening.

Provide a safe space

If your pet is likely to be anxious and you are not going to be home, make sure your fur baby is left in a safe space where there is no chance they can escape or cause themselves harm in trying to escape. Draw curtains or blinds to block out flashing lights, leave the TV or radio for some background noise and make sure they have their favourite toy as both a comfort and a distraction.

Desensitize

If your pet has exhibited signs of anxiety with thunderstorms, in the lead-up to New Year’s Eve, you can slowly introduce the sounds of fireworks videos on YouTube – this is known as desensitization or counter conditioning. It is recommended that you speak with a veterinarian professional for advice around executing this method specifically to your pet’s needs.

If you need further support around this issue, Your PetPA offers vet care and advice via our website and App – you can book a vet chat, speak with a nurse online or access our education resources, all from the comfort of your own home.

slowly desensitize the sound of fireworks.
slowly desensitize the sound of fireworks.