New Year’s Eve is arguably one of the most memorable holidays in the United States – it is the time of new beginnings after all. From cookouts, to parties, to fireworks, New Year’s Eve is an experience like no other. However, with great fun comes great responsibility, especially when it comes to your pets.
Fireworks. We all have memories of these at some point in our lives. Growing up, kids either are mesmerized by the beautiful light extravaganza, or they’re curled up in a parent’s arms screaming for dear life in fear of the wretched booms. If you have pets at home, there’s a good chance that they act similarly to a child who does not know better. Almost anybody with a furry friend has experienced some form of pet anxiety from their cat or dog when fireworks take place. Some pets display minor anxiety reactions, while other pets act like Armageddon is near. Take a look at some tips to help prepare you and your pets for one of the most stressful nights of the year.
What Can I Do?
ID Your Pet
The first step to preparing for the big night is to make sure your pet has a collar with an identification tag on it. Many pets escape each year because they try to run from the loud noises. In case this happens to your pet, their best chance of returning home safely is if they have a collar with your address on it. It is also highly recommended that you have your pet microchipped. This is beneficial for the entirety if your pets’ lives and microchipping is highly useful if you have a runner on your hands.
Be There to Comfort Your Pet
Don’t leave your pet alone for the night if you’re out enjoying the festivities. Sometimes a pet’s comfort zone is in their crates or cages, but leaving your pets alone and locked up for the night when fireworks occur could lead to the pet being more anxious. If you leave your pet locked up, there’s a chance it could harm itself trying to get out. Be there to comfort your pet and try to calm them down. If your pet is sensitive to thunder, you may already own an anxiety jacket – this can help calm your pet down during fireworks as well. The most important thing you can do is be there for your pet to try and ease their stress.
Consider Anti-anxiety Medicine
If your pet displays constant anxiety and you know that they will be under severe stress when the holiday season rolls around, talk with your veterinarian about anxiety medication options. Sometimes pets can be too anxious to be naturally calmed down. If you do choose this option, make sure to keep the medicine out of reach of any other pets and children in the household.
Don’t Take Your Pets to Parties or Firework Displays
While we know that it may not be feasible to stay with your pets to comfort them if you have New Year’s plans elsewhere, it is more beneficial for them to be at home than in an unfamiliar crowd. If you’re going to a party or event where there will be lots of people and fireworks displays, new surroundings combined with loud noises can easily spook your pet, which can lead to them running away. Also, we hope this goes without saying, but please don’t leave your pets locked in a car either.
What to do After the Fireworks End
Clean up the Mess!
The last thing anyone needs is for your pet to mistake fireworks scrap for a tasty snack. If you live in an area where fireworks are set off or if you participate in setting off a fireworks box from a retail store, make sure to clean up the plastic, sparklers, and other debris. If you host a party, make sure to survey the ground and that you have picked up all of the miscellaneous items that could’ve fallen on the ground.
If you’re an avid animal lover with multiple pets, make sure that they are all accounted for after the fireworks die down, especially if you have outdoor pets. If you hosted a party, there’s a chance that one of your pets could have gotten out when guests were opening and closing the doors, so it’s best to take roll and make sure all of your lovable critters are safe and sound.
Keep in Mind:
We all have those neighbors who like to make one day holidays a multiple day event, so be aware that for a few nights after the first, some people still may be setting off fireworks. With New Year’s Eve approaching and the busy holiday season ahead of us, we hope you acknowledge these tips and wish you the best of luck with your beloved pets!