Nothing makes you feel that New Year is here than the loud rattling noisy firecrackers. If the noise irritates our sense of hearing, what more for our dogs who have more sensitive ears? As pet parents, we need to make sure that they will survive the New Year without a trace of stress and fear and we need to make sure that their sense of hearing is still intact when the loud celebration is over.
Here are some precautions you can take to help your pets:
1. Provide plenty of exercise.
Walk with your dogs to remove excess energy. Time your walk earlier than usual and extend your walk duration. If you walk 30 minutes in a regular day, try walking for one hour instead.
2. Make sure your pets are wearing well-fitted collars
Don’t take any chances, loud noises even from starting a car or a falling pan from the kitchen can easily make a dog run off.
3. Don’t take pets to events with fireworks.
Though it would seem to be a fun idea to have your dog with you to watch fireworks, it would be best to leave them at home or somewhere else safe.
4. Find a secure place for your pets.
Loud firecrackers can easily penetrate your home. Find the best place in your home where chances of firework noise getting through is minimal. (A nice clean bathroom is perfect for most homes). I strongly suggest putting them in a crate. Dimming the lights can also help.
5. Do not leave your dog outside, even in a fenced yard.
There are dogs that live outside their owners’ homes. Save them from stress. Bring them inside the house, even just for the night or until the fireworks are over.
6. Do not cuddle a frightened dog
Rather than petting a frightened dog, try to distract the dogs from the disturbing noises by playing with them or by giving a nice stuffed toy. (I personally like using bones from the Filipino dish, “Bulalo”).
8. Remember not to shout or scold a scared dog.
Shouting at your dogs when they are already scared is of no use. This will only confuse your dog. Cuddling reinforces fearful behavior as well, so best thing to do is encourage the dog to be calm and follow the previous steps in this article.
9. Desensitize your dog to fireworks.
Wikipedia defines “Desensitization” as diminished emotional responsiveness to a negative or aversive stimulus after repeated exposure to it. Try to expose your dog to short firecrackers from a good distance, enough not to frighten your dog. Work your way until your dog is confident enough with fireworks. However if you can avoid exposure to fireworks or firecrackers and other loud sounds, do so. Save your dog from possible trauma.
You can also try to desensitize your dog by playing fireworks from your speakers. Start from low to a manageable volume to begin desensitizing your dog for the New Year.
10. Entrust your dog to an adult friend or a boarding kennel
If you are going out of town for the New Year, entrust your dog to an adult friend or to a boarding kennel. Dog Coach Francis Doggie Day Care is one place we can recommend.
We make sure that your dog is provided with the utmost care.
Do you have any additional tips for helping keep dogs calm and safe on this noisy holiday? Thanks for leaving a comment below and sharing your suggestions. Also, feel free to share how your dogs have acted during the past holidays.