By Tracey Hall
It never fails that at the stroke of Midnight, someone in the neighborhood will light off fireworks in celebration of the New Year. At that point, my dog will have a nervous breakdown not knowing what is going on. As she grows older, her fears have grown too. Severe thunderstorms can have the same frightening effect too.
Here are a few tips to keep the pets calm:
Make sure your dog gets a good deal of exercise that day of firework celebrations.
Make certain your pets are indoors and unable to run away. They should have ID’s in the event they do get loose.
Create a sound proof environment in your house well before the fireworks start. Turn on a loud TV or radio, close the windows (with heavier curtains), or stay in a shut in room.
Some pets will require sedation. A natural remedy is Melatonin or you can try Benedryl to help calm their nerves. Read up before dosing; body weight plays a big part on how much to give your dog.
Try a snug T-Shirt or a Thunder Shirt wrap. These are also easy to do yourself with a scarf.
Cats respond well to a Thunder Shirt or wrap too. During a fireworks show or noisy storm, you may have noticed that your cat either tries to hide somewhere quiet, or choose to be closer to you. It’s good to play along with your cat’s preferences. Make sure they have a safe place to hide, preferably in a room with fewer windows to reduce the noise.
Remember, our pets look to us for security. Don’t make light of the fears they exhibit. It helps that you don’t display anger or anxiety as your animals respond to that energy. A calm and soothing experience prepared in advance will help your pet get through the hearing scary noises outside.