Celebrations ringing in the new year are underway, and while this particular New Year’s will be different than in years past given the craziness we’ve experienced the past few months, ringing in the new year allows us to look forward to the incredible possibilities 2021 can hold. While social distancing guidelines are still in place for gatherings, fireworks are something that we can all experience from a safe distance – and many people are looking forward to ringing in the new year with hope and excitement.
But while we might find firework shows entertaining, unfortunately, some of our furry friends do not! Dogs and cats who fear loud noises are more susceptible to experiencing anxiety, stress and even running away to seek comfort and find safety. With an abundance of pet owners celebrating New Years, they must plan and protect their pets if they get scared if there are fireworks outside.
At Operation Kindness, pet safety is a high priority for the shelter. That’s why for this New Year’s, the leading no-kill animal shelter in North Texas is offering tips to pet owners in the event their pet is exposed to loud noises, including fireworks.
Here are a few tips from Karen Reese, the Animal Behavior Manager at Operation Kindness, to protect our furry friends:
- “Offer a quiet, safe place: Providing a room within your home that is quite and safe for pets to relax and wind down is beneficial to dogs. This alleviates tension or stress that might be caused by any loud noises during celebrations.
- Provide distractions: Turning on a television, listening to music—especially music made specifically for dogs—gathering their favorite toys to play with or a snack to chew on, keeps animals preoccupied and calm should there be any noises from fireworks in the vicinity. This covers up noises and diverts attention away from the fireworks.
- Seek vet advice: If pet owners notice that their dogs or cats are having difficulty adjusting to the celebrations, and in the event of extreme cases, it might be a good idea to reach out to a vet for advice about medications or calming aids.
- Microchipping: Proper identification, including a collar with tags and a microchip, ensure that pets who get scared and run off will have an ID on them and can be safely returned home.”
For more information about Operation Kindness and their mission to support the lives of dogs and cats, click here.