No chance of New Year’s stress

When we’re looking forward to the fireworks at the turn of the year, when the night sky explodes with colour, we sometimes forget –- a lot of animals suffer terrible anxiety from them and curl up into the farthest corner when the bangers are let off. Some are so traumatised that they still don’t want to go out the next morning. With a bit of preparation, pet owners can reduce this stress pretty well to a minimum. They can even take measures to ensure that nothing befalls the cat or dog on New Year’s Eve and that the animal doesn’t flee in panic.

You can begin making things easier for your furry-nosed friend a few weeks before the event. That’s when many animal lovers start with safe treatments to help keep your dog calm. Dogs are first given a taste of these calming pheromones during their whelping days – they are in fact formed by their mother at the teats shortly after birthing to impart a feeling of security to their little ones. These can also have the effect of alleviating the New Year’s stress so treatment should begin two weeks before the firework evening to allow its effect to unfold fully. You can also give food supplements which will strengthen the animal’s nerves. Get some advice on this from your local Maxi Zoo store.

With dogs, you can even wipe away a bit of the panic over loud bangs using a noise CD. Play the firework din CD very, very quietly at first. Reward your dog for calm behaviour and increase the volume bit by bit. This way the creature gains confidence and takes it on board that nothing happens despite all the detonations.

On the day, keep your dog on the lead when you’re out walking. Many teenagers let their fireworks off early because they just can’t wait any longer. If a big one goes off really close by, the dog can also run off into the unknown in shock – so better on the lead.

On the evening itself, create a safe refuge for your dog by drawing the curtains. Many animals are even afraid of the flashing lights! The creature will feel more secure in the semi-darkness. Apart from that, you can put on some music or switch on the television so that the noises from outside can’t be heard so easily. You can also help your pet a lot through your own confident behaviour: look self-assured and relaxed, that’ll put it across to Fido that that everything’s OK despite the loud bangs. Don’t under any circumstances comfort a trembling animal by talking soothingly to it and stroking it sympathetically, that just reinforces the panic. Allow your pet to sit by you.

Animals who suffer full-on panic attacks on New Years Eve can also be given tranquilisers. But beware: only use medication which your vet has given you for your pet. Animals can react to human tranquilisers in a highly agitated manner. So discuss the use of medication with your vet in good time so that your pet can also have a Happy New Year.
Call into your local store today to discuss your dog’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.