New Year’s Eve is a very exciting time of year for us humans. But for our animals, it can be quite stressful due to the loud noises and how busy and hectic the event can become.
Why is New Year’s Eve stressful for our pets?
There’s so many reasons to why New Year’s Eve is stressful for our fluffy family, from the loud noises like music and the crash and bangs from the fireworks to the loud giggling of tipsy friends and family members. It can be very anxiety-inducing!
How can I minimise my pets stress?
When it comes to trying to destress your pets it’s going to be different for each individual pet as well as to each type of pet you own, since they will need different tactics, so let’s create a list on how to minimise the stress of dogs, cats, small animals and birds.
How to minimise the stress for dogs:
- Early habituation –
It’s important to try and desensitise your pets to loud noises and different stimuli from a young age, this makes it easier for them as an adult dog to deal with loud noises and unusual situations.
- Desensitisation –
Playing CDs of fireworks and other loud noises is a good way to get your pup used to loud sounds. The noises need to be played quietly to start with, and then louder over time, according to the sensitivity of your dog.
- At home –
Take your dog out to the loo before fireworks start, so you don’t have to go outside until the displays are over. During fireworks its recommended to keep your dog inside, closing the curtains and putting on calming music to minimise the noise of the fireworks and help reduce your dog’s anxiety.
- In the case of stress –
The precautions may not work, and in this case it’s important that they are able to find a safe place to retreat back to, this could be under a bed or in their crate. It is important to remain calm with your dog. Try not to fuss them too much and don’t get cross. Try some games or training activities to distract them. If they can’t be distracted take them to their safe den area.
How to minimise the stress for cats:
- Precaution measures –
Owners are strongly advised to keep their cats microchipped in any case of their cat escaping. If they do escape there will be a better chance to be reunited due to the microchip. Keep cat flaps/doors closed and windows closed and also the curtains during the firework displays.
- At home –
Like dogs, it’s important that your cat can have hiding places to retreat to. Keep access open to separate rooms to ensure that they have the maximum number of hiding spaces.
- Relaxing music –
Relaxing music tends to have a soothing effect on cats, and it will also slightly muffle out some of the firework noises and will help a lot to minimise their stress.
- In case of stress –
If your cat is showing signs of stress, it’s important to leave them alone. A human presence can be very comforting at this nerve-racking time. However, exaggerated emotional attention may not be helpful, even if it’s well-intentioned.
How to minimise the stress of rabbits and guinea pigs:
Animals that are normally kept outside year-round should be brought in on these nights. If bringing them in isn’t possible then arrange the cages so the flash does not frighten them or even covering the cage in a blanket will also muffle the sound as well as stop the flashes from coming through, giving them extra bedding will also be a big help since it gives them more to hide under. It’s important to bear in mind that guinea pigs and rabbits are very susceptible to stress.
How to minimise the stress for birds:
Loud noises and flashing lights make birds panic, their flight instinct will cause them to try and fly around their cage to escape, which will put them at risk for injuries. It’s recommended to keep your birds in a quiet room with the curtains closed, gentle music will also help to calm them.