Stress in Dogs
Another year is coming to an end and we will be celebrating the arrival of 2021. While we are all excited about the next New Year's Eve, New Year's Eve is terrifying for pets, and so are the loud January parties that will follow. Fireworks and other loud noises are inevitable. Continuous loud bangs, crackles, squeaks, bright flashes, the scorching smell of pyrotechnics, and possibly gunshots can cause severe anxiety, stress, and fear in both dogs and cats. Even if a normally calm dog or cat has never tried to escape, there may be times when it can suddenly jump out of an open door and over a fence, or through a gate.
Therefore, it is the busiest time of the year in animal shelters across the country as more and more animals panic due to fireworks, get lost, and end up in animal shelters. In addition, a dog's hearing is much more sensitive than human hearing, so exposure to fireworks can even be painful for dogs.
The good news is that there are ways in which we can help our furry family members feel comfortable and safe at all fireworks shows.
1. Keep pets at home, not in the yard. Even if your pets are used to being outdoors and in a fenced yard, panic from fireworks or other loud noises can make them try to escape in a terrified attempt to find safety.
2. Close windows and doors to block out noise from outside. Also, close curtains or blinds in the room with pets to block out outside views and sounds.
3. If possible, stay home with your pets. Left alone with pets, they are more likely to panic and wander around the house. Having a family member is comforting because when they are afraid they will look for you.
4. When fireworks explode, some pets immediately look for a dark hideout. If they do, help them find a dark, windowless place. Your dog or cat likely has a comfort zone it turns to when overwhelmed by stress. Whether it's behind the couch, under the dining table, or even in the bathroom or closet, pets should have a place where they feel safe and at ease. Have a comfortable bed for them, a baby carrier or chest (if they are already trained and associate it as a safe place), a blanket, food and water, and favorite toys.
5. A little noise can help block out the worst fireworks. Turn on the TV or radio at a comfortable volume and your dog or cat may be distracted enough to ignore scary noises outside. Run the fan or air conditioning - sound and vibration can help cover up nuisance sounds. Play soothing background music to counteract rumbling sounds. There are even CDs designed to alleviate animal anxiety.
6. Don't forget about the dog's paws, salt in the streets, frost, ice, all that the dog doesn't like. Rarely any dog wants to wear special shoes for them. Our dogs definitely refuse to obey in this matter. So I recommend another solution - a balm for dogs paws and nose, protecting against unpleasant contact with frosty and salty surfaces or warm, drying sand. This balm, composed of coconut oil, avocado oil, calendula oil, beeswax, and vitamin E, also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which may be indicated by the dog licking its paws.
For an excellent balm for dogs, please visit our online store - www.snackfordog.com.
"Did you know that there are over 300 words for love in canine?"
Gabriel Levin (poet, translator, essayist)