Ringing in the New Year, by definition, is very loud. Banging pots and pans, using noisemakers, and shouting countdowns can all be a bit too much for your dog. Even if your municipality doesn’t set off fireworks at midnight, thunderous bursts in the distance can still rattle your dog. Here’s what you can do to keep your pup at ease.
Tactile and scent stimuli
Both the Anxiety Wrap and the Thundershirt can help sooth dogs by applying gentle pressure that has been compared to swaddling an infant. There are also a variety of calming herbal and pheromone remedies available that can be gently massaged onto your dog’s ears or diffused through the air. However, be sure to ask your vet’s advice before applying any topical treatments or adding new food supplements. Many veterinarians can recommend their preferred brand and even sell in their office.
Desensitization and music therapy
Part of what scares your dog the most about loud events is the sudden unpredictability of the situation. Therefore, you can help desensitize your dog to loud noises by gradually introducing him or her to them. You can read more about the method here, but keep in mind that if the process is rushed or done incorrectly, it can actually worsen your dog’s anxiety. Through a Dog’s Ear is another technique that uses music therapy and training to condition your dog to be calm during potentially stressful events.
Leave your dog at home
Last, but not least, if your dog is too anxious around company and loud noises, you should consider leaving her at home, and move the festivities to a restaurant or a friend’s house instead. If you’re worried about leaving your dog alone for New Year’s Eve, we have pet sitters available who are ready to tend to your pup’s needs.
Candace Elise Hoes is a blogger at Kim’s Urban Hounds. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.