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Keeping your dog calm this New Year’s Eve

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  • RSPCA Australia
  • Friday, 30 December 2016

The end of 2016 is nigh and most of the world will be celebrating with fireworks. But while these colourful displays might be pleasing to the eye, the loud noises can be very frightening for pets. Dogs have even been known to jump through glass windows and dig under fences in an effort to escape the noise.

If you’ve got a canine companion at home, here are six ways to look out for them this New Year’s Eve:

-          Make sure your furry friend is microchipped and wearing an ID tag so that they can be easily returned if they do make a break for it. Make sure your details on the microchip registry are also up to date!

-          Take your dog out for a nice long walk in the afternoon. Later, give them their dinner. They are less likely to be anxious during the night if they’re feeling tired and well-fed.

-          We recommend staying home with your pet on the night if you can, but if you do have plans, consider making alternative arrangements for your pup so they’re being watched by someone you trust.

-          When it gets dark, close the blinds and create a comfortable hiding place/safe space for your dog.

-          Don’t tie your dog up ahead of or during the fireworks. If they start panicking, they may choke or injure themselves.

-          While the fireworks are taking place (often there are 9pm and midnight sessions on New Year’s Eve), keep your pet by your side but don’t fuss over them. If they sense you’re anxious, they may become more anxious too. Instead, reward them for calm behaviour by giving them treats or beloved toys. Putting music or the TV on can also help to mask the noise outside.

Tips for other pets:

Cats, rabbits and other small animals should be safely housed indoors during fireworks displays. Horses can find fireworks particularly frightening and should be securely stabled or even moved to a different location far from the fireworks if possible. Remove any sharp objects that could cause injury to a panicking animal and cover stable windows to hide the sight of the fireworks and muffle the sound.  

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