Even though we know every time it’s a bit of a letdown, we know we won’t be sticking to any of our resolutions for more than 2 days and we KNOW that whether we keep it chill at home or go out to a party, a New Year’s Day hangover is inevitable – we still can’t help but get excited and caught up in the exhilaration. The promise of a new year and a fresh start… it’s a nice thought to hopelessly cling onto, as you guzzle champagne and at least be grateful the calamity of the previous year is behind you.
But whether it’s New Year’s Eve, 4th of July or Guy Fawkes night, while we’re having fun, some members of our family will be having a dreadful time – our pets. Many animals suffer greatly during fireworks, they can panic, go into shock and generally be very agitated and distressed. As you approach the next occasion you know there will be a lot of fireworks, here are a few things you can do to help our four-legged friends cope!
Use a pet sitter
You can contact some pet sitter and find out if there will be any fireworks in their area – the more rural the better. It may be a bit of a drive, but it’s worth it to know your pets won’t be having a miserable time. If you know your home will be in a firework “hot zone” or maybe you wanted to have some in your backyard, the best idea may be to have someone experienced mind your pets somewhere far from the action.
Lots of exercise
It’s not the worst idea to tire your animals out as much as possible, prior to fireworks kick off. Go on an extra lengthy walk, play lots of energy games and stimulate your pets so that come evening time, they’re nice and tired, which hopefully will make them too sleepy to become overly agitated. Just as exercise is good for people’s mental health and is proven to reduce stress, the same logic can be applied to pets.
Music, white noise and sound-proofing
If you can create some sort of audible distraction, that will greatly help your pets. A white noise machine can be quite effective at off-setting the firework noise. If you don’t have one, you could borrow one from friends with babies or even play white noise on youtube. Also, Classic FM collaborated with the RSPCA to create a soothing playlist especially designed for pets to help them deal with fireworks nights. If your pet has a bed or doggie house, why not try to insulate them from noise as much as possible with extra layers, like blankets and pillows, so they have a reprieve to snuggle in, so they don’t hear the noise as much. If your house has a basement, maybe you could create a cozy pet sanctuary there!
There are lots of different types of calming diffusers available in pet stores and online. Simple scents or synthetic pheromones that help to calm your pets’ nerves at bay. This would also be a great gift for any friends you know that have pets!
Work with your neighbours/low noise fireworks
The above tips are great ways to help your indoor pets, but what about that outside and more importantly, the local wildlife? So many critters that don’t have the protection of proper shelter have a very tough time on fireworks nights. They’re no less afraid and traumatised, they get disoriented and are often injured or killed by shell fragments. To help your wild animal neighbours, you can collaborate with your human ones. If all of your neighbours were planning on launching fireworks, then why not organise a joint celebration – after all, one set of fireworks isn’t as bad as half a dozen in a small area! You can also buy low noise fireworks – they’re not as readily available, but if you order in advance, it’s well worth the effort.
Hopefully, all these measures will help keep your pet pals calmer during fireworks celebrations. Luckily, more and more cities are switching over to digital fireworks displays – you can enjoy all of the pizazz and excitement but without any of the excessive noise or collateral damage to the environment!