Many dog owners are concerned about how they will spend New Year’s Eve with their four-legged friends. So do we, because office dog Oskar is a scared dog who doesn’t like New Year’s Eve. Because on New Year’s Eve there is loud celebrations, fireworks and fireworks being shot into the sky. What means a lot of fun for most people is pure stress for Oskar and many other dogs. Because they are afraid of the loud explosions, the bang, the unusual noises, the air smelling of sulfur, the glaring flashes of light. The fear often ends in panic or even hysterical behavior by the dog.
We are therefore considering early on how we can make our Oskar New Year’s Eve as pleasant as possible. These tips can help alleviate the dog’s suffering somewhat.
Provide protection to the dog
Going to a big New Year’s Eve party or even to move around the house with an anxious or frightened dog is forbidden in most cases. Because many dog owners are familiar with this behavior on New Year’s Eve: attentive ears at the first firecracker, later excited walking back and forth , Restlessness, pinched tail, looking for protection – preferably under sofas and beds, panting and in the worst case digestion disorders or uncontrolled urination.
Most dogs on New Year’s Eve therefore need their familiar surroundings and normal, calm dealings. It helps many dogs if the doors and windows remain closed and a switched on television or music additionally overlaps or dampens the unusual noises. Shutters or curtains keep the flashes of light outside. If you want, you can build a “cave” out of pillows and a dog blanket for your dog to retreat to. Dogs should not be left alone if possible. Radiate normalcy and do not exacerbate the dog’s fear through excessive attention and “pampering””. However, they should be available to the dog and they should be able to make physical contact.
Games and training exercises at home also provide some distraction from the New Year’s spectacle. And the dog will definitely be happy about a treat as a reward.
Go for a walk on New Year’s Eve
Dogs should be kept on a leash on New Year’s Eve. This not only gives him security, but also prevents the dog from panicking when scared by a firecracker and possibly hiding or getting lost. Alleyways should be kept as short as possible on New Year’s Eve. Optimally, the anxious dog is walked a few hours before midnight, when the bang is strongest, and only again when the greeting for the new year has largely been completed.
New Year’s Eve with a dog without a bang
There are places in Germany where, for example, for fire protection reasons, no bullets are fired or no rockets may be fired. Sylt or Amrum are such places.
Help to relax
There are a number of homeopathic medicines, Bach flowers and synthetic pheromones that can have a calming and stress relieving effect on the dog. However, administration should be carried out after consultation with the veterinarian or an experienced homeopath.
Sedatives that sedate the dog should not be given. Because the dog is placed on the outside, but can still feel fear inside. The fear could be aggravated by the restricted mobility.
If you want to take away the fear of New Year’s Eve or the unusual noises from your dog in the long term, you can do behavioral therapy with the dog. This releases the dog’s fear of noise in the long term, so that he can face bollards, missiles and the like more relaxed. Your veterinarian or dog trainer can surely make you a suitable contact. You should start with behavioral therapy now and may have a more relaxed dog on New Year’s Eve.
Playing CDs with typical fireworks noises and slowly desensitizing them is considered by experts to be only moderately successful. The reason is that the frequencies of the played sounds do not correspond 100 percent to those of real fireworks.
We hope that you and your dog will have a tolerable and relaxed New Year’s Eve with these tips.