by Desiree Carlos
Every year, we give the same tips to remind pet owners how to keep their dogs calm during New Year’s eve. The loud noise caused by fireworks and pyrotechnics can make pets to be fearful and anxious.
There are cases of dogs or cats having a seizure, and if this happens, call a vet immediately. Better yet, ask your vet in advance what you can do if this happens. Some vets will give a medicine that is safe for pets to stop the seizure or will tell you what to do during seizures, and give you tips on how to calm down your pet.
To lessen the sound for your dogs who hear sounds 1,000 times more than a human, here are some tips:
1. Put a body wrap. Use a bandage to wrap your dog to make him feel he or she is being hugged and not alone.
2. Put on a shirt or a dress. This too also makes the dog feels he or she is being held by a human. The softer the cloth, the better.
3. Play soothing or calming music like baby songs and instrumental music. Increase the volume a little. Adjust the volume depending on the noise around your property. This will not only calm the dogs and cats but will also drown out the sound coming from the firecrackers.
4. Feed your dogs early on the eve of Dec. 31 so that the dogs can digest the food properly before the “merry making” and will not vomit the food.
5. Keep her/his favorite stuffed toy or toy near her/him.
6. For dogs who can be overly anxious, put a chew toy near him. He needs to release his anxiety by chewing or biting on something.
7. Hold your pet and hug him or her as often as you can during the “merry making.”
8. For special needs dogs, or dogs who quiver in fear, please ask your vet in advance what you can do to calm him or her down.
9. To prevent your pets from inhaling the fumes from the firecrackers, please close all windows and doors. Keep a window that is farthest from the road open if you do not have an aircon. But keep your pet away from this place. You only need some ventilation. Some owners have aircon units and keep this switched on until the sound dies down. This also drowns the sound.
10. Wet the curtains with water to absorb the fumes.
11. Some owners open their television sets but do choose a channel for dogs and cats that they like or calms them like cartoons or your dog or cat’s favorite show.
12. Some pets need more water during this time. Keep a bowl of water nearby.
Allow us to also urge you to help stray dogs and cats who have no place to go, specially during this time.
1. Give them food and water before the “ merry making” starts.
2. Put carton boxes for cats to hide in near your property or where you think your neighbors will not light or throw firecrackers
3. If you have a big property, allow stray dogs to come in for the night for their safety.
It is best, of course, not to light firecrackers during the New Year. Please do not get tired of convincing others to stop lighting firecrackers and wasting their money on something that will simply literally burn for a night.
There are a lot of ways to make sounds and drive away evil as many believe will happen if you make a loud noise on New Year’s Eve.
1. Sing! Rent a videoke machine and enjoy singing with your loved ones and friends.
2. If you have drums, tap them and make good music.
3. Use pots and pans.
4. Use torotot or horns.
This article also appears in the Manila Standard
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