New Year's Eve with dog - avoid fear and stress for the animal

Tzt. Elisabeth Helm GPCert SAS/SAM
Silverster with dog
The banging on New Year's Eve means fear and stress for many four-legged friends. Here are some tips for a calm and relaxed New Year's Eve with your dog.


Tips for a relaxed New Year's Eve with your dog

New Year's Eve with dog

For many people, New Year's Eve is a reason to celebrate and say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new one. But while we look forward to the festive atmosphere, the fireworks and the parties, our beloved four-legged friends can find this night extremely stressful and frightening. 

It is our responsibility as dog owners to ensure that our furry friend has a relaxed New Year's Eve. Here are some valuable tips on how you can help your dog:

Create a familiar environment

It's important to create a familiar and safe environment for your dog, especially during fireworks. The loud noises and bright lights can cause anxiety and panic in many dogs. It is therefore important to set up a retreat where your dog can seek shelter. An ideal place for this could be his basket or a soft blanket where he feels comfortable. By giving him access to his usual sleeping place, you will give him a sense of security and familiarity amidst the chaos outside. It is also advisable to offer a windowless room such as the bathroom as a retreat for your four-legged friend. This will minimize the bright flashes of light from the fireworks and dampen the volume. Such a room also offers the advantage of a limited area, which helps your dog to feel safe.

However, you should be aware of this: It is not enough just to provide a protected area - your presence is also urgently needed! Your dog is looking for comfort from you; your calming voice and physical closeness are crucial for his well-being during this stressful time.

Distraction and reassurance

If you are worried about your dog during the fireworks, there are various ways to help him and alleviate his anxiety. One tried and tested method is to play calming music or turn on the TV. The soothing sounds can reduce the noise level of the fireworks and your dog may feel safer. Another option is to play with your dog. By giving him your full attention and engaging him in a playful activity, you distract him from the loud noises outside. You can throw a ball, play with a toy or even practice simple tricks. Another effective means of distraction could be an interactive toy. There are many different types of such toys on the market - some can release treats or make noises - that are designed to challenge a dog's mind and have fun at the same time. If your dog is engaged with it, he is likely to become less tense from the loud bangs of the fireworks.

Should your dog still be afraid

First of all, you should take your dog's fears seriously. Try to do everything you can to help your dog feel better.
Does your dog want to retreat? Then let him hide in the cellar, under the bed or in his favorite spot.
Does your dog want to be close to you? Then give him attention and cuddles. You should remain calm and relaxed yourself - this will make you a rock in the surf for your pet.                       

Labrador dog at the vet

Don't leave your dog alone

It is important that you never leave your dog alone in his fear. As his trusted companion and friend, you are an important source of security for him. Your presence and closeness can have a calming effect and give him the feeling that he is not alone. If your dog is anxious, you should try to alleviate his fears. One simple way to do this is to stroke him gently. The touch will make him feel your loving presence and make him feel safer. Quiet words can also make a big difference. Talk to your dog in a calm tone of voice and try to convey reassuring messages. Use your voice to show him that everything is okay and that there is no danger. In addition to words, you can also use non-verbal signals to show your dog that you are with him. For example, make slow movements or sit down next to him - all this can help to reduce his nervousness. Remember: dogs are social animals and need contact with their humans for their emotional well-being. By taking care of his condition and showing him that he has support, you will strengthen your bond and his trust in you as his pack leader.

Create a safe environment

It is essential that you carefully lock the windows and doors of your home to ensure that your beloved dog does not become frightened and escape. Dogs are often very curious and can be easily startled by loud noises or unfamiliar situations. If they feel anxious, this can cause them to try to escape and possibly get lost. In addition, you should be extra vigilant during these stressful times - crowds of people or loud fireworks can trigger fear in dogs. Therefore, avoid making unnecessary noises or playing music loudly. A calm environment will help to keep your furry friend relaxed.

Create a retreat for your dog inside the house - a cozy basket with his favorite blankets might help him feel secure; play soothing music in the background; maybe even give him a toy to distract him - so he doesn't focus on the loud noises outside.

Natural and medical aids

If you already know from previous years that your beloved dog is panicking about the upcoming New Year's Eve fireworks, we would strongly recommend that you consider a tranquilizer. Fortunately, there are a variety of herbal remedies for calming. However, it is important to note that these herbal remedies should be taken a few days before New Year's Eve to be fully effective.

For particularly difficult cases, however, we also recommend medical sedatives. These can help with severe anxiety or panic attacks and are specifically designed to keep your furry friend calm during loud fireworks. We are of course aware of the concerns about possible side effects of such medication and understand your worries. We therefore advise you to consult a vet in advance and follow their recommendations exactly.

Please remember that each animal reacts individually and what may work for one dog may not necessarily be suitable for your four-legged friend. It is important to carefully observe how your dog reacts to the tranquilizer and make adjustments if necessary.

Work out before New Year's Eve

Treat your dog to a long walk before New Year's Eve. During the walk in the fresh air, your faithful companion has the opportunity to exercise physically and clear his head at the same time. The many smells in his surroundings stimulate his senses and provide a welcome distraction from the upcoming sources of noise later in the evening. The exercise during the long walk will tire your dog out - both physically and mentally. If your furry friend is exhausted after the walk, he will most likely be more relaxed and calm. This means that he will be better able to cope with the sounds of the fireworks and will be less stressed.

Keep your dog on a lead

To minimize the risk of your beloved dog getting frightened and possibly escaping, we strongly recommend keeping him on a leash during walks before New Year's Eve. By keeping your dog on a lead, you give him a sense of security and protection. You can make sure that he doesn't suddenly run away or hide when there are bangs and flashes outside. There's nothing worse than imagining your faithful companion wandering outside alone - looking for a place to hide or running away from the noise. In order to carry out leashing effectively, you should choose a suitable time: A time before the first fireworks are set off. This will allow you to enjoy a relaxed walk with your dog without the added stress of the firework spectacle in the background.

New Year's Eve can be an uncomfortable time for dogs, but with the right preparations and loving care, you can help your four-legged friend have a more relaxed night. Remember to always be considerate of your dog's needs and offer them safety and security. Together you can welcome the New Year stress-free!

Puppy in the veterinary practice

We are happy to advise you on all matters relating to your pet!

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About the author
Picture of Tzt. Elisabeth Helm GPCert SAS/SAM
Tzt. Elisabeth Helm GPCert SAS/SAM

Tzt. Elisabeth Helm ist eine erfahrene Tierärztin mit einem breiten Spektrum an Fachwissen und Qualifikationen. Nach Abschluss ihres Studiums an der LMU München im Jahr 2010 hat sie kontinuierlich in verschiedenen Bereichen der Veterinärmedizin weitergebildet.

2018 absolvierte sie eine 2-jährige Fachausbildung im Bereich Innere Medizin für Kleintiere, gefolgt von einer weiteren 2-jährigen Fachausbildung im Bereich Chirurgie für Kleintiere. Durch ihre Arbeit in renommierten Kliniken in England, Neuseeland und Deutschland konnte sie wertvolle Erfahrungen sammeln und ihr Fachwissen vertiefen.

Im Jahr 2013 gründete Elisabeth die Tierarztpraxis Uderns im Zillertal, wo sie mit Leidenschaft und Engagement für das Wohl der Tiere arbeitet. Aktuell setzt sie ihre berufliche Entwicklung fort, indem sie sich zum Kardiologen für Hunde und Katzen weiterbildet.

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