AUSTIN (KXAN) – Pets and fireworks don’t mix. According to the Humane Society, pets have a greater sensitivity to loud noises, lights and the strong smells that fireworks produce. As many pet owners know, New Year’s Eve fireworks displays can be very stressful for our furry friends.
“That is definitely something we want to think about ahead of time, especially if they have any sound phobias,” said Dr. Sherry Hill with Firehouse Animal Health Center in Cedar Park.
Dr. Hill said that many pets may need antianxiety medication ahead of the holiday. If your pet requires drugs, Dr. Hill said you should request them early, as many doctors offices will be closed on the holiday.
You don’t have to turn to medication to help calm your pets during the celebration. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), a non-profit devoted to animal welfare, recommends creating a safe space in your home for your pets, preferably the quietest room in the house.
“Make sure they stay in the house, with the doors closed, in a safe area. Never leave them in your backyard,” Dr. Hill said that many pets left in backyards will panic during fireworks and can escape.
The RSPCA recommends moving the pet to the safe area each evening before fireworks begin, so they can feel comfortable with the space.
On New Year’s Eve, they say you should close the curtains on this room and try to block any flashes caused by the fireworks.
“Keep them inside. Keep something on that has low noise: turn the fan, turn on your AC, keep the TV on. Everything you can do to try to diminish the background noise for them.”
The Humane Society recommends that all pets should wear a collar with an ID, even if they’re kept inside. The organization said that pets can take desperate measures to escape the noise of fireworks. Microchipping is also recommended.
Finally: music. The RSPCA reports that 69% of adults in the UK have used classic music to calm their pets in the past.