A tail-wagging New Year’s Eve

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

I love dogs. When I was little, even though we had our own family pets, my cousin and I would borrow dogs from my neighbors and pretend they were ours, too. We would spend the afternoon taking them for walks, feeding them treats and teaching them tricks.

My husband and I got our dog Lilo nearly seven years ago. We are those crazy people that think of her as more than a pet, but rather a member of the family. We do whatever we can to ensure she is happy and healthy, and part of that is protecting her from the sounds and vibrations that come every New Year’s Eve.

The celebrations seem to have gotten stronger and louder each year. Lilo shakes in terror and hides under the bed with each boom. Luckily, we discovered a few years ago that there are ways to lessen the impact that help to keep her calm.

If you have a pet that is also afraid of the fireworks, try these tips:

• Make your home free of visual distractions. Draw the curtains on all the windows, and close the doors. Not only will this cut down on distracting visuals, but it will also help to buffer the sound. Every little bit helps.

• Keep it cool. Your pet’s heart rate will naturally go up and it will probably shake when it’s scared. If your pet is like Lilo, she/he will be too scared to eat or drink water. Keeping it cool will keep her/ him from overheating. Use air conditioning or fans if you can. This will not only allow you to keep your windows closed, but the noise will also help to distract from the loud fireworks outside.

• Add your own noise. Aside from the air conditioner or fans, add a speaker and play calming music. I like the New Age Relaxation station on Amazon Music. Because it is instrumental, it can play softly in the background without causing a burden.

• Make it soft. Add pillows and blankets to the floor. These will comfort your pet and also add some buffer for outside noise.

• Use your nose. There are many essential oils that have a calming effect on both humans and pets. Use a diffuser to add the scent to the air in a subtle way.

• Secure the perimeter. Make sure your doors and fences are closed and locked. When dogs are scared, they have a tendency to run off. Keep gates down. If you must take your dog out, check to ensure that the harness and leash are secure and that tags are on.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisin@gmail.com.