Tips: How to keep your dog safe on Chinese new year

Chinese New Year is a time for fun and fireworks. For your dog, however, it can be a stressful time. Here are ways to help ease stress and keep your dog safe.

SHELTER

Try to keep your dog indoors and provide him with a safe place to go to. A box or crate works if a spare room is not available. You need to get your dog used to the crate or room in the weeks leading up to New Year by putting treats and toys there.

Ensure there are lots of things to keep your dog occupied. If you are not going to be home during fireworks, make sure there is nothing in the room that can cause your dog harm should he become stressed.

Ensure all windows are blocked so your dog can’t see any flashes of light. A loud radio or TV can also distract your dog from the noise of fireworks.

If you are unable to keep your dog indoors, try to find a safe place outside, such as a garage, laundry room or kennel.

IDENTIFICATION

Have a collar on your dog with his name and your phone number. If he happens to escape, you want to make sure your dog can find his way home easily.

DESENSITISE

In the weeks leading up to New Year, try desensitise your dog to loud sounds. There are lots of fireworks sounds that can be downloaded from the internet. Start playing them softly while giving your dog treats and fun games. Day by day, slowly increase the volume.

If your dog appears stressed, take a step back by lowering the volume to a level your dog is comfortable with. And then, slowly increase the volume.

Over several weeks, your dog becomes more at ease with loud sounds. And hopefully on New Year, fireworks sounds won’t be so stressful for your dog.

YOUR BEHAVIOUR

Your behaviour has a big influence on your dog! Try not to treat him any different than usual on New Year. If you cuddle your dog during fireworks, it increases his awareness that something is not right.

If your dog causes a mess during fireworks, don’t yell or punish him.

Your dog is only doing it out of fear. Talk to him in a calm manner instead. You can also distract your dog from the noise with toys, games or treats, but don’t force him if he is stressed.

TO MEDICINE OR NOT?

If your dog has a history of anxiety, consult your vet to see if medication is required during fireworks.

There are however products that may be useful during this time.

Adaptil diffuser releases natural pheromones that help keep your dog calm during stressful times. Alternatively, thunder shirts are a great way to reduce anxiety.

For us, fireworks can be exciting and fun. But for dogs, fireworks can cause stress. With a little bit of preparation, you can help reduce your dog’s anxiety. And this means you can enjoy Chinese New Year without worrying about your furry friend.

Do you have any tips to share? Let me know by adding a comment below.