New Year and Dogs, How to Keep Your Dog Calm

fireworksThe New Year and dogs can be a disaster. Most people celebrate the New Year with fireworks and parties with friends and family which is fun for humans, but not for dogs. Fireworks, noise makers, and people cheering can be scary for your dog leaving them nervous and afraid.

Just imagine starting your New Year being nervous and afraid of all that noise going on outside. Loud noises can be stressful for some dogs making New Year celebrations no fun at all.

Just like the Fourth of July, you need to prepare to help keep your dog safe and calm. When you prepare ahead of time you can avoid a disaster, and enjoy a pleasant evening for you and your dog instead of your dog running out of fear.


Tips to Prepare

  • Microchip your dog and make sure they are wearing a collar along with an ID tag with your current phone number in case your dog runs away.
  • Use a 6 foot leash when taking potty breaks to keep your dog close to you in case they get scared and want to run.
  • Close your blinds or curtains to block the light from the fireworks outside and turn your lights on inside.
  • Play some calming music or turn the TV on and the sound up to lessen the sounds of the noise outside.
  • Be extra careful when you open the door as some dogs will try to escape and run away when they are afraid.

Host a Dog Party

new year and dogsGet together with 2 or 3 close friends or family members that have dogs that get along. Meet at the home that will be the furthest away from the fireworks.

You will enjoy the company of your friends and family while the dogs will play together and enjoy visiting with each other. Plan some indoor activities for your friends and the dogs.


Setup an Indoor Agility Course

Keep your dog physically and mentally busy with an indoor agility course. Create the course according to your dog’s size and abilities.

The physical and mental activity of the agility course will release your dog’s energy, making them calmer.


Hide Treats

Take small treats and hide them for your dog to find. Hide the treats where your dog can easily find them, don’t make it too difficult unless you have a scent hound.

If you have a scent hound like I do, you can hide small treats in places that would be difficult to find and let them sniff them out.


Bake Healthy Dog Treats

Bake some healthy grain-free dog treats for your dog. When I bake treats for Freckles, she remains in the kitchen until she gets to eat a fresh baked treat.

Peanut Butter Treats

Ingredients:
-1/3 cup coconut flour
-1/2 cup peanut butter
-2 tablespoons coconut oil
-2 tablespoons chia seeds
-1/2 cup water

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 F.
2) In a bowl, combine the chia seeds and water and let it sit for 15 minutes. The chia seeds will absorb the water and become a gel like substance.
3) Add the peanut butter and coconut oil, and mix to combine.
4) Slowly add the coconut flour mixing well. Let the dough sit for several minutes to allow the coconut flour to absorb the liquids.
5) You can roll out the dough to a ¼” thickness and cut into shapes or take about one tablespoon and roll into a ball, then flatten to ¼” thick.
6) Place the treats on a cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. Then turn the oven off and leave the cookies in the oven for 20 more minutes to remove more moisture for hard cookies.


Thundershirt

The Thundershirt provides gentle pressure on your dog’s torso, similar to swaddling a baby which provides a calming effect.

You put the Thundershirt on your dog when they are in a calm state and it will help your dog remain calm.


At My Home

new year and dogsOn New Year’s eve, we will be staying home with the curtains closed, the lights on, and the TV louder than normal.

I will include some extra exercise on New Year’s Eve for Freckles. I will take her for a long walk before the fireworks begin to release energy.

Freckles will be wearing her Thundershirt to help keep her calm and relaxed. If you will be using a Thundershirt, remember to put it on your dog while they are in a calm state.

I will give her some interactive toys to keep her busy and distracted from the noise outside. I will also hide some treats for her to sniff out and release mental energy.


Planning ahead can make for an enjoyable evening for you and your dog. Celebrate the New Year with your furry friend in a calm and relaxing manner.

Leave a comment below or share a story about your dog. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.

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