From Four Paws
For many people, firecrackers, rockets and sparklers are an essential element of an enjoyable New Year’s Eve. The noise and bright light effects, however, can cause animals high levels of stress. Frequently, panicked reactions are the result. These can include physical manifestations such as diarrhea. FOUR PAWS provides advice on how to ensure pets survive New Year’s Eve without a problem.
In the days leading up to New Year’s Eve, dogs in urban areas should only be walked on a leash. Unexpected firecracker explosions can cause the dog to panic and run away
Do not leave animals home alone
On the 31st of December, cats and dogs should not be allowed outside without supervision. Small animals, cats or birds are best left in a quiet room with closed, covered windows on New Year’s Eve. Responsible owners will spend the evening at home with their animals or arrange for appropriate reliable supervision. The animals should definitely not be left home alone.
Dogs are most at ease in the company of their owner. However, they should not be taken along during fireworks, as the ongoing loud noise is a terrible strain. In addition, the sulphurous smoke from the fireworks can damage their mucous membranes.
Nervous dogs should not be comforted, as this serves to confirm their fears. Stay quiet and relaxed and ignore the dog’s fearful behaviour, thereby exuding the necessary confidence and security. Animals which tend to be extremely fearful may benefit from a mild sedative, which can be provided by the vet.
If you engage in the traditional melting of lead, ensure that the animals do not come into contact with the water used to cool the lead, as this can cause serious lead poisoning.
Explosions are also a strain for wild animals
Wild animals in nature are also disturbed by the New Year’s fireworks. These should never be used at the edge of forests, in clearings or in parks. People interested in doing their bit for animal welfare should not purchase rockets or firecrackers at all – the money can be used for more worthwhile purposes.
The biggest favour we can do our pets is to spend New Year’s Eve with them in peaceful and familiar surroundings.