New Year’s Eve is right around the corner! Before we know it, everyone will be gathered waiting for the clock to strike midnight. And then it begins – fireworks begin to go off in one city at a time as the first moments of 2022 start around the world. Do New Year’s Eve fireworks scare your dog? Let’s discuss some possibilities for helping to keep your dog calm even as the booms are happening.
Why Do New Year’s Eve Fireworks Scare Your Dog?
It’s no secret – New Year’s Eve fireworks scare your dog. But why? So many humans love fireworks and other noisy festivities. There are two big reasons why your New Year’s Eve fireworks scare your dog:
- Loud noises harm a dog’s hearing.
A dog’s hearing is geared differently than a human’s hearing is geared. A human’s hearing seems to be tuned to hear what other humans are saying, while a dog’s hearing is tuned more to hear the sounds that small prey makes while they are hiding in the woods (source). The sounds of prey are much quieter and higher pitched than a human speaking. Since a dog’s ears are so much more sensitive than human ears, loud noises can do harm to a dog’s hearing.
- The fear of the unknown.
The humans who love the fireworks and loud celebrations know what is going on. They are not afraid that they have suddenly stepped into a war zone in the way a dog is afraid. Your dog is likely to be wondering “what are those noises?” “Are they going to harm me?” In nature, loud sounds are often the sign of danger approaching.
Noise anxiety is the fear of noises in one’s environment. Many dogs suffer from noise anxiety. Since you can’t stop loud noises like fireworks or thunder from occurring, it is important to prepare your dog for these unsettling times and know the signs of noise anxiety.
Preparing For New Year’s Eve With an Anxious Dog
If New Year’s Eve fireworks scare your dog, you will need to prepare a safe place for your dog to stay during the fireworks. Please do not take a dog with noise anxiety out with you to see the fireworks or involve your dog in a New Year’s Eve party. Instead, prepare a room in your home that will serve as a “safe space” for your dog. Only your dog is allowed in this room for the duration of the fireworks or New Year’s Eve party.
What should this room look like? It should have a few of the dog’s things and perhaps your dog’s crate (if they are crate trained) inside. Nothing that can harm the dog. It should be kept dark and quiet. At the most a little soft, soothing music can be playing to help drown out the sound of the fireworks. There should be enough space for your dog to stretch out and lay down. Food and spill-proof water can also be a part of your dog’s safe space.
Get your dog used to this safe space. Allow your dog to sit in there a few times before New Year’s Eve. Feeding your dog in the safe space can help to associate the room with good things. You want the environment to be as familiar as possible before the big night. Do not ever use your dog’s safe space as a place of punishment or time out.
On New Year’s Eve, you will want your dog to go into their safe space a little while before the fireworks begin to get comfortable. Do not let anyone go into that room while your dog is in there relaxing. Allow your dog as much peace and quiet as possible during the fireworks.
CrittEar Dog Earplugs & Other Calming Tips
A safe space is only one of the things that can help your dog if New Year’s Eve fireworks scare your dog. Here are a few other tips that can help keep your dog calm.
- CBD Oil and A Long Walk
CBD oil is a natural remedy that can help to bring some calm to your dog. A few hours before the fireworks begin, give your dog a dose of CBD oil and take a nice long walk. This will help to get some of the nervous energy worn down as the CBD oil kicks in.
Speak to your veterinarian about any medications that might be helpful for noise anxiety in your dog. Use them only as directed. Keep in mind that these medications do have side effects, some of which may be harder for your dog than the noise anxiety itself.
- Vacation Away From The City
If you are able, take your dog away from the city during the New Year’s Eve festivities. A night in a heated cabin in the woods or to a friend’s rural home can be very relaxing for both of you! This will get you away from the noise of the fireworks and parties.
- CrittEar Dog Earplugs
When inserted properly, CrittEar Calm dog earplugs can help buffer noises down to 31 dB. That’s about the noise level of a normal conversation. CrittEar Calm dog earplugs are a great way to help keep your dog calm without any medication. These are also a great addition to your “safe space” provisions. Simply insert your CrittEar Calm dog earplugs in your dog’s ears before you allow them into their safe space for the evening.
Be Prepared For NYE And Beyond
If New Year’s Eve fireworks scare your dog, then thunderstorms and other loud noises could be causing noise anxiety too. Be ready for it all! CrittEar Calm is available in a 3-pack of dog earplugs. That way you have a pair to wear, a pair to wash, and a pair to keep in the car in case of noise anxiety on the go. We wish you the best of holidays and hope for peace and calmness for your pups!