Preparing Your pet for New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve can be exciting – especially after the year we’ve had – but for our pets it can be very stressful.

PDSA Vet Nurse, Nina Downing, said: “It’s important to start preparing your four-legged friend for New Year early. While we’re all looking forward to leaving 2020 behind us, remember that some of our celebrations may be less fun for our pets.

“One of the main pet-related issues with New Year is fireworks. While some pets might be okay with loud bangs and flashes, it can be very stressful if your pet is afraid of any unexpected noises like fireworks, party poppers and champagne corks popping!”

To help, Nina’s top tips include:

  • Build your dog or cat a den so they can hide somewhere safe if they want to.
  • A few days before, start encouraging your cat to come home before nightfall. Giving them their dinner before dusk can make them keener to come home while it’s still light
  • Bring outdoor animals inside (for example, putting hutches into car-less garages).
  • Walk your dog late afternoon, so they don’t have to go out in the evening.
  • On the night, feed your cats inside the house before dusk, then keep themindoors for the night. .
  • Make sure you have enough litter trays indoors for your cat so they don’t have to go outside.
  • Turn the TV on and close the curtains to drown out noise and bright flashes.

Nina continued: “If you’re thinking of having a Covid-safe get-together outside, keep your pet in mind. They’ll probably be happier tucked up safe and sound in their den inside while all the noise and activity happens outside.

“If your pet hasn’t seen a lot of people lately, they may find visitors overwhelming. It’s important not to force your pet to socialise if they don’t want to. 2020 has been a strange year for pets too, so sudden changes to their new normal life can be unsettling for them.

“Our pets love routine, so any changes to their daily activity can really worry them. Try to keep them in their usual routine as much as possible (so feeding and exercise at their usual times). Make sure that wherever they normally like to sleep is away from where you’re celebrating so they can settle down when they feel tired.

“And remember, while it can be tempting to give your pet some table scraps to make them feel included in the celebrations, so much of our food can be harmful – and even poisonous – to them. Feed your pet their normal food and maybe get them a new toy to keep them happy and entertained.”

PDSA is the UK’s leading vet charity. We’re on a mission to improve pet wellbeing through prevention, education and treatment. Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information. www.pdsa.org.uk

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