Fireworks and light shows are traditions done every New Year all around the globe. Different countries may have their own versions of New Year’s Eve party; but one thing is common among them – fireworks. These loud cracking substances certainly add flavor and fun as we end the year and welcome a new one. Our pets, on the other hand, dread this momentous occasion. All because the sound coming from fireworks are doubled or even tripled on their eardrums. This is the reason why they get so afraid and anxious during this time. Add also the dancing lights and powerful flashes across the sky. If you are a dog, you might be as scared as hell.
If your Shih Tzu is known to exhibit intense behavioral changes during New Year, then maybe it is time give him some help. Most of the articles online will tell you to condition your pet months before the end of the year; however, behavioral conditioning – exposing your pet to the firecracker sounds and light flashes gradually, doesn’t usually work. When the clock strikes 12 on January 1, the dog seem to forget everything he learned and still goes into panic. The best thing to do is to continuously give some assurance petting, hugging and bonding with your pet on the eve of December 31. You can also give some pet relaxing tablets that contains chamomile and other herbal extracts that might help soothe you Shih Tzu’s system. Making him more relaxed with help you control his violent reactions as the fireworks come crashing the sky. Second, prepare a place in the house where your little dog can find comfort and security – somewhere he will feel safe. It is impossible to shield the loud noises outside; but at least, he knows there is a hidden place he can turn to where the sounds are muffled. You can choose a room or a basement where you can place some water, treats, and a comfortable bed inside a container with roofing. Enclosed dark areas will help your pet’s adrenaline go down as this makes him feel safer and the fireworks won’t get to him.
This type of behavioral modification is not reinforcing the stressor to the animal. Instead, you are providing him what he just needs – protection and security where he can feel safe and sound as we all say goodbye to 2014.