AC Pup wishes a happy and safe New Year for all

Can you believe this year is quickly coming to a close? Where did the time go, for Pete’s sake? It seems like we were just celebrating the beginning of 2014 and now it’s winding down already.

As we gear up for the big New Year’s, I want to give my standard holiday warning. I always warn about holidays that may involve fireworks, and I can promise you there will be fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

Here’s a news flash. Many animals do not care for loud sounds such as thunder and fireworks.

In fact, many animals have a pretty significant negative reaction to scary noises that sound like gunfire.

Here’s another news flash. A fence may not keep your outside dog contained during fireworks or a storm.

If you have dogs that stay outside in a fenced yard while there is fireworks or thunder, there is a good chance they will be so afraid of the noise they may go over the fence, under the fence or through the fence to try to escape the noise. It can be a terrifying experience for a pet.

So the solution is to bring the pets inside if at all possible. And bring them in early.

This will be my fifth New Year’s Eve, and I’ve noticed that fireworks don’t necessarily wait until midnight to begin. Some people get an early start with the festivities, so don’t be caught by an early loud surprise. Go ahead and bring outside pets indoors early where they will be safe.

If you can’t bring them inside for whatever reason, please take every measure to help them stay calm and safe through the events of the evening. If there is any way you can stay outside with them, please bundle up and spend New Year’s Eve with them.

Another possibility is to use a thunder shirt on your dogs. Many people have had good success with thunder shirts helping to relieve anxiety. It sort of feels like a continual hug and helps dogs feel safe and secure.

This is a good time to also update your pet’s ID tags. If you use actual tags that hang from their collar, please realize the tags may become scratched, mangled and fall off, so get brand-new ID tags before New Year’s Eve.

And even consider ordering collars with your pet’s ID information embroidered on the collar. That will relieve your worry of losing a tag.

This week is also a great time to consider having your pet microchipped. Please make an appointment with a veterinarian that offers microchips this week before the New Year’s Eve parties begin. And make sure you have your registration sent in to the microchip company right away.

Pets are depending on their parents to keep them safe, so please take the necessary precautions to make sure we don’t have any frightened escapees on New Year’s Eve.

The beginning of a new year is an exciting time because we all start with a clean slate. Whatever frustrations, failures or flaws we had last year are in the past, and it’s a brand-new year filled with wonderful opportunities.

What could be more thrilling?

I wish you blessings for a safe and Happy New Year.

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