While fireworks are fun to shoot off, the noise they cause can be a problem. Veterans with PTSD, people with certain disabilities, and even your family pet often find loud noises extremely stressful. Check out these tips for how to help your dog get through New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Keep All Pets Inside

Fireworks are extremely dangerous in the wrong hands. Add an excited (or terrified) dog running around to the mix, and you’re creating a recipe for disaster. Even if you trust your kids to handle fireworks safely, you can’t control the kids across the street. If your dog runs in the wrong direction at the wrong time, you’re off to the emergency veterinarian. Keep them inside for the duration of the celebrations, and if you need to take them outside to potty, make sure they are on a leash.

Make a Safe Room

Most dogs don’t like the noise that fireworks make, which can cause anxiety. The best thing you can do is make one of the rooms in your home into a “safe room” for the evening. Ideally, choose a room in the center of your home to help block some of the noise. Add some of the following items to the room to make it more soothing:

  • Comfy blankets
  • A cardboard box or tunnel to hide in
  • Treats
  • Toys

The room can also act as an escape if your child finds all the excitement too overwhelming and need a few minutes to calm down.

Block Out the Bad Noises

You can help your dog get through New Year’s Eve by blocking out the sounds of fireworks with something else. Turn on the TV or play some of your pet’s favorite music. Nature sounds are also an excellent option to distract your dog from the sound of fireworks.

No Pets at the Party

If you decide to host a New Year’s Eve party, be careful about letting your dog join you for the festivities. Parties are the perfect opportunity for your dog to steal food off the counter and eat something toxic, like chocolate. If your dog is small, there’s also the chance they’ll get stepped on if you have dancing. A good idea is to take your dog to a professional dog boarder for the evening.

You may not be able to stop your neighbors from using fireworks, but you can take precautions. With a bit of planning, you can help your dog not have terrible anxiety from the noise of New Year’s Eve celebrations.