SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – Bright lights and loud booms might scare your pooch, but experts say there are steps you can take to make sure your four-legged friend stays safe when the New Year’s celebrations begin.
Experts told 7 News they notice the largest number of runaway pets around New Year’s and the Fourth of July.
They also said fireworks — which tend to scare dogs more than other pets — are the root cause.
According to Beth Osment, a spokeswoman for the Humane Society of Cherokee County, the best thing you can do for your pup is to stay at home with them.
If you cannot stay at home with your dog, though, Osment recommends checking on them as frequently as possible.
“If you do leave your home, leave your pet inside,” Osment said, “and make sure they are contained safely.”
Osment said scared pets can hurt themselves – and their owners’ houses – trying to escape from the loud pops and booms.
Comfortable, quiet and familiar spaces are good places for your companion.
Additionally, experts recommend trying to drown out the foreign noise of fireworks with sounds that are more comforting and familiar.
“Music can be calming and it can also drown out the noise,” Osment said.
However, according to Dr. Bill Bledsoe, a veterinarian at Animal Medical Center in Spartanburg, there are more extreme measures to relax pets with severe anxiety.
He says using proper doses of pet-safe sedatives like acepromazine tablets or dexmedetomidine gel can help your dog stay calm through the loudest of times.
However, more extreme measures like sedatives should only be used after being prescribed by a vet.
On top of doing what you can to calm your pet, experts recommend making sure you microchip them as well.
If your pooch does escape, Bledsoe said, microchips will allow shelters to figure out more information so they can get them back home.