Last night was of course New Year’s Eve and for many people it was a night of fun and merriment – and so it should be!
We were in bed and asleep before the clock struck, not because we’re scrooges but because Dave needed to be up before 5am for work.
At midnight however we were awoken by the whooshing and banging of many fireworks and a very, very loudly barking dog.
I have never begrudged anyone fireworks and to be honest, before I was a dog owner I don’t think I even spared a thought to people buying boxes and letting them off in their garden. Sure, the bangs can be a bit annoying on a school night but for the few days a year that they’re a thing, let people have their fun.
When I was a kid my dad would do a few fireworks down the end of the garden and I really enjoyed the thrill of letting off our own though as an adult I have never bothered. I do enjoy going to a professional display and have been to the Firework Championships a few times (check it out if you’ve not been before!).
Since getting Kubo however, fireworks are an absolute nightmare.
It is obvious, when you think about it that fireworks are terrifying to animals. The cats have never been that bad with them, I thought: as long as they are able to be next to us or under something they appeared OK and I always had a Feliway for them. They can’t bark though, so maybe I was wrong.
Kubo goes mad. He barks and barks and barks and cries and runs around like a maniac and barks. It is clearly horrible for him and although I don’t know if it is fear, nervousness, defence or something else, it is certainly not a positive emotion.
We have tried everything: desensitising videos with firework sounds to get him used to the noise; we did not let him out once they started (despite him desperately wanting to); the TV was on loud to try and distract him; the curtains were drawn and he was well fed. I even bought Adaptil tablets and as a last measure used Pet Remedy de-stress and calming wipes but nothing seemed to soothe him. We were reassuring with him and tried to keep him focused on other tasks but he has none of it when the fireworks are on.
Going to bed before midnight, we thought if we could settle him he might be OK and feel safe in his covered bed when the New Year struck. We even put a 10 hour pet soothing music loop on! But once they all went off at midnight he was inconsolable. Being in a city there were just so many and so nearby (including neighbours).
Of course I would not say people shouldn’t do their own fireworks, even though in the moment I really do feel like that! It would not be fair when I got to have them as a child and I know many people have parties and it is a highlight of the night. I don’t however remember anywhere near the amount in the sky as there seem to be now … also I think I enjoyed sparklers more!
Does anyone have any other tips we can try? I hate to see him so distressed and I am always keen to hear what other people’s experiences have been.
Happy New Year to you all and I hope your pets are safe.
Wishing for a quiet night tonight,