December 31st is a celebratory holiday. But the fireworks, noisy crowds, and flashing lights of New Years’ Eve can be anything but a party for your dog. So before your pup has a panic attack, take some measures to reduce his stress level.

If you anticipate a problem, consider picking up some Rescue Remedy®, a blend of liquid flower extracts that can help relieve stress. Check the label for the dosage, and give it to your dog about 30 minutes before the action starts.

A ThunderShirt® offers proven relief for many stressed out dogs (and cats too!). It wraps around most of the body, applying a comforting pressure that soothes and calms the dog.

Rescue Remedy can be found in many grocery, health, and pet supply stores, and both items are widely available on line.

As midnight approaches, make sure your dog’s environment will help keep her calm. Is her bed, or a favorite chair, ready for her, with a favorite toy or two? Play some music at a volume loud enough to drown out some of the outside noise (though do be mindful of your neighbors). Draw the curtains or close the blinds to reduce the effect of sudden flashes of light. Your stressed-out dog will respond to your cues, so stay calm and relaxed. And breathe: long, slow, calming breaths.

If you know that loud noises will be extremely upsetting to your dog, consider discussing some anxiety-reducing medicine with your veterinarian well before the big day.

Finally, as you make your own New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget a workout routine for both you and your dog.

Have a great holiday season and a splendid New Year!

Adapted from an article by Beverly Jogan, VMD, published in The Wag Times, the monthly newsletter of Whole Animal Gym (WAG), with their permission.

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