Life can be hard for a pup. You finally get a day where your humans are home and bringing strangers to pet you and feeding you leftover party food, and then all evening there’s loud music, chatter and screaming. Here’s how to comfort your doggo when there’s a party going on.
Keep them home
Scared pets can bolt, so keep that in mind if you take your pup to a picnic or parade. Make sure they have a tag with your contact information, and have a recent photo saved on your phone. Use a leash – or, better yet, keep them home in the first place, where they’ll probably be more comfortable.
Exercise earlier in the day can help some dogs’ mood later on (a tired dog is a happy dog, they say) so consider a long walk or a trip to the dog park before the festivities get going.
Create a calming environment
Where is your pet most comfortable? Make them some space to relax, and do your best to eliminate the sights and sounds of your party. You could put on some music, white noise, or TV to drown out the sounds of distant partying.
Recognise the signs of fear
A scared pet may pace around, drool, shiver, or seek attention (for example, pawing at you or following you around). They may also chew things they shouldn’t, or pee on the rug – either out of fear, or because they don’t want to go outside.
Don’t punish these behaviours. Your pet is reacting out of fear, and isn’t in the mood to process the fact that you’re trying to teach them a lesson. When you notice these behaviours, just reassure your pet and try to keep them comfortable.
Consider an anti-anxiety vest
Some pet owners swear by the Thundershirt, a vest that provides gentle pressure, like a wearable hug. Other companies make similar products, and you can make your own with a snug t-shirt or by wrapping your pup with a firm bandage. Try this out in advance, so that you know whether it works and aren’t trying to squeeze a frantic dog into a tight shirt for the very first time while fireworks are going off.
Ask your vet about medication
This is another one to think about in advance, but a veterinarian can advise you on medication to help your pet stay calm.
Before you get down to boogie, think of your furry friends and prepare well ahead.