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Pet Column: Tips for making New Year’s Eve celebrations safe and comfortable for dogs

By Elle Williams  
Pet Columnist, Canyon Lake Insider
 

New Year’s Eve celebrations will be taking place tonight. People will be gathering and celebrating with one of our favorite forms of entertainment, fireworks! It’s all in good spirits, but to our furry friends, fireworks can be scary. They can cause stress and, unfortunately, push some pets to the point of running away. What can you do to keep them safe and as comfortable as possible?

1. Keep them inside. If possible, keep them in a room or crate away from the celebrations with calming music on. 
2. Keep their minds busy. One of my go-to toys is a Kong filled with yummy peanut butter, mashed sweet potatoes, coconut oil, or plain yogurt. A lick mat will also work.
3. Get that energy out. Take your dog for a long walk or play session before the events. The more tired the dog is, the less energy it will have to react.
4. For the dog that is really fearful, invest in a thunder jacket. 
5. Expose them to the sounds of fireworks on a low sound setting. While they listen, pet and comfort them. Throwing in some treats will help them associate good things with the sound of fireworks.

Elle Williams is a local in-home dog trainer and the owner of Give a Sit Dog Training. She is certified in dog psychology, nutrition, and grooming, and specializes in basic and advanced obedience, puppy prep, and behavior adjustment training.

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