Celebrating Nochevieja With Your Pet: It’s Time To Put Away the Fireworks

fireworks pets BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Instagram @alonsorob

This year feels a bit different. Many people are no longer fearing the consequences of Covid since the vaccination rolled out. There’s hope in the air. Although the loss we experienced last year and a half has left a lingering essence of melancholy, the celebrations must go on, especially on NocheVieja.

People are trying to emulate their version of normal before the pandemic. And now that we are about to enter a new year, it’s almost a given to have fireworks popping off soon. 

I get it. Fireworks can be a sight. I’d be lying if I said that I’m not mesmerized by them sometimes. Yet, I know that celebrating NocheVieja with fireworks doesn’t bring joy to everyone around us, especially to our pets.

It’s been said time in and time again, but let me repeat it: fireworks are not a great experience for pets. 

However, it’s not lost on me that we can stop people from lighting up fireworks on the holidays. This is why we recently spoke to a Puerto Rican vet practicing in Central Florida, Dr. Robert Alonso, DVM.

He spoke to BELatina News about what may be happening to our pets when we use fireworks and what we can do to make them feel more at ease.

Can you describe what a pet goes through when fireworks explode?

Well, the biggest thing is understanding that pets don’t know what’s happening, and they can get stressed very easily. It’s worse on pets that suffer from anxiety, heart problems, and older pets. 

What are common behaviors we should look out for if we feel our pets are distressed?

Dogs’ and cats’ senses are already heightened, and hearing fireworks can trigger severe anxiety. You can notice it if they start pacing, panting, whining, or even destroying things in the house. 

What can pet owners do to help them?

If they already have a pre-existing condition, the owners should chat with their vets to see if there are medications that can help their pets have a more enjoyable, relaxed experience. 

Alternatively, they can play loud, soothing music, such as instrumental music, or have the TV on so that the noises distract the pet. 

There are some over-the-counter supplements or products that help with anxiety. However, in my experience, they don’t always work for every pet.

Don’t forget about your pets’ needs this NocheVieja; they deserve the peace and safety they provide us with all year long.