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Fear of fireworks

New Year’s Eve is a big party for people, for most pets, the fireworks set off is a real nightmare. What can we do for our pets to get through these days as smoothly as possible?

During the fireworks

  • Make the environment as pleasant as possible. For example, cover the bench with blankets so that it is a soundproof, dark and safe place
  • Leave your pet where it wants te be, that is the safest place for them at that time
  • Keep your pet as much away from the fireworks as possible
  • Walk dogs on a leash and go to an area where they are less affected by the bangs
  • Keep cats indoors a few days before and a few days after
  • Close the curtains and turn on the lights and radio
  • Put cats in a separate room with food, drinks and a litter box
  • Keep windows and doors closed, even on New Year’s Day
  • Bring your pet to a remote guest house a few days in advance
  • Do not reward the fearful behavior by comforting, as this may only make the behavior worse. Supporting is good, you do this by, for example, letting your pet by your side
  • Have your pet chipped, if you run away, your pet will be found easier
  • Never leave your pet alone when the fireworks are at their peak


There are a number of resources to help your pet during this time. Discuss with your veterinarian which of these remedies are most suitable for your situation. Starting a few months before the turn of the year is most effective.

  • Firework sounds
    • Start 1-2 months in advance
    • Play the sounds at a level where your pet is just under the treshold of reacting. Gradually turn the volume up
  • Behavioral therapy
    • 2 months in advance, preferably even earlier
    • Ask a professional for help with the training. This is not easy!
  • Soothing vaporizers, collars or spray
    • These release pheromones that have a soothing effect on your pet
    • Start 2 weeks in advance until 1 week after
  • Zylkène®
    • Natural stress reducing remedy
    • At least 2 weeks in advance, but preferably even earlier
  • Sileo® (for dogs)
    • A gel that is applied in the cheek pouch and is immediately effective
    • Can be given when the dog is anxious
    • Strong anti-anxiety and little sedative (narcotic)
  • Pexion® (for dogs)
    • Strong anti-anxiety and sedative (narcotic)
    • Start at least 2 days before the New Year
  • Tessie® (for dogs)
    • A liquid medication 3 times daily for a maximum of 9 days
    • Strong anti-anxiety and little sedative (narcotic)
  • Bonqat® (for cats)
    • Strong anti-anxiety and little sedative (narcotic)
    • A liquid medication once daily
  • Clomicalm
    • Reduces anxiety
    • It makes your pet more receptive to learning, so a great combination with the fireworks sounds and/or behavioral therapy
    • Start 1-2 months in advance, must be phased out
  • Alprazolam
    • May only be prescribed when other medication does not work
    • Calming and blocking effect on memory. The loud bangs and the fear are not remembered
    • Start a few days in advance or on the day itself
    • Give in when your pet is calm
  • Gabapentine
    • May only be prescribed when other medication does not work
    • 2 hours in advance
    • Strong anti-anxiety and little sedative (narcotic)