Tips to Celebrate Chinese New Year with Pets

Here are some tips to make Chinese New Year comfortable for your pets at home.

Fireworks and crackers! Lion dances! Family members we haven't seen in over a year visiting (with even more kids in tow)!

As one of Malaysia's biggest holidays, Chinese New Year is a season filled with  large-scale merriment, prolonged celebrations, and whole communities coming together to celebrate the welcoming of prosperity, fortune, and luck. 

Unfortunately, this means a lot of noise and stressful environments for pets. For owners and pawparents, keeping your pet out of the crowd's way, or dressing them up for the occasion can oftentimes bring additional stress to the animal(s), on top of dealing with the increase in surrounding noise and people. 


While prosperous, many of Chinese New Year's features are scary to pets! [Image credit: Elina Sazonova, Pexels]

Here are the top tips for keeping your furbaby as safe as possible during the Chinese New Year partying.

  1. Keep your pets away from firework residue and debris. Firecrackers are full of toxic substances that should not be inhaled nor ingested. Keep your porch area clean and curious pets in sight!

  2. Invest early in an identification tag (even better if its a trackable). Chinese New Year reports one of the peak times animals are lost in confusion and fear, trying to escape from the loud noises or get too excited and energetic.

  3. Try not to shut your dog/cat away in a small space/cage for prolonged periods as confinement can stress them out even more. Let your furbabies move around and choose one or more hiding spots so they can adjust accordingly. 

  4. Give your dogs and cats treats to placate them throughout the high simulation period. Treats enforce good behaviour and happiness. But also be mindful of checking in on your furbaby too much! Your constant fussing over them could increase agitation, as they will see your heightened presence as anxious and unsettled.

For cats; a little more care needs to be taken as they can reach more spots than dogs can, and more silently too. 

  • aim to have your cats indoor early during the season if you allow them to free roam.
  • take note of unsafe hiding spots - such as in rafters or crawl spaces. Remove breakable items in the area such as bottles and clocks, and bar access to these hiding spots if possible. 
  • give your cats a dose of catnip to soothe them if they seem more anxious than usual. 

You are your pet's safe space - make one for them!

Alternatively, you could send them for boarding, away from all the stress, but please, book as early as possible. (For context, we at Swirly and Friends get slot inquiries as early as October the year before, and are fully booked by the time mid-December rolls around!)

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