New Years festivities can be a time of stress for many dogs and cats. From a pet’s perspective, loud, unpredictable noises and celebratory fireworks explosions are threatening and an understandable cause for alarm. Some animals react as if their very lives hang in the balance. For pets whose people are hosting a party, the presence of strangers and the change in environment — decorations, scented candles or potpourri, furniture moved around — can also be distressing. Thankfully it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some tips to help your dog or cat keep calm and carry on as they join you in welcoming in the New Year.