Sussex dogs: Here's how to keep your pets calm during firework season
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Dogs Trust Shoreham has released tips on how to take care of our canine friends during bonfire season, as one in three owners from a recent survey said they were looking to seek advice around firework-related behaviour.
Adel Burnett, centre manager at the Shoreham branch, said: “Fear of fireworks is worryingly common in dogs of all ages, and it can have a significant impact on their wellbeing and affect dogs at any time in their lives.
“Dogs respond to fireworks in a range of different ways, so it’s crucial to have a clear plan, ahead of time, to help your own dog cope. Some dogs will want to find a cosy hiding place, others will want reassurance.
“If your dog does seem worried, it’s worth distracting them with a game or treats to keep their attention away from the noises outside. Owners can visit the Dogs Trust website for top tips on what to do when fireworks have started.”
When expecting fireworks, Dogs Trust said owners should stay in with their pets who may panic if left alone and ensure they have a safe, cosy space indoors before any displays begin.
Owners should also check that their house and garden are escape-proof. Dogs could try to run away if they’re scared so check doors, windows and fences are secure.
When fireworks start, these tips can help to keep your dog calm:
- Close curtains, turn on the lights and turn on the television or some music to help block out the outside noise.
- Recognise the needs of the individual dog and let them choose if they want to hide.
- Check on the dog regularly to make sure they are coping. Give them comfort if they are seeking reassurance; leave them if they choose to hide in their ‘den’.
- Try and stay calm and relaxed yourself.
The charity also recommends noting down how your dog reacted during the fireworks and what worked well to help them cope.
It also advises returning to a normal routine to help dogs settle down.
If your pets were worried during fireworks, it is a good idea to seek professional help before the next firework season starts.