FIREWORKS FRIGHTEN OUR FOUR LEGGED FRIENDS
Labrador Rescue Kent and Borders (LRK) offers advice on how to calm dogs that get distressed and traumatised by fireworks during Diwali and around firework night.
'Many dogs are sensitive to sounds as they can hear much higher frequencies than humans' says LRKtrustee Maggie Hinks 'let your dog hide, if that is what they want to do. It might be tempting to try to coax them out of their hiding place instead make them as comfortable as possible'
LRK advises owners to exercise their dogs before it is dark, and to make sure that they have eaten before the fireworks begin. Dogs may become unsettled and not eat during fireworks.
- Check that your house and garden are secure and that your dog cannot escape.
- Make sure you shut all doors and windows in your home and don't forget to draw the curtains. This will block out any scary flashes of light and reduce the noise level of fireworks.
- Try to act and behave as normal, as your dog will pick up on any odd behaviour. Remain calm, happy and cheerful as this will send positive signals to your dog.
- Distract your dog from the noise by having the TV or the radio switched on.
- Keep a collar on your dog, just in case they do accidentally escape.
- If you are intending on leaving the house on fireworks night, make sure you get someone your dog is familiar with to dog sit that evening
- Take your dog to a firework display, even if your dog does not bark or whimper, don't assume he or she is happy. Excessive yawning and panting can indicate that your dog is stressed.
- Tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off.
- Assume your garden is escape proof. If your dog needs to go out keep him on a lead just in case.
- Leave your dog on his own or in a separate room from you.
- Try to force your dog to face his fears - he'll just become more frightened.
- Forget to top up the water bowl. Anxious dogs pant more and get thirsty.
- Change routines more than necessary, as this can be stressful for some dogs.