More than 70% of dog owners are fearful about fireworks moving from parks to private gardens this year, The Kennel Club has found.
While widely-celebrated firework displays — such as Bonfire Night and New Year's Eve — are set to look very different due to the coronavirus outbreak, many owners are worried that their dogs could be left feeling anxious by unpredictable celebrations in otherwise quiet areas.
New research conducted by the animal welfare charity found that 23% of people plan to attend or host a private fireworks display this year because of cancelled events. Meanwhile, two in three owners said fireworks lead to their dogs feeling anxious and fearful.
"Fireworks displays can be very distressing for many dogs, causing changes to their behaviour," Bill Lambert, Head of Health and Welfare at The Kennel Club, said. "Each dog reacts differently and it is important that dog owners, especially those with young puppies, know what do to and how they can help their dogs get through the fireworks season."
Some of the reasons dogs find firework displays frightening include:
Fears of the loud noises
Scared of the flashing lights
Strong smell of explosives
Want to help your dog feel calmer during firework displays? Some of the simple things you can do to help them include:
Get them used to the sounds of fireworks by playing them fireworks sounds in the weeks leading up to the night.
Shut all the doors and windows and keep your curtains closed to block the flashing lights.
Distract your dog by having the TV or radio switched on.
Reward their calm behaviour with treats or playing.
Make a safe space for your dog filled with their favourite toys and blankets.
Keep your dog's microchip details up to date to make it easier to reunite you with your dog in case it runs away.
Use Aromatherapy sprays and ASMR to help keep them calm.
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