Celebrations to bring in the new year are drawing closer but the Dogs Trust is warning of the distress fireworks can cause animals.
The charity has set out tips to help reduce fear or anxiety animals may feel this New Year’s Eve.
of dogs show some behavioural signs of fears to loud noises such as fireworks
Walk your dog before dark
Make sure your house and garden are secure
Reduce the impact of noises and flashes (e.g. by playing other music, closing curtains and having the dog in the middle part of the house)
Stay calm yourself and don’t tell your dog off or force him outside
Build a den or ensure your dog has a quiet place to retreat to
If your dog comes to you for reassurance, give them a fuss. In the past advice has sometimes been to ignore dogs and not give them a fuss if they are scared – but if you suddenly withdraw reassurance when they are terrified by noises it is likely to cause them to be very distressed.
Dogs Trust Director of Canine Behaviour and Research, Dr Rachel Casey said:
Many of us enjoy the experience of fireworks, especially when it comes to ringing in the New Year, but for our dogs it’s often a terrifying and confusing experience. Dogs have approximately four times more sensitive hearing than humans, and also have a more extensive range of hearing – they can hear much higher frequency sounds than we can - so just imagine how loud a firework bang is for a dog.