NEW YEAR'S may be a cause of celebration for most Brits, but for dog-owners across the UK, it can bring a lot of worry for our precious pups.
As the rest of the country gears up for their impressive fireworks displays, here's everything any pet owner could need to know to ensure their pet's remain calm at this explosive end-of-year.
How can I calm my pets during fireworks?
The popular night is well known for its stressful impact on pets, with dogs being the most disturbed by the loud noises.
If your dog is nervous or panicked by fireworks, there are a few things you can do to help them remain calm this New Year's Eve.
- Walk your dog when the sun is up to avoid times when fireworks are likely to be set off.
- Move your dog to the safe place before the fireworks begin, such as a bedroom or cage.
- Provide toys and other stimuli to occupy their attention and avoid leaving your dog alone.
- Close windows and curtains to muffle the sound and bright lights of fireworks.
- Put on some music or TV to mask the firework sounds. Regular beats can help mask the sound of loud bangs.
- Stay calm. If you get very anxious or comfort your pet more than usual, this can make your pet more unsettled.
- Never punish your pets. It’s not their fault they’re scared, and it adds to their anxiety.
Dog-lover, Duncan James and Burns Pet Nutrition has committed to help 'pawrents' with his six-hour music video called Pet Sounds, which has been specially designed to help keep dogs calm.
What to do if my dog starts barking uncontrollably during fireworks?
Barking at fireworks may seem like a strange reaction for your pup to have but is a natural expression of fear or anxiety.
If you find your dog barking excessively, you should try to distract them as best you can.
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Try encouraging them to play with toys they enjoy or find a quiet space away from the loud noises and bright lights.
If your dog is prone to more barking, try to take your dog somewhere away from any potential firework displays during the busy time.
There are over-the-counter products, such as calming collars and plugins, which claim to help dogs feel calm during periods of high stress or anxiety, however, you should speak to your vet before using any OTC products.
If you’re really concerned about your dog’s fear of fireworks, it’s worth speaking to a vet to see what options are available.
Are there any pet-friendly fireworks?
The RSPCA website estimates that 45% of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when they hear fireworks.
It’s never a good idea to take your dog to a fireworks display, and most indoor fireworks are unlikely to be dog-friendly too.
BUT, pet-friendly fireworks do exist!
Some supermarkets have launched special ranges of low noise fireworks without the screeches and bangs.
In the UK, Fantastic Fireworks hosts silent displays at venues close to wildlife or livestock frequently allowing quiet fireworks only.
The World Health Organization lists 120 decibels as the pain threshold for sound for dogs and humans.
Fireworks are typically higher than 150, and sometimes as high as 170, which doubles as a good excuse to cuddle up with your pup during this New Years celebration.
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