With Diwali and fireworks night coming up, the Kennel Club is warning pet owners to be extra vigilant following statistics that show that 71% of owners’ details on microchipping databases are inaccurate.
Petlog, run by the Kennel Club, is one of the largest databases for microchipped animals and one of the only databases where users can ensure the money spent on microchipping goes back into dogs. To give even greater peace of mind, the Kennel Club has the Petlog Premium upgrade which offers pet owners a comprehensive range of lost and found services, which ensures they maintain accurate contact details, so if the worst happens and their pet goes missing, they can go to the Petlog website and alert local authorised agents to help with their search.
Since compulsory microchipping was introduced in April 2016 approximately 90% of dogs are now microchipped, but statistics show that only 29%* of dogs have microchips with accurate contact details, meaning that should a pet go missing on nights such as fireworks night and is subsequently found and scanned, the reunification process won’t work. What dog owners also aren’t aware of is that it is now a legal requirement to ensure that contact details are kept up to date.
Jacquie Easton, Kennel Club Chief Operations Officer said: “Dogs can react very badly to the unfamiliar sights, sounds and even smells that are common on fireworks night – research shows that 40% of dogs are scared of fireworks. The experience can be terrifying for dogs and result in them behaving unpredictably which can put their safety at risk.
It is a good time of year to ensure that owners’ microchip details are up to date and by registering with Petlog owners can be reassured that their money is put back into rescue and welfare organisations which are being supported by the provision of free services to help the rehoming process.”
For more information on microchipping and Petlog go to www.petlog.org.uk.
Tips for fireworks night:
The Kennel Club recommends dog owners are prepared in time for fireworks night.
- Ensure your pet is microchipped (this is now and legal requirement) and that your details are up to date.
- Keep a collar and ID tag on your dog, just in case they do accidentally escape.
- Acclimatise your dog to noises prior to the big night. There are many noise CDs on the market which give you the opportunity to introduce your dog to a variety of potentially disturbing sounds in a controlled manner.
- Seek help from an experienced animal behaviourist. If your pet is severely noise phobic, sound CDs may make the situation worse. Kennel Club Accredited Instructors are experienced in different aspects of dog training and behaviour.
- Make a safe den for your dog to retreat to if he or she feels scared. Alternatively, let your dog take refuge under furniture and include an old, unwashed piece of clothing like a woolly jumper so that your dog can smell your scent and feel comfortable.
- Distract your dog from the noise by having the TV or the radio switched on.
- 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. Reward calm behaviour with dog treats or playing with toys of interest.
- Check where and when firework displays are being held in your local area. Also ask your neighbours to let you know if they are planning anything.
- Consult your vet if your dog has any health problems or is taking any medication.
- Talk to your vet about giving remedies such as Ceva Adaptil to help them cope with fireworks night, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Feed your dog a while before you expect any disturbances, as once the fireworks start your dog may be too anxious to eat.
- Walk your dog before dusk. It may be some time before it’s safe to venture outside again for your dog to relieve themselves. Bear in mind the smell of fireworks might also be destressing for your dog.
- 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. Don’t forget to block off cat flaps to stop dogs (and cats) escaping.
- Secure your dog safely inside a room before opening the front door.
- Your dog might choose to hide under the bed; if they come to you for comfort, make sure that you give it to them. Ignoring your dog will only make things worse as they will not understand your withdrawal from them.
- Take your dog to a firework display; even if your dog does not bark or whimper, don’t assume they are 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 their own or in a separate room from you.
- Try to force your dog to face its fears – it will 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.
- Try and tempt them out if they do retreat, as this may cause more stress.
- Tell your dog off. This will only make your pet more distressed. It is important to remember that it is natural for a dog to be scared of loud noises and unfamiliar sights and sounds.
*figures according to the Battersea report ‘Microchipping Two Years On – 2018