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Dogs and Fireworks: Dealing with Anxiety


Remember, remember dog safety in November.

Kennel Club warns dog owners to keep their pets safe and happy as ‘firework season’ approaches.

As Halloween and Bonfire Night approach, the Kennel Club is warning dog owners about how traumatic this time of year can be for dogs and other pets.

In the run up to Halloween and 5th November, two of the noisiest times of year, the Kennel Club is urging dog owners across the country not to ignore their four-legged friends. Halloween costumes and the loud bangs and flashes created by fireworks can be exciting for humans but very frightening for dogs, and owners will need to plan ahead to keep their dog safe and avoid negative incidents, such as a dog running away or acting aggressively out of fear.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “Dogs can react very badly to the unfamiliar sights and sounds that are common around Halloween and Bonfire Night.

“Fireworks, people in costumes knocking on the door, flashes of light and other things that dogs would not normally experience can be terrifying for dogs and could result in them behaving unpredictably which could put their safety, or the safety of people, at risk.

“In the run up to Bonfire Night, try playing a sound CD with firework noises or firework sound videos on Youtube at a low level to let your dog get used to the sound in the background. On Bonfire Night itself, it’s best to close the curtains and turn the television or radio up and try to behave as normally as possible to encourage your dog to do the same.

“It’s also important to remember that Halloween can be a very frightening time for dogs too. We would advise dog owners to walk their dog before trick or treaters start their rounds and keep a firm grip on the lead as many dogs are frightened by people in costumes and could potentially react aggressively through fear.

“Speaking to a dog behaviourist in your area about any potential behavioural issues that may arise around this time of year is recommended, as they are experts in the field and can offer invaluable advice which will help to safeguard the health and happiness of your dog. People can visit the Kennel Club website to find one of these in their area and can contact them ahead of time to make sure their dog’s experience of Halloween and Bonfire Night is as positive as possible.”

The Kennel Club has put together some steps that can be taken to minimise a dog’s levels of stress:

Do:

 Don’t: