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Advice on how to make fireworks night less stressful for our four-legged friends

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For kids, it's one of the most exciting - and noisiest - times of the year, but pets may not be such big fans of Halloween.

As the season of spooks, spirits and fireworks approaches, Dogs Trust is issuing advice to dog owners whose pets are scared of rockets and Roman candles.

Jenna Kiddie, Head of Canine Behaviour at Dogs Trust, says: "Dogs have approximately four times more sensitive hearing than humans, so the loud cracks and bangs of fireworks can often be a terrifying and confusing experience for them.

"Fireworks tend to be sudden, unpredictable and bright.

"This combination can be distressing and have a lasting impact on dogs."

Jenna says there are lots of things dog owners can do to help make fireworks less stressful for their dogs, including simple steps such as providing safe spaces for them to hide or settling them before the fireworks start.

"We would also urge anyone thinking of putting on their own fireworks display to consider the welfare of their four-legged friends and others in the neighbourhood by following our Firework Dog Code," she says.

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Advice for dog owners:

● Walk your dog before dark - make sure your dog is well exercised and has had a toilet break before the fireworks begin.

● Feed your dog before the fireworks begin as they may become unsettled and not want to eat during the fireworks.

● Make sure your house and garden are secure during the fireworks as fear may make your dog try to escape.

● Try to settle your dog before the fireworks start - if your dog is in familiar safe surroundings, it will help them cope with the noise.

● Provide a safe hiding place - make sure your dog has somewhere safe in their favourite room, perhaps under a table. Close curtains, turn lights on, and turn up the volume on your TV or radio to drown out firework noises.

Advice for people wishing to host a private display:

● Let your neighbours know in advance, so they can prepare their dogs.

● Limit your display to 30 minutes or less.

● Opt for quieter fireworks.

  • For further advice about preventing and dealing with fear of loud noises such as fireworks, please visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/fireworks. For more information on the Firework Dog Code please visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/fireworks, and, for general advice and information, chat to staff on the Dogs Trust stand at the Belfast Telegraph Pet Expo sponsored by We Are Vertigo

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