Keep dogs away from fireworks on New Year’s Eve, owners urged
- Credit: Ian Burt
Dog owners have been warned to keep their pets away from loud noises which might frighten them as the county prepares to celebrate New Year's Eve.
With the turn of the year likely to be welcomed with firework displays and loud music, the Dogs Trust - which has a rehoming centre in Snetterton - has warned that 49pc of dogs show behavioural signs of being afraid of loud noises.
The charity has issued advice to owners celebrating the start of the New Year, which includes:
? Walk your dog before dark
? Make sure your house and garden are secure
You may also want to watch:
? Reduce the impact of noises and flashes - for example 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
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? Build a den or ensure your dog has a quiet place to retreat to – tips on building a den can be found on the Dogs Trust website
? If your dog comes to you for reassurance, give him a fuss. In the past, advice has sometimes been to ignore dogs 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.
'The smells and flashing light of fireworks are also unusual for dogs and can cause extreme distress to our four-legged friends.
'Fireworks tend to be sudden, unpredictable and bright. This combination of effects can often have a profoundly negative and in many cases, lasting impact on dogs. We would urge anyone thinking of putting on a fireworks display to consider their four-legged friends and give notice to owners in the area to ensure they can make plans to keep their dog safe and happy.'
For further advice, visit http://dogstrustdogschool.org.uk/behaviour/noise-fears/