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Dogs Trust is urging owners to be prepared for firework season to help their pets cope with the stress of booms and bangs.

Advice from Dogs Trust Leeds suggests that owners build a ‘doggy den’ in their homes so their dogs have a place to go and feel safe and secure.

Firework season, which includes Bonfire Night, Hallowe’en and New Year’s Eve, is often a stressful time for animals. Dogs Trust Leeds Manager, Amanda Sands, explains how creating a safe environment can help, “Many of us enjoy the experience of fireworks but for our dogs it’s often a terrifying experience. Dogs have approximately four times more sensitive hearing than us, 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 lights of fireworks are also unusual for dogs. Fireworks tend to be sudden, unpredictable and bright; this cocktail of effects can often have a profoundly negative impact on dogs.

“One tip we have for concerned dog owners is to create a doggy den, a haven where dogs can feel safe and secure. The doggy den should be positioned away from the hubbub of the family home, somewhere quiet where the dog can rest peacefully. This will very much be a safe space for the dog, but they should be able to move in and out of the den freely, making it as cosy and snug as possible is a must but Fido should be able to see out of the den should he want to. Concerned owners should seek veterinary advice if their dogs have previously been very scared or panic due to fireworks.”

Staff at Dogs Trust Leeds will also be going that extra mile to make sure dogs in their care are as comfortable as possible during this time by creating dens and playing soothing music.

Top tips on creating a Doggy Den

  • Use an indoor dog crate or chairs and/or a table covered in blankets to create the safe space – using blankets over the top will help muffle the bangs
  • Fill the den with soft blankets, pillows and a few familiar items that smell of your dog to make him feel comfortable, a few items smelling of their owner would be a bonus
  • Make sure your dog has access to clean drinking water in their den, a non slip bowl would be an advantage to avoid spills
  • Add some of their favourite toys to the den; they have positive associations with them so will help them feel at ease
  • Keep a radio or the TV playing as this will help to mask the sounds of the fireworks outside

For more advice on fireworks and pets, as well as a video on doggy dens, visit the Dogs Trust website.

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