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Dogs Trust is urging owners to start preparing their dog for firework season now so that they will be more likely to cope with noise phobia.

Dogs Trust’s Dog School Manchester and Dogs Trust Leeds will be hosting special classes to help owners get their dog ready for scary fireworks

As well as their ‘Firework Fear’ class, the charity also provides tips on their website so owners can prepare in advance. From here you can also download the Sounds Scary programme for free which helps teach dogs and puppies firework noises are nothing to be scared of.

Emma Armitage, Head Coach at Dogs Trust Dog School Manchester, says, “Fireworks can be incredibly distressing for dogs, with the combination of bright lights and loud, unexpected bangs causing negative and often lasting effects on our four-legged friends. Dogs have approximately four times more sensitive hearing than humans, and they can hear much higher frequency sounds than we can, so a firework bang for a dog can seem terrifyingly loud.”

Previously published data suggests that 49% of dogs show some behavioural signs of fears of loud noises such as fireworks. A recent YouGov survey commissioned by Dogs Trust revealed 89% of people believe domestic pets, like cats and dogs, can be negatively affected by fireworks. Frightened behaviour that owners identify includes hiding (42%), shaking or trembling (31%) and cowering, refusing to go outside and becoming alert, vigilant or agitated (all 30%).

Almost 8 out of 10 (79%) of owners of affected pets said they keep their dog or cat inside during fireworks night, 62% close the curtains and 44% turn up the TV to drown out the noise.

Emma adds, “To avoid the unspeakable distress and anguish many dogs will go through during fireworks displays, it’s so important that owners plan to help them and their dogs feel prepared and comfortable when 5th November comes around. Now is the ideal time to do this as people often have a bit more time on their hands, and it’s far enough in advance of fireworks night for consistent training to have a big impact on dogs when it really matters.”

To book a place at the Manchester Firework Fear class at 6.30pm on Friday 14 September, email manchesterdogschool@dogstrust.org.uk or call 07920 658671.

To book a place at the Dogs Trust Leeds seminar on Monday 15 October at 7pm, you can e-mail  leedsdogschool@dogstrust.org.uk or call 01132 814941.

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