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Dogs Trust Leeds have launched a firework dog safety campaign urging the public and owners to take action and help our four-legged friends this firework season.

As people celebrate the many events of this time of year with extravagant firework displays, pet owners are left extremely concerned about how to help their faithful companions through this very distressing time.

The current law states that anyone over the age of 18 can legally buy fireworks and set them off at any time of the year, between 7am and 11pm. A survey by Dogs Trust revealed over one third (34%) of people polled in the region said they dislike fireworks due to their pets being scared, with 77% feeling that fireworks should be restricted to certain times of year. 67% of the people polled would also support increasing the age people can legally buy fireworks to 21.

Hiding, shaking, cowering, and running away are well-known behaviours of dogs scared by loud noises. These signs of fear are familiar for owners to see during this time of year and can be extremely upsetting, with many people are unaware of the distress fireworks cause. The campaign aims to improve the welfare of the nation’s dogs by asking members of the public to follow their Firework Dog Code and spread awareness by sharing the information using the hashtag #FireworkDogCode

The Firework Dog Code

  1. Try to go to organised displays only
  2. If you do hold your own display, let your neighbours know well in advance
  3. Limit your display to only 30 mins
  4. Opt for quieter, lower decibel fireworks
  5. If you have a dog, help him feel calm and safe with these handy tips www.dogstrust.ork.uk/fireworks

Amanda Sands, Rehoming Centre Manager at Dogs Trust Leeds, says, “My own dog, Clooney, is terrified of fireworks. He is blind and very sensitive to noise so it is very difficult to keep him calm. We do everything we can such as put the TV and radio on and make sure he has lots of places he can go to where he can feel safe. We try to keep him busy so he is distracted and we reassure him, but it is still very distressing to see. We also take him for a really long walk during the day when there is less chance of fireworks going off. When I have had dogs that can see I also close the curtains to protect them from the unexpected flashes.

Manager Amanda Sands, with her dog Clooney who is terrified of fireworks

“Fireworks tend to be sudden and unpredictable as well as 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 follow our Firework Dog Code to help all dogs have a safe and happy 5th November.”

Lots of simple and effective advice is available on the website, including easy to follow guidance on what to do before and after fireworks. There is also information on longterm treatment and a trailer from the Dog Trust Dog School teaching you how to prevent a fear of noises.

For information on the Firework Dog Code please visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/fireworks

Image by Dogs Trust 

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