A SALISBURY animal charity has appealed to dog owners to be extra cautious throughout the firework season because dogs can experience levels of anxiety or fear during this time. 

The Dogs Trust sent out a national survey to see how many dogs were affected by fireworks and the survey was completed by 369,389 dog owners equating to 440,759 dogs.

Approximately, 45 per cent of those surveyed noticed their dog was not always calm when fireworks were going off.

Salisbury Journal: Help your dog through firework season Help your dog through firework season (Image: Photo Agency)The centre manager at Dogs Trust in Salisbury, Claire Rowe said: “Fireworks season can be distressing for our four-legged friends, so it is important that owners prepare early.  As we move into autumn and winter, there are lots of loud celebrations which take place, including Diwali, Halloween, and Bonfire Night.  

“Noise-related fear is very common in dogs of all ages and can have an impact on their wellbeing. By following our top tips and advice, owners can help their dogs cope during this noisy period.” 

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The Trust advise the importance of planning ahead and to not leave dogs on their own. It can also help to prepare their environment in advance – closing curtains, keeping the lights and TV on can help to distract them from the noise outside.

It is best to avoid taking dogs out for a walk once fireworks have started. Change their walking times so they can exercise before it is dark.

Dogs can react very differently to fireworks - some dogs may appear relaxed while others show anxiety or fear. If dogs are panting, licking their lips, or trying to hide, this is a symptom of anxiety. More obvious signs include pacing and barking.

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Head of Canine Behaviour at the Dogs Trust, Jenna Kiddle said: “Nearly half of all owners who responded to our survey said their dogs’ wellbeing was affected by fireworks.

“With autumn festivities such as Diwali, Halloween, and Bonfire Night fast approaching, it’s best to plan well before firework events start, to ensure dogs cope as well as possible. Fear of fireworks is worryingly common in dogs of all ages, and can develop over time, even if your dog hasn’t responded before.

“Dogs respond to fireworks in a range of different ways, so it’s crucial to have a clear plan, ahead of time, to help your own dog cope.” 

For more information about preparing your dog for the firework season, visit the dogstrust.org.uk