Fireworks and chocolate season
It's the time of year many pet owners dread – firework season. Stretching across an extended period from around Halloween until the new year, it can be a difficult time for many owners and their animals, particularly as it can be impossible to know when fireworks are about to start throughout this time. There was a huge firework display in a field behind my house at 11pm on a Tuesday – not something I had anticipated! Luckily, my dog wasn't too bothered, but this can be a huge problem for some animals and impossible to avoid.
Signs of distress in dogs include the obvious ones like whining or barking, clinging, hiding, trembling or shaking, along with less obvious ones like excessive panting or drooling, pacing and loss of appetite (Dogs Trust, 2023). Recent research from the University of Salford in association with Dogs Trust has found that dogs may be more sensitive to low frequency booms and vibration than previously thought – not just the big bangs we tend to associate with fireworks. Dogs Trust (2023) has issued some useful advice that can be highlighted to dog owners, including keeping pets indoors when fireworks are expected and staying with the animal for reassurance, checking gardens are escape-proof as dogs may panic when fireworks start and try to run away, creating a ‘doggy den’ – a safe space they can retreat to, and contacting the veterinary surgery if dogs have shown signs of fear previously, as medication may be able to be prescribed to help with this.