Dog owners urged to make Bonfire Night stress-free for their pets
Published on Tuesday 30th October 2012
Cannock Chase Council has urged dog owners to take steps to make Bonfire Night as stress-free for their pets as possible.
Advice to dog owners comes as the Council launches a special campaign encouraging responsible dog ownership in the run-up to Christmas. There is more information about the campaign at http://www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/owningadog%20
Cllr Janos Toth, Cannock Chase Council Environment Leader, said: "The time around Bonfire Night can be a really stressful time for dogs, as well as their owners. I urge dog owners to think carefully about how they can make life as stress-free as possible for their pets, as well as making sure that their dogs don't stray."
Dog owners should take simple precautions to help reduce the effects that fireworks have on their dog and its behaviour:
Keep dogs inside
Don't let pets outside when fireworks are likely or during a display. Take dogs out for their toilet trip before it gets dark and keep them in. A firework going off when they are outside may lead to a fear of going out. Also, dogs may run away for the sound of fireworks, and keep running, leading to lost and anxious pets and worrying times for their owners. Stray dogs, especially scared ones, can cause road traffic accidents.
Provide a safe place
Dogs are more comfortable in a place where they feel safe like their basket or their favourite hiding place
Muffle the sound
Close curtains, shut outside doors and windows and have your pet as close to the centre of the house as possible. Put the TV or radio on at a reasonable level - not too loud - to mask the bangs
Don't overfuss them
This can be difficult, but if they rely on you for comfort during scary events, they will be less able to cope at times when you're not there
Stay calm yourself
Most pets can sense when their owners are worried and this will increase their stress. Although your pet's behaviour may be annoying, it is happening because they are scared. Getting cross will only make things worse. Don't try to take your pet from its hiding place as this will increase their stress and may lead to aggression
The Council recently announced that all strays collected by its dog warden contractor will now be microchipped before they are reunited with their owner or new owner.
Strays picked up in the District are taken by dog warden contractor Noah's Ark to Swanpit Kennels in Gnosall, near Stafford.
When a stray is collected by its owner - or taken on by a new owner - it will now be fitted with a microchip free of charge before it leaves the kennels. It is much easier to trace the owners of a microchipped dog and reunite them with their lost pet. The equipment and staff training has been funded by national dog welfare charity the Dogs Trust.
See www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/owningadog for more information on the Council's responsible dog ownership campaign.