Wicklow dog and pet owners have been warned to keep an eye out for their animals this Halloween.
Halloween and the period leading up to it can be a frightening and confusing time for many dogs. Fireworks tend to be sudden, unpredictable and bright and sadly this combination of effects can often have a profoundly negative impact on some dogs.
In fact, research carried out on behalf of Dogs Trust, Ireland’s largest dog welfare charity, found that 52% of dog owners describe their dogs as being quiet or very frightened by fireworks and bangers.
If your dog is feeling scared or nervous, the charity has put together some tips you can do to help make sure your dog doesn’t get too upset or injure themselves in a panic.
- Walk your dog before it gets dark to avoid fireworks and flashing lights and to make sure he is well exercised and has had a toilet break before the fireworks begin.
- Feed your dog before the fireworks begin as he may become unsettled and not want to eat during the fireworks.
- Provide a safe hiding place – at noisy times around Halloween, make sure your dog has somewhere safe in his or her favourite room, perhaps under the table. Close the curtains, turn the lights on, and turn up the volume on your TV or radio to drown out the firework noises.
- Don’t leave your dog alone outdoors during the Halloween period, scared dogs can make desperate attempts to escape and there is the danger of him being injured.
- Be extra careful when opening the door as your dog may escape; if possible, try to ensure there is another closed door between your dog and your front door.
- Never force your dog to wear a dog costume – loosely tied festive doggie bandanas are usually more acceptable for dogs.
- Do not force your dog to receive any unwanted attention even from family members, as they may not recognise people in costumes.