The UK's largest dog charity has offered advice to owners on how to keep their pets safe during New Year Celebrations

With many people planning to ring in the New Year with fireworks, Dogs Trust in Shoreham is issuing advice to owners of pets who might be scared by the bangs and blasts of fireworks as the clock strikes midnight on December 31.

Dogs have approximately four times more sensitive hearing than humans, and the loud cracks and bangs of the fireworks can be "distressing" for the canine companions.

Adel Burnett, Dogs Trust Shoreham manager said: "Fireworks tend to be sudden, unpredictable and bright. This combination can be distressing and have a lasting impact on dogs. 

"There are lots of things dog owners can do to help make fireworks less stressful including having a clear plan, ahead of time, to help their dog cope.

"Dogs will respond to fireworks in different ways, some will want to find a cosy hiding place, whilst others will want reassurance. It is important to recognise the individual needs of your dog, letting them do what makes them feel most comfortable, if it is safe to do so.” 

The Argus: The trust urges owners to recognise the needs of their dogThe trust urges owners to recognise the needs of their dog (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

The charity has given some top tips to help owners keep their pets safe and settled.

  • Make sure your house and garden are secure. 
  • To avoid taking your dog out when fireworks have started, gradually change their routine leading up to events, taking them on walks earlier.
  • Plan in advance and seek guidance from your vet - they can help with advice and may also prescribe medication if deemed necessary to help your dog cope.

The Argus: Owners should let dogs do what they feel most comfortable withOwners should let dogs do what they feel most comfortable with

Adel adds: "We recommend noting down how your dog reacted during the fireworks and what worked well to help them cope in preparation for the next firework event."

Dogs Trust is also carrying out a ground-breaking study this New Year’s Eve, exploring how fireworks and loud noises affect dogs, and is seeking volunteers to take part.

The charity is collaborating with the University of Salford, combining the university’s specialist knowledge in acoustics and the charity’s expertise in dog behaviour.

Both dog owners and non-dog owners are invited to take part in the study by completing a short survey, available 31 December 2022 to 8 January 2023.

For more information, visit the Dogs Trust Website.