Dogs have very sensitive ears and can hear sounds at much higher frequencies than their owners. With our pets being more sensitive to sound, this means that that the New Year’s Eve fireworks season can cause many dogs a lot of fear, anxiety, and distress. Fireworks are incredibly loud and can generate a sound output of up to 150 to 175 decibel range, which can cause damage to our pet’s ears. The World Health Organisation advises that humans should not be subjected to a sound output of 140 decibel range, without wearing hearing protection, with physical pain starting at around 125 db. But how can I walk my dog during the fireworks season? At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs, we have answered this question, by listing three dog walking safety tips for you to follow during the fireworks period.
1. Earlier Dog Walks
Try and avoid evening dog walks. Consider walking your dog at a secure dog park, or local field during the daytime before the fireworks begin later on. Many owners walk their dogs during the daylight hours as there will be less risk of loud bangs going off compared to the evening time where fireworks celebrations are more frequent. Noisy bangs and sudden flashes produced by fireworks can frighten dogs on an evening dog walk, ultimately putting their safety at risk. Even if your dog does not usually display any signs of anxiety or distress around fireworks, they can easily become frightened by sudden loud noises and visual displays while out on a dog walk. This December leading up to New Year’s Eve, ensure your dog walk is as calm and enjoyable as possible for your canine companion by reducing their exposure to any firework displays that happen at night.
2. Microchip your Dog
Is your dog microchipped? Since April 2016, the UK Government has now made microchipping dogs a legal requirement. A microchip is an efficient method of identification. If your dog’s personal details within its microchip records are kept up to date, then you can easily be contacted if your pet goes missing. During the firework season, loud bangs can easily frighten dogs and increase the chances of them running away whilst on a dog walk. However, if your dog is microchipped and goes missing on a walk while fireworks are going off, then the chances of you being contacted are increased, especially if their chip holds your updated personal information, such as a current home address or contact telephone number. If you have not done so already, speak with your local qualified Vet to arrange for your pet to be microchipped as soon as possible.
This firework season, comfort your dog before, during and after their walk. As already discussed within this article, the loud noises from the fireworks celebrations can easily makes your dog anxious and distressed, and so providing them with lots of TLC in a calm and positive way, during this period, will help communicate to them that they are safe and secure. Before and after you take your dog out on a walk, spend some time stroking and grooming them and giving them lots of loving praise. Grooming and stroking your dog, can help reduce their heart rate and encourages the flow of oxytocin into their bloodstream– the identical hormone that is produced when a mother feels her new-born.
Similarly, pet-friendly dog treats are also a great distraction on a walk, if any loud fireworks happen to go off and startle them; so, consider investing in nutritious dog snacks to use for positive reinforcement. Select a dog treat that your canine companion enjoys and will eat as anxiety and stress can decrease their appetite.
We hope you found our three tips helpful for keeping your dog safe and calm on a dog walk during the firework season leading up to New Year’s Eve. As we head towards New Year’s Eve, consider booking your dog walk today at our safe and secure dog park in Hertfordshire, so they can exercise and enjoy the natural environment around them away from the loud noises caused by potential fireworks displays.