The public are being urged to keep an eye on their dogs this firework season.
Derry City and Strabane District Council have endorsed the Dogs Trust’s five Top Tips campaign, which offers simple advice on how to ease scared pooches’ fears.
Tips on how to prepare your dog before fireworks begin include making sure that they are well exercised and have had a toilet break, as well as feeding them beforehand in case they become unsettled and refuse food while the fireworks are taking place.
Dogs can try to escape when they are scared, so the public are encouraged to make sure their house and garden are secure, and to make sure their furry friends are settled in a safe hiding place where they feel relaxed.
The Dogs Trust recommend closing the curtains, turning the lights on and turning the volume up on your televisionor radio to drown out the firework noises.
While fireworks are ongoing, it’s important that you don’t punish your dog for cowering or reacting as it will only intensify their fear.
Owners should remain at home with their pet to prevent them from panicking and potentially sustaining an injury, and if their dog approaches, owners should interact with their pooch calmly to comfort them.
A great tip is to distract them by playing games or enjoying some reward-based training to keep their mind off the noises, however, if they just want to hide away then don't force them to come out of their hiding place, instead allow them to stay where they feel safe.
You can help spread the word on social media by using #FireworkDogCode to ensure all dogs have a safe and happy firework season.
There are also useful tips for dogs owners whose dogs have a fear of loud noises and need longer term treatment. For further advice check the Dogs Trust website.
If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from Derrynow.com
Buy the e-paper of the Derry News and the County Derry Post here for instant access to Derry's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Derry with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.