Prevent your animals from being a scaredy cat this Halloween

If you are among the thousands of dog owners whose dogs are spooked by sparklers or rattled by rockets, Dogs Trust is on hand to help calm those canine quivers.

If you are among the thousands of dog owners whose dogs are spooked by sparklers or rattled by rockets, Dogs Trust is on hand to help calm those canine quivers.

Ireland’s largest dog welfare charity is offering advice to help petrified pooches and their owners enjoy a fright-free October.

Many dog owners are simply unaware of the affect that firework fear can have on their dogs and each year the charity is inundated with calls from dog owners who simply don’t know how to calm their doggies

“The most important safety tip we can give dog owners is to keep your dog indoors,” explained Mark Beazley, executive director of Dogs Trust.

“Last Halloween we saw an increase in stray dogs as many family pets got frightened by fireworks, ran off and were too disorientated to find their way home. Another very important tip is to ensure your dog is microchipped. That way if your dog does get lost, he can be scanned and returned home safely.”

Dogs Trust has issued some simple tips to help make the firework season less stressful for their four-legged friends:

Before the fireworks begin:

- Walk your dog before dark

- Feed your dog before the fireworks begin

- Provide a safe hiding place for your dog indoors and close the curtains

- Turn up the volume on your TV or radio to drown out scary noises

- Do not leave your dog in the garden

- Be extra careful when opening the door as your dog may escape

- Never force your dog to wear a costume

- Keep the treats and sweets away. Chocolate and raisins are poisonous to dogs.

For more information visit www.dogstrust.ie/az/f/fireworks to download a free ‘Firework Fear and your Dog’ factsheet.