Dogs are often left stressed and even traumatised by fireworks. But a special fireworks party organised just for canines offered respite for stressed out pooches.
By, 8 Nov 2019
If you are a dog owner, chances are that you know what the effect fireworks can have on the canine community. Many animals and pets can find fireworks frightening, with around 45% of dogs showing real signs of fear when they hear the loud bangs and screams.
But a unique event organised at a wind farm just outside Glasgow, offered some respite to dogs (and their owners) who usually get stressed and anxious around Bonfire Night.
Stressed, anxious and frightened
It’s the sudden noise and unpredictability of fireworks that can make some dogs think they are a threat to them. This automatically triggers their natural fight or flight response. A dog may bark at the noise or run away and hide. They may also show signs of anxiety such as panting, restlessness, whining and pacing.
The dog-friendly event at Whitelee, near Eaglesham, started in 2017 and has been welcomed by dog owners who can often struggle with keeping their dogs happy and calm during this time of year.
Relax and play
Owners can let their dogs play and enjoy themselves without the worry of loud bangs upsetting their pups. The Whitelee Ranger Service patrols the area to ensure that no fireworks are being let off.
The rangers got the idea for organising the Nae Fireworks event after realising just how many local dog walkers headed to Whitelee for refuge over the bonfire period.
There’s also a torchlit guided walk where up to 200 owners could walk their dog through the wind farm with peace of mind that there won’t be any bangs that could upset their dogs. And any dogs who need a bit of extra relaxing time enjoyed special dog Reiki sessions to soothe them during the night.
Rennie Mason, rangers and one of the event organisers told the BBC that the event had been "a roaring success".
She said: "You only need to see the state of the dogs when they arrive and see how happy they are when they leave to realise the value for their health and welfare.
"It is also for the owners too. They often feel so powerless."
For dog owners, this can be a very stressful time of year as they try desperately to keep their beloved dogs calm and relaxed.
One dog owner, Lynda Mcconnell said that the Nae Fireworks event was "an absolute godsend" for her five-year-old Labrador, Mylo. Lynda had tried everything she could to help the dog from giving him herbal tablets to playing soothing music. But nothing seemed to work.
"The vet prescribed diazepam and sedation gel, but once his adrenalin kicked in he would bark for hours non-stop, running at the front and back door and jumping at it trying to get outside," she said.
"This event is an absolute godsend for us."