Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur is joining Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, to help reduce the number of dogs negatively affected by fireworks season this year by sharing their Firework Dog Code.
Dogs feel safe and secure when they can predict and control their environment, so when unexplained noises happen unexpectedly such as those caused by fireworks, this can be extremely stressful for dogs.
In these cases, dogs may display behaviours that are extremely challenging for their owners to address because fireworks remain out of their control and, therefore, they are unable to remove the triggers for their dog’s fearful behaviour.
That’s why Dogs Trust created the Fireworks Dog Code to help protect dogs during fireworks season. The Code recommends that members of the public attend local displays where possible but, if they are holding their own private display, to follow some steps to reduce the impact on pets in their local area. The charity also provides advice to dog owners on how they can make fireworks night less stressful for their dogs.
Following last week’s ministerial statement on Scotland’s new firework action plan, Mr Arthur commended the work of emergency services who will be working hard to keep his constituents safe this fireworks season. He also invited Community Safety Minister Ash Denham to join him in welcoming the move from a number of supermarkets to either ban the sale of fireworks or restrict sales to low-noise fireworks as a step in the right direction with regard to keeping communities safe from fireworks misuse.
Commenting, he said:
“Dogs have approximately four times more sensitive hearing than humans, and the loud cracks and bangs of fireworks can often be a terrifying and confusing experience for them.
“So, as we approach 5 November, I would encourage my constituents to follow the important advice contained within the Fireworks Dog Code to help limit the distress caused to pets this fireworks season.
“The Scottish Government is committed to protecting people and animals by promoting the safe and appropriate use of fireworks in Scotland as demonstrated by the recent publication of the fireworks action plan.
“This new set of measures will help reduce the negative impact of fireworks on communities throughout Scotland by addressing concerns raised in the recent public consultation on firework safety.”