How to keep your beloved pets happy at Hallowe’en

THERE are sure to be plenty of ghoulish goings-on at Hallowe’en this weekend, but some petrified pooches may be the most frightened of all.
Pets, particularly dogs, can get very agitated by the things that go bump in the night at this time of year.
It’s the season when fireworks and bangers liven up the dark evenings while leaving your terrified dog cowering in a corner.
Sharon West of Dog Training and Behaviour in Enniskillen has several tips and advice to keep them calm and safe during the holiday period.
“All dogs should be kept inside as many run off and get lost because of the loud noises. Keep the curtains closed and the TV up a little bit louder,” Sharon said.
“It’s how you are with the dogs too. Don’t react to the fireworks as this will intensify their fear. If your dog comes to you for comfort don’t ignore him – interact with him calmly and don’t make a big fuss about it.
“Keep your dog busy indoors – play games or enjoy some reward-based training to keep his mind off the noises. However, if he is scared allow him to stay where he feels safe.”
Adaptil, which is a range of products that calm anxious dogs by delivering a lavender scent into the air, can be used. Failing this, if the dog’s anxiety is very high your local veterinarian can administer specific drugs to pacify them, Ms West said. These, in general, will be herbal medicines.
It’s also a busy time of year for emergency services, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS).
“We want to see everyone enjoy Halloween, but unfortunately each year we witness first-hand the devastating impact the misuse of fireworks and sparklers can have. They are a fire hazard and can set fire to property, the environment and clothing,” Dave McComiskey, Assistant Group Commander, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service, said.
“The explosive force of a firework can also cause serious injury, particularly to your hands and face. If you do decide to use fireworks then only light them outside in an open space and keep children well away from them.
“Fancy dress costumes can be highly flammable so keep them away from fireworks or open flames. Swap out candles for battery-operated lights. If a costume catches fire remember to STOP, DROP and ROLL to quickly put the flames out.
“If using sparklers, never give them to children under the age of five, and always wear gloves. Always supervise children when lighting sparklers, and ensure they hold them at arm’s length.”

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