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Startling Figures Reveal Our Pets are Terrified of Fireworks

31 October 2014

ANALYSIS - As Halloween fever wraps up, attention turns to bonfire night and with it fireworks - a main cause of stress in our pets, writes Gemma Hyland.

A new survey from Dogs Trust and Cats Protection reveals that two thirds (65 per cent) of pets are worried by fireworks and that 93 per cent of their owners alter their routine during fireworks celebrations to try to minimise the trauma on their pets.

The survey of 3,750 pet owners shows that two-thirds of dogs (66 per cent) and more than half of cats (57 per cent) display signs of fear and as a result, nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of owners have consulted a veterinary surgeon or animal behaviourist to help their pet deal with their fireworks fear.

Over 80 per cent of owners believe fireworks should be restricted to official displays only.

Are we leaving it too late?

Research from the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network shows that too few pet owners get veterinary help for noise phobias, and those who do seek support often do so too late.

The study showed that from over 100,000 veterinary consultations taking place between September 2012 and July 2014, only 75 were for clearly for firework related phobia.

As fearful reactions to loud noises like thunder and fireworks are common in dogs, and likely to be an issue in many other animals too, a higher number of consultations might have been expected.

The research was conducted by SAVSNET, the surveillance partnership between the British Small Animal Veterinary Association and the University of Liverpool.

The concern arising from the data is that even amongst those who do seek help, nearly half wait until the week before bonfire night, which gives vets little time to identify the best treatment options for each pet.

Gemma Hyland, Editor

Gemma Hyland, Editor

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