5th July 2004

 

HELP FOR DOGS ON GUY FAWKES’ NIGHT

 

Dogs will have nothing to fear from fireworks on Bonfire Night if a study at the University of Lincoln is successful.

 

The loud noises caused by fireworks can distress dogs and cause considerable concern for their owners. Severe cases may also result in costly damage to the home if a dog attempts to get away from the frightening noise.

 

Now scientists at the University of Lincoln are looking for recruits to take part in a study into the effectiveness of two treatments for dogs which suffer on bonfire night. 

 

“Our team has been working on noise fears for several years and has pioneered the development of new treatment protocols,” said Dr Daniel Mills, the country’s only officially recognised specialist in veterinary behavioural medicine, who is leading the work at Riseholme Park.

 

“Now we want to take this work further by trying to understand how owners get on in practice so that we can refine things to make life simpler in future.

 

“This might seem a strange time of year to be thinking about firework problems, but now is the ideal time for owners to get on top of the problem.”

 

The university is hoping to recruit around 60 dog-owners to take part in the study, which will involve a self-help pack and support from the university’s behaviour clinic.

 

Owners will be asked to try the programme for two months and fill in a daily diary.

 

Traditionally noise phobias in dogs have been treated by behaviour modification and drugs. Such drugs may be recommended to sedate the dog, but not all owners feel comfortable with this approach.

 

A safe alternative natural pheromone treatment has now been developed by the team at the University of Lincoln to help animals cope on the night.

 

If your dog shows signs of fear in response to fireworks and you would like to take part in this free trial call Lincoln 895473.

 

For more information contact:

Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

01522 886042                         jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk

Visit our news web pages:      www.lincoln.ac.uk/news