Blue Peter’s Rory the Vet praises TeamDogs Bonfire Night campaign

Dr Rory Cowlam, best-selling author of The Secret Life of a Vet and veterinarian on CBBC's The Pet Factor, has praised our sister site TeamDogs' campaign to reduce fireworks this Bonfire Night.

TeamDogs has asked the nation to swap their usual box of fireworks for an extra tin of dog food, and donate it to their local rescue centre, as part of Toffee’s Appeal campaign.

They have received enormous support from their dog-loving community, and now Rory the Vet has praised the campaign too.

He told TeamDogs: "Toffee’s Appeal sounds awesome. I think it’s lovely.

“Anything that raises funds or raises food for a local rescue centre and reduces fireworks is good in my book.”

TeamDogs asked Rory whether he thinks fireworks should be banned in the UK.

He said: "I do think fireworks are great, they add a lot to a celebration, but I think they should be limited to council run or public space celebrations where we can have Halloween, New Year and firework night displays.

“This way it can be more predictable, you know exactly where the fireworks are going to be and what time they’ll go off, so you as a dog or cat owner can work around that and manage your pets.”

To have your say on whether or not fireworks should be banned in the UK, fill out TeamDogs short survey.

Rory has shared his five top tips for keeping your dog calm this Bonfire Night.

If you're worried about your dog being scared of fireworks, follow these steps to keep them as relaxed as possible.

1. Take dogs for an early walk

“Take your dogs for an early walk and avoid anywhere with public fireworks displays.

"When taking them out for a wee, make sure to do it in a sheltered environment where there won’t be fireworks.”

2. Create a dog den

“To comfort dogs, create a safe and cosy den. Get a big, heavy blanket and throw it over the top of a table so that it covers two sides and a blanket to cover half of the front. Then place the bed under the table.”

3. Give them a long-lasting chew

“Chewing behaviours release happy endorphins, which can keep them relaxed and chilled. Give your dog a long-lasting chew or bone to keep them occupied.”

4. Play reggae music

“During a fireworks display, shut the curtains and play TV or music loudly to drown out the sounds of the outdoors. The best genres of music to play are reggae or classic music, which has a calming effect.

"Reggae music mimics a resting, chilled heart rate due to the BPM, which means dogs often try to mimic that and remain calmer.”

5. Act normal

“Don’t over-reinforce it by looking for your pets. Wait for them to come to you before providing comfort. This is important because telling them ‘it’s okay, it’s okay’ may suggest to them that there’s something to worry about.”

Join TeamDogs this Bonfire Night and don’t buy fireworks. Pick up an extra tin of dog food and donate it to your local rescue shelter instead.

That way, dogs can have a treat instead of a fright.

The paperback version of Rory’s The Secret Life Of A Vet is available from all good book retailers and Amazon.

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