A DOG owner has shared an ingenious new hack to help soothe scared pooches on Bonfire Night.
Caitlin Miller from South Shields, Tyne and Wear revealed her trick on Facebook on Sunday in a bid to help other dog owners whose pets get anxious during firework season.
Caitlin told social media users that instead of buying stress bands or calming jackets, which can cost up to £40 each, dog owners should just use old socks.
She revealed how she cuts the end off each sock and puts them around her dogs heads – giving them the sensation of being cuddled.
Caitlin claims the trick instantly relaxes her five-month-old Jack Russell Cookie and nine-year-old Pomchi Ruby – especially when fireworks are being let off.
Posting photographs of her two pets wearing the makeshift design on Facebook, she wrote: “For all those whose dogs are scared of fireworks.
“Instead of buying anti stress bands or anything else off of the internet, just cut the two ends off a sock and put it on their head ensuring it’s not too tight, but comfortable.
“It gives them a sensation of being cuddled and relaxes them. We used them last year and as firework season is back we’re using them again and thought I’d share with my friends.”
The post has been shared over 15,000 times and attracted almost 7,000 comments.
Jasmine Kiddell said: “This sounds like a good idea!”
Bongi Moon wrote: “Lovely idea. Our pooch heard fireworks for the first time last week and panicked.
“I showed him what was making the sounds and when he hears them he’s calm as peanuts and takes himself outside so he can sit and watch them.”
Peter Spooner said: “After all these years, never thought of it. Small Border Collie. Terrified of bangs.”
And Jade Carrick wrote: “Amazing.”
Speaking today, Caitlin said: “My older dog, Ruby, had been afraid of fireworks all of her life.
“We did everything to comfort her, but no matter what she was still afraid.
“She began to rip out patches in her fur due to this anxiety, so last year we then took it further to the vet.
“They gave her anxiety pills and a cone. The anxiety pills didn’t do anything and the cone only made her more uncomfortable than she already was.
“After all this not working I then went on Google to research if anything would help them and I came across the anti-stress band which instantly brought my attention and did some investigating on how it works.
“It gives them a sensation of being cuddled and of course covered their ears which blocked out some of the sounds of the fireworks.
“I’m not sure if it’s true, but I also read it releases endorphins that makes the dogs happier and further relaxed.”
Caitlin spotted the resemblance the bands had to socks and decided to create a cheaper version herself.
She added: “I noticed that it looked a bit like a sock on the dog’s head so I thought I would try it with a sock and cut off the two ends.
“I found one that wouldn’t be too tight but not too loose either.
“After trying it I realised it was the only thing that kept her calm and happy.
“I also recently got a puppy, Cookie, she is only 5 months old and has never experienced fireworks before.
“Much like Ruby, she didn’t like them and barked at them. Trying this on her she was unsure at first, something going over her head, but once it was on it was an instant relaxation.”
Last year RSPCA research revealed that 62% of dog owners said their animals were visibly distressed when fireworks went off nearby.
They also said that since 2014, they received over 2,200 calls about firework related issues.