Advice for dog owner’s to keep dogs calm on Bonfire night
How to keep dogs calm on Bonfire night:
Most importantly and most obviously do not leave
your dog unattended at home alone at a time when fireworks are likely to go
off. If you must leave your dog home alone why not ask someone they know to
stay with them while you’re out such as a family member, their pet sitter or
dog walker. People tend to start celebrating bonfire night the weekend before its
due right up until the following weekend after the 5th – which feels
like a very long time when you have a dog who is scared of fireworks!
dog on a nice long walk during the day (before darkness falls & the
fireworks begin) get them nice & tired for the evening. Your dog walker can
help you out with this if you are out at work.
Distract the senses! Just like us dogs have the
same five senses;
With bonfire night coming up it can become a scary time for
many dogs who are noise sensitive. I’ve put together a few tips for helping
keep your dog calm when those fireworks start.
– Close all doors & turn the tv up this will help muffle any loud bangs. In
a calm, reassuring voice chat away gently to them to help distract them.
Alternatively if they feel like it, get out their favourite squeaky toy &
enjoy a nice squeaky play session!
– Close all curtains and blinds so those scary flashes are hidden.
– Turn the heat up & make your home as warm & cosy as possible creating
a relaxing environment. Stroke your dog gently & calmly – the more agitated
& upset you get about your dog’s fear the more you re-enforce the scariness
of it to them. Let them know you are there for them.
– Get something tasty cooking, get those little noses distracted with
what’s on the stove!
– Treat time! Treats are a great distraction and positive reinforcement
when it comes to scary situations for your dog. You can try a long lasting
tasty treat to keep them chewing & distracted or there are many different
treat dispensers/ kongs / puzzle toys/ snuffle & lick mats which help keep
your dog’s brain engaged & distracted from any loud bangs.
When letting your dog outside make sure your
garden gates are secure & do not force them to go outside if they are
You may want to feed your dog a little earlier
than usual as they could lose their appetite when scared. If you get home when
it’s dark with the potential of the fireworks starting while you’re still in
work & your dog is home alone, why not ask your dog walker to help you out
by popping in late afternoon/early evening. Your dog walker could stay with
them until you return home & offer your dog an early tea time.
There are all sorts of calming sprays &
diffusers designed to help calm your dog. Adaptil & pet remedy being some
of the most popular. Alternatively essential oils such as lavender &
camomile have calming qualities – I often spritz the secure cages in my dog
walking van with a dash of lavender to help dogs relax.
Thunder shirts are also an option to help keep
your dog calm, just remember to try them with one a few weeks before any
fireworks start to make sure they are happy & comfortable in one.
A good way of managing noise sensitivity is
sound based treatment programs. Start your dog off with low level firework
sounds & lots of positive reinforcement (way before bonfire night).
Gradually increase the sound level at a pace that suits your dog until they
become desensitised to the noise. This is not a quick fix & takes time. The
Dog’s Trust offer a sound therapy cd with a free download of the booklet that
explains how it all works.
I hope this blog post helps make bonfire night more
manageable & less stressful. Don’t forget to ask for assistance from your
dog walker if necessary. I’m always a text away if any of my customers need
help with their dogs.
Hello! Welcome to the Dog With Two Tails blog, looking for a dog walker Kildwick or surrounding areas including Silsden, Crosshills, Steeton, Eastburn, Bradley, Farnhill & Cononley then you’ve come to the right place!
For my first ever blog post I’ve decided to put together some ideas to keep your dog calm & occupied while home alone, whether you’re out at work or out for the evening.
We all know that dogs don’t particularly like being left alone for long periods of time, they can quickly become bored. A combination of excess energy and no mental stimulation often lead to dogs devising ways of entertaining themselves; resulting in unwanted behaviour e.g. chewing things they shouldn’t! Being home alone can also be very stressful for some dogs; separation anxiety can manifest itself in many ways e.g. toileting & destructive behaviour. Here’s 10 Ways to help your dog cope being home alone.
Starting with the most obvious; taking your dog out for a walk before you leave the house is a great way of releasing some of their energy. The longer the walk the better when it comes to a fit healthy dog. If you don’t have a lot of time to spare take a ball thrower out with you, getting your dog to run after a ball can tire them out quickly rather than just a short walk.
There are a variety of boredom breaker food based toys for dogs out there. These are fantastic for keeping your dog occupied & their minds active. Kong continues to be my favourite go to dog toy mainly due to the tough durability of the toys as well as the variety available. They seem to always be dreaming up great new toys to keep your dogs’ entertained. Here are a few of my favourite (just remember to rotate them to keep them fresh & interesting –
Original Kong toy – Dog toy made from natural rubber and designed to satisfy your dog’s desire to chew. It can be filled with treats and bounces around in unpredictable directions.
Kong Gyro is sure to entertain, with an irresistible ‘roll and flip’ action that entices and intrigues dogs. The dynamic centre-spinning orb and static outer ring encourage dogs to push, paw and roll the Gyro, delightfully dispensing tasty treat rewards along the way. Ideal for independent play. Stuff with snacks or kibble for added fun and extended playtime. Available in large and small sizes.
KONG Marathon is a toy and treat combo that really goes the distance. The Marathon chew treat locks firmly into the toy, creating a long-lasting challenge. Great for boredom, stress or a rewarding chew session.
Pawzzles offer the ultimate treat-dispensing challenge for the smartest of pups. The unique shapes offer mental and physical stimulation while fulfilling natural foraging instincts, resulting in the ultimate of rewards – a treat. If you want to up the challenge, change the treat size; the larger the treat the greater the difficulty. Pawzzles are available in 4 shapes and 2 sizes.
Another fun idea to keep your dog entertain while you’re out is to create a “busy bucket”. The base of this can be anything you have at hand; a bucket or plastic box will work best. Simply layer the bucket with treats, towels and toys to keep little noses busy rummaging to get to those tasty treats! Create layers and layers of fun and entertainment for your dog.
Deer/Elk Antlers are great to give your dog something tasty to chew on. A lot of dogs go crazy for an antler chew even if they’re not normally big into chewing (like mine). Unlike giving your pooch something like a marrow bone to chew on these are so much safer as they tend to crumble rather than splinter. Just make sure they don’t get small enough for your dog to accidentally choke on. The antler chews also provide a source of various minerals, vitamins & calcium as well as promoting good oral health.
Leave the T.V or Radio on for your dog while you’re out. A bit of background noise can help distract and calm. Try to pick something soothing, the last thing you want to put on is sound & footage of a firework display (unless your dog is into that!). Tilly’s personal faves are audio books (she seems to like Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter!), Radio 4, random YouTube “Chill out” channels and Blue Planet!
Treat your dog to an I-Fetch. The ball launching machine that could keep your pup entertained for hours! Bit of an investment for a dog toy at around £135!
Create a giant Popsicle for your dog to lick to their hearts content! Fill a silicone cake mould with treats & toys, top up with water then pop it in the freezer.
Another investment buy … An Interactive Pet Camera! There’s quite a few various makes now on the market, prices around £140 upwards. They promise the dream for dog owners – being able to see, hear, talk to, monitor activity & give treats to your dog while you’re not at home!
Four words – bun tin, tennis balls. Simply scatter your dog’s food or treats in the separate bun tin holes then cover with tennis balls. Your dog will have fun knocking the tennis balls out the way to find the tasty treats. Try alternating treats in the different sections for a tasty surprise.
I’ve got to add it to the list, the very best way to keep your dog entertained when home alone is to break up their day with a walk with a dog walker! Nothing beats a nice long walk out in the fresh air, taking in new smells & simply having fun with their friends. Leaving them both physically and mentally stimulated which tires them out nicely, ready for a snooze in their bed to await your return home. Combine this with the ideas mentioned above and you’ll have yourself one contented dog!