It’s a dog’s life, we’ve all heard that saying haven’t we but what actually is a dog’s life like?
Well, Barney certainly has the life of riley. He can just look at us with those big beady eyes which just have a way of saying ‘feed me’ or ‘share your food’. This may be why he is now a little overweight as he tries this look far too often with the kids and he always wins.
He gets walked twice a day, eats dinner at the same time every night and doesn’t have to wash up afterwards.
He has a bed in most rooms in the house and a lovely collection of toys.
Now he is 13, he sleeps a lot of the day, and night – he’s got it made really I’d say and I am glad we rehomed him 12 and a half years ago when he’d been left tied to a bus stop just before Christmas.
Modern day life can be stressful for our pets, as a result many can experience behaviour problems such as firework fears, phobias and general nervousness.
We are lucky in that Barney isn’t too worried about the fireworks, as long as he is inside if they are left off while he is on his walk he can become a little jumpy and worried. Friends of ours have real problems with their dogs when the fireworks are left off – barking and shaking uncontrollably.
I’ve teamed up with Lintbells who have proved Barney with a care package to help make what can be one of the most stressful weekends for dogs just that little bit easier. The package contained 5 elements which are vital for a dogs happiness:
- Food – Dog treats for Barney
- Exercise – A ball launcher and ball
- Play – A tug toy
- Comfort – A comfort blanket
- Free from stress – YuCALM dog
If you’ve not heard of YuCALM yet then I will tell you a little more about these tablets for dogs:
YuCALM Dog is a triple-action natural calming supplement for dogs. It helps dogs to cope when they are feeling anxious or stressed, and as well as providing calming support in challenging situations, it can be used as part of a longer-term behaviour therapy programme.
These natural tablets are suitable for long and short term use and helps to calm your dog without sedating them.
Lemon balm within the tablets helps your dog to feel more relaxed, soothing stress and encouraging calmer behaviour.
L-Theanine offers natural calming properties that supports production of calming compounds such as serotonin. B Vitamins help to support healthy brain function, reducing excitability and improving concentration and the special blend of natural fish protein hydrolysates helps to support your dogs brain.
Signs of a nervous dog include:
- Quivering or panting when it’s not to do with the weather
- Restlessness and hiding
- Tucked tails and ears held flat against head
- Toileting or destructiveness in the house
- Excessive barking and aggressive responses
Triggers for anxiety or fearfulness in dogs can include:
- Other dogs and people
- Being left alone
- Loud noises
- Moving house
- New situations
While Barney isn’t too worried about the fireworks, we do of course still take as many steps as we can to block the noises for him and to make it a more comfortable time for him.
- We walk him early while it is still light so he isn’t outside when they are let off
- We close the curtains and all the windows/doors
- When we go out we leave the radio on for him in the kitchen
Lintbells have put together a list of Top 10 do’s and don’t for pet owners this fireworks season:
- Do – Keep your dog safe indoors and ensure they have identification such as a registered microchip and a collar with a disc including your contact details. 37% of survey* respondents said their pets are likely to react to stress by running away.
- Do – Provide a safe hiding place indoors (such as a tent or a pet bed in a quiet part of the house). 56% of dog owners told Lintbells that their dogs tend to react to stress and anxiety by cowering or hiding.
- Do – Act calmly and normally, providing too much fuss can reinforce the idea that there is something to be afraid of.
- Do – Make sure the environment is safe if your dog starts to react in an uncharacteristic way. 13% of those surveyed said their dogs become destructive when stressed.
- Don’t – Keep the house in silence, a radio or TV can help to mask the noise of fireworks.
- Don’t – Leave your dog alone at night if at all possible. 26% said that being left alone was stressful for most dogs and in fact it’s estimated that up to 80% of dogs suffer from some form of separation anxiety when their owners are absent.
- Do – Draw the curtains or blinds and if necessary drape over additional fabric to muffle the noise and flashes of the fireworks.
- Do – Take your dog for a long walk during the day so they are more likely to rest or sleep in the evening.
- Do – Think about using a supplement or other aid to help your dog feel calm and relaxed.
- Do – ask your vet for advice about longer term training which can include desensitisation and counter conditioning
- *Lintbells National Dog Happiness Survey was conducted online in September 2016 and 1956 dog owners took part.
- For further information on this product please visit www.lintbells.com
How does your pet cope with fireworks and how do you help make it less stressful for them?
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