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  1. Fireworks night can be one of the most stressful nights of the year for your canine friend. Some dogs can develop extreme phobias relating to fireworks and others aren’t bothered at all. It’s best to desensitise your dog from a young age to these loud strange noises by using positive association, however that is not always possible.

    Here are a few tips to help keep your dog calm on fireworks night:

    Create a safe place, this could be their normal sleeping area or a nice quiet area of the house as long as it is accessible to your dog when they’re feeling stressed. Put down plenty of blankets and bedding, add all their favourite toys and add some nice treats to keep them busy. Kong’s and other puzzle feeders are a good way to distract your dog while the fireworks displays are happening, introduce this safe place to your dogs ahead of fireworks night so they know where they can find it and relax

    Shut all the windows and play some music, keeping the windows closed will reduce the level of noise your dog can hear outside and paired with some music or the TV playing it will muffle the loud bangs. Closing your curtains will also stop your dogs seeing the bright flashes of lights outside.

    Giving your dog companionship, if your friend has a dog which isn’t reactive to fireworks ask them to come around, your dog can learn from a calmer dog that they don’t need to react to the noises. Ensure someone is at home with your dog as they will feel much more relaxed with someone giving them reassuring strokes.

    Don’t react to the fireworks, if you don’t give your dog a reason to think there is something wrong then they’re less likely to react.

    Keep your dog in a secure place and make sure they can be identified, if your dog gets out and is startled by the fireworks they will try to find somewhere safe to hide. If your dog does take off they can be returned to you much quicker if they’re wearing an ID tag or have up to date microchipped information.  

    Know when the displays are taking place, you may need to change the time of your evening walk to ensure your dogs has been toileted beforehand, the loud noises and bright flashes may deter them from wanting to go outside.

    Use dog appeasing pheromones or lavender oil, these have calming effects on your dog.

  2. Halloween tips and tricks blog

    Halloween can be a fun and exciting time of year however there are a few cautions you should take to avoid adding unnecessary stress for your dog. Here are a few helpful tips and tricks:

    1. Trick or treaters: If you live in an area with lots of children you’re very likely to get a number of scary little trick or treaters at your door. The costumes may not be that scary to us however for some dogs all the weird shapes and dangling bits can be frightening, it’s best to keep them out of the way if you know your dog is going to react to someone being at the door. Keep them away in another room with some mental stimulation like a kong or puzzle game to allow smooth running when answering the door.
    2. Dog costumes: Some dogs love all the costumes and are happy to be dressed up themselves! Just remember to be careful of the costume you pick, ensure there’s enough room for your dog to move around freely and nothing it too tight. You may think your dog looks adorable in their little costume but watch their body language to see how they feel about it, some adjustments may need to be made like taking off hoods which reduce the dogs sight or little buttons that could be swallowed. Lighter coloured costumes or reflective collars or strips will help you keep a better eye on your dog and allow other people to easily see them too. Dog’s which won’t tolerate full costumes may enjoy a simple bandana or bow tie, get creative!
    3. Trick or treating with your dog: It goes without saying that if you are going to take your dog trick or treating they will need to be well socialised so they’re polite to whoever is answering the door. If your dog is a little on the nervous side they might feel more comfortable staying in however if you do need to take them out during Halloween allow them to explore all the decorations at their own pace. Pumpkins with candles, statues, bunting and other decorations can all look very frightening in dim lighting to your dog and they may spook easily.
    4. Candy: There is going to be lots of candy wrappers and sweets around on Halloween which could easily be picked up and swallowed by your dog which can be very harmful to them. Make sure you have the number of your vet ready for emergencies and keep an eye on what your dog is doing.
    5. Walks: Plan your evening walk beforehand, most dogs would prefer to enjoy a nice evening walk before all the commotion starts.halloween
  3. When we have a new dog come into our school we first preform an induction.

    Inductions can take up to 60 minutes and it allows us to assess if the dog would be suitable for a day school environment. We ask owners to stay in reception as to not distract the dogs and so we can see how the dogs react without their owners present as this can sometimes influence a dog’s behaviour. We one by one introduce the new dog to our day school dogs keeping them on trial lines for safety. Our staff are trained to look for both good and bad behaviours in the dog and assess them.

    Once the induction is passed the dogs can then be booked in for full or half days in school and we continuously assess their behaviours.

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