Summer Survival Guide
It's That Time of Year Again!
Did you know that the Fourth of July is the most common day for dogs to run away? It could be the smells (burning), the flshing lights or even teh big booms....so before you read on, double check that you registered that microchip (soooo many families forget). This is how a vet or the Humane Society will reconnect you with your dog!!
I'm confident with some training or desensitizing we can all ease our dood's fears. We have Cos who would rather not be up stairs for thunderstorms or fireworks, we have Izzy who loves to watch the lights & we have Taffy, who just follows the lead of whichever dog she's hanging out with the most that day, mostly, she doesn't care.
Some Quick & Easy Tips on how to keep your dood calm during the fun and/or chaos of the summer holiday.
Keep Your Dog Away From Fireworks - if you know they're not a fan of big noises, don't make them suffer through the fireworks. Our Cos HATES fireworks and we have a big show this weekend near our house, so we know that he prefers the basement with the TV on and I have either a box fan or a noise machine going too. Now, Izzy, that girl loves the Fireworks, so she stays out and watches them!
Make Sure Your Pet Has Proper ID - easy peasey, dog tag & microchip registered!
Give Them a Safe Place To Go - Dogs are den animals, so if they love their crate, you can put them in there, or if they like the basement, that's perfect! We play music or run a fan to help with the noise.
Comfort Them - talk to them, act normal, but none of that 'it's ok, we're ok', as I tell my kids, 'don't baby him, treat him the same'
Desensitize Your Dog to the Sounds of Fireworks - this is more in depth, see the tips and tricks from BAXTER & bella below for that.
Is Your Dood's Anxiety Severe - you've tried a thunder jacket, calming oils, worked with at vet, tried the tips above? If none of that has worked, it might be time to talk to your vet.
Our Friends at BAXTER & Bella shared this great article on how to prepare your pup for all the noises that summer brings. With a little preparedness, your dood should be in a good spot (frame of mind) when things get loud. Our oldest doodle Cos has always been more timid around the loud noises and at 12 years old, these tips have helped already!
It’s that time of year again when fireworks are getting set to go off (hopefully, though things may be very different this year depending on where you live) and summertime thunderstorms are prevalent. Is your pup ready? Loud noises may scare dogs to the point they run off, hide in fear or become unable to function. Their survival instincts tell them to do so.
This behavior can be avoided by simply socializing your puppy to loud noise and sounds while he is young, keeping each interaction short and positive. Start now, well before the fireworks are going off. Find anything that makes noise and introduce your pup to it one sound at a time. Be creative but make sure to not do too much at once. Mix it up throughout the week and ALWAYS give high-value rewards when the loud sounds come out. Stay happy and calm as that will help your pup do the same. When you are calm, he is more likely to be calm. Set your puppy up for success by dropping items on carpet first to dampen sounds, then vary heights once you move to dropping items on hard floors such that the sounds start out quietly.
Have a friend help you. They can drop the item while you start as far away from the sound as possible, treating your puppy once they hear the sound. Gradually work your way closer and closer to the sound. Do NOT try to scare your puppy. If at any point your puppy stops taking the treat, he is too nervous. So create space, lessen the sound so it is not as loud then gradually build up to getting closer and closer to the loud noises. Also, NEVER force your pup to investigate or move closer. If they startle, simply act confidently and move past whatever is scaring him. Reward him for looking to you for a treat or toy. TIP: I like to play games my puppy loves while the noise is going on around him to keep him relaxed and happy.
Bang pots and pans, shoot cap guns, wave tinfoil around your pup. Try rock music played at different volumes, car doors shutting, vacuums, paper shredders, engines of: lawn mowers, snow blowers, 4-wheelers or motorcycles, CD’s with thunder recordings, chimes, bells, drums, etc. There are so many options. Again, keep sessions short and positive! It’s the quickest way to build success. Do not try to socialize your puppy to every sound at once.
On the night of the actual fireworks or thunder storm, plan to stay a fair distance away from the chaos, depending on how much you were able to socialize your pup to beforehand. Have a plan B ready to go in case your pup shows signs of fear. We do not want the night to be a negative experience AT ALL. For example, if your pup is fearful outside in the dark with loud noises and crowds of people, move inside or drive a few blocks away where the sounds may still be heard but not as loud. If a storm is happening, make sure your puppy is inside the house with you. Play his favorite game or offer high-value rewards to redirect his focus onto something positive. You know your pup best, so be observant of how he is acting and do your best to keep him calm and confident!
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