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Halloween and Fireworks the bain of my dogs' life.....

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It's not fun for a dog at this time of year, very stressful for some.  One of mine suffers with fear and stress and the other is not bothered at all but since having Dave who quite likes the fireworks, Queenie seems less bothered and definately less stressed, looks like Daves' bravery is rubbing off.

So here is my advice to all that are worried:

I buy Adaptil difuser and collar, this sends out the equivilant of the mothers appeasing pheremones to help calm the pup, a couple of weeks before firework night.

I have also purchased a Thundershirt but you can use a kids t-shirt, this needs to be worn nice and snug around the dogs' body, it's the same feeling we have have when we are stressed and get hugged, it's calming.

Don't take your dog out for a walk at night in case any go off, either do an early walk or a very late night one. Make sure you feed your dog before dark and they have done their business, then they will have no need to go outside. I don't walk mine instead I play lots of stimulation games and dogtrain them a new trick, this will wear them out just as much as any dogwalk.

Make sure your dog has a 'safe place' to retreat to, whether it be under a table or in a crate, make sure it is made a bit like a den it makes them feel safer.  I used to cover my crate up with a blanket and put old t-shirts of mine in and favourite toys and something to chew, I no longer have a crate but I do make a den area for Queenie to retreat to that is dark and cosy for her.

If your dog likes to play invite a friend round with a dog, if your dog doesn't mind other dogs in the house, this keeps their mind off the noise especially if you turn the radio or TV up.   This helped Queenie a lot but is not for all dogs, this depends how your dog expresses their fear.  If they express fear aggressively then this is not advised.

If you have a multidog household and one is fearful still make a den for them to retreat to.

Frozen stuffed kong, or stuffed bone, or any stuffed treat that takes a long time to chew.  If you freeze them they last longer and nice feeling on the gums.  Dogs like to chew to relieve stress so these type of items are necessary.

Keep your dog occupied.  You may miss your favorite soap but record it! The more the dog is kept entertained the less likely they will be bothered with the noise.  Distraction.

Give your dog regular calming signals in their language, this tells them everything is ok.  If you go to you tube and type in Kikopup calming signals you can see how she does it.

Turn up the TV or radio it drones out the noise and shut the curtains so they can't see them.

Most importantly be there for them and do not make a fuss, if you hear a loud bang ignore it ,if you react then you are only reinforcing it. Give them cuddles if they want them and leave them alone if they want space, always give them an escape route to where they feel safe.

Halloween is annoying time for you with a barking dog with all the trick and treaters and can sometimes stress the dog out.  Lets face it all that guarding the house is stressful and tiring.

If you think it bothers your dog or you then put a polite notice on the front door, no one will judge you.  I would rather my dogs be happy and stress free than worry about what people think.

I don't mind a few knocks on the door but sometimes it can be 20 times plus and for me that is excessive for my dogs, so I put out the sign after I've had half a dozen knocks.  Look at it as a first come first serve basis!

I hope these tips help you and I shall be making my den soon, maybe we should have a competition for the best one..........

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