Advice for Nervous Dogs
Today I’ve got some advice for nervous dogs. In the UK tomorrow it’s bonfire night, which is traditionally the time humans insist on having a lot of fireworks. I’ve put together this handy step by step guide for you to go through with your humans to help them understand the best approach to take for your sake. Obviously, it doesn’t just apply to bonfire night and can be used to help your humans to understand your needs at any time.
Step by step guide for humans to help their dogs
Firstly, and most importantly, take your humans on one side and ask them very nicely not to buy any fireworks to use in your garden at home and absolutely not to take you to any firework displays. Help them understand that if you get really frightened you might not think straight and may end up bolting and then not know where you are. If you explain really carefully, they will see that it’s a bad idea for all of you.
Secondly, if you aren’t like Aristotle and begging to be allowed to sit by the window where you can see the pretty lights best, then ask if there is somewhere away from the windows where you can sit so you are protected from either seeing or hearing what is going on. Ideally get your human to take you for a good long walk earlier in the day and then only on a secure lead close to the house to pee if you need to go out until it’s all over.
Thirdly, ask them to play some music for you at a loud enough volume to cover the bangs going on outside. Classic FM are running a special programme of music with just this in mind, but not all dogs like classical music anymore than all humans. If you prepare something a bit more rocky, that’s ok too, just make sure you give your human your playlist so you don’t have to suffer their choices. I had to listen to Bay City Rollers through a thunderstorm in the summer and I’m still in therapy to recover from the experience.
Fourthly, as your human to sit in your homemade shelter with you. There is nothing which will sooth you more than having your human there for moral support. Unless, your human is of a nervous disposition of course, then you might be better if they were to find you a nice calm human to be your sitter. If your human jumps every time there’s a bang, then you won’t be far behind.
A note for dog breeders
If your human breeds dogs, then make sure when they have puppies they play lots of different sounds to the puppies so that they get used to noises at an early stage. Mum used to play a track of sounds during puppy meal time so they were doing something that made them happy at the same time. This may well be why Aristotle likes watching the fireworks! You can get tracks with everything from children shouting, to crowds of people, to aeroplanes and other loud noises. You get the idea.
I’m told humans like to have sausages in buns and things like that when they go to bonfires. Ask them to get you some dog sausages as well, it won’t stop the bangs upsetting you, but it will cheer you up afterwards. Make sure they get dog sausages and remind them that the ones they eat are bad for you as they contain onion.
Stay safe and happy.
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