Although some pets suffer all year round - as we approach Autumn and Winter many of us see an increase in our pets showing stress and anxiety-related symptoms.
Diwali, Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas Eve (did I really already use the C word…) and New Year are fun and action packed for us - but we generally celebrate in ways that can be scary for our dogs. Whether it is the dark nights and bad weather, scary masks or the loud fireworks that your dog doesn’t like, there are a few simple tips, tricks and products that can help keep your furry friend calm.
Stop! I know what you’re thinking, “it’s only September, why are you talking about this right now?” The simple truth is, just like any other stress factor, preparation is key. We’ve got a good few weeks before issues might arise. So that means time to order and products, speak to other dog owners or simply introduce your dog to something new.
So what options are there that can help?
When trying to combat such issues relating to our pet’s wellbeing, it’s important to take time to make informed decisions and work out what is the best course of action for you and your dog.
Sounds simple, and it kind of is, but for some dogs simply turning on the radio or TV, closing the curtains and entertaining them with some new treats and toys can do the trick to take their mind off things and calm the nerves – head over to the Build Your Box section, to see the new range of Chewbox products we have.
Pheromone Sprays & Diffusers
Most often odourless and colourless, pheromones are natural chemicals produced by a species that affects the feelings and behaviours in a certain way. There are lots of options out there on the market, like Adaptil and Pet Remedy, and they come as plug-in diffusers, collars and sprays. They work by sending out soothing chemical messages that your dog picks up on subconsciously, that let me know they’re in a safe space.
Most of these types of products recommend you introduce them a short while before you expect any stress, so they have time to work – see, preparation is key! You should always read the manufacturers guidance thoroughly before making any decisions, and always follow the instructions.
It’s also worth noting, that these chemical pheromones are specific to species. So, if you have other animals at home like cats, then you would need separate versions for your cat & dog.
Inspired by the action of swaddling a baby for comfort and reassurance, comfort wraps are anxiety jackets. Aiming to take the ‘pet’ out of ‘petrified’, they’re designed to apply mild but constant pressure which often soothes distressed pets and even calms over excitement in a natural, non-intrusive way.
There’s a host of brands out there, and they are available in a range of sizes. Most work by wrapping around your dog and have a Velcro strap in the belly to hold in place. As with any new item, have the treats handy, and get your dog used to wearing these kinds of things over time. Hate to say it again but…. Preparation is key.
Supplements and tablets
For dogs who perhaps suffer more than others, or who’s triggers aren’t seasonal and therefore can’t really be planned for, it might be worth a conversation with your vet. There are some supplements on the market that come in a capsule or gel form, and can offer your dog some relief to their stresses.
Whenever considering medication, it goes without saying that you need to do your research, consult your vet and always follow the recommended doses.