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Today we are open from
09:00 - 17:30

There are lots of things coming up over the next few months…

Halloween can be an exciting time of year, especially if you have young children. With pumpkins to carve, spooky costumes, dastardly decorations, tricks, treats, vampire visitors and ghostly guests knocking on the door.

But what about our canine companions?

There’s so much going on!  It can actually be very stressful and overwhelming for many dogs. It’s full of novel, strange and downright scary things that your dog may have never seen or experienced before.

Downtime is VITAL! And you can never have too much calmness. 

Here are some helpful hacks...

for a Happy HOWL-OWEEN to get ready for the spookiest time of year…

Have a safe space to give your dog a break from all goings-on. You could use creates, pens or a separate room with their favourite bed, away from all the excitement.  

It’s super important to give them something to do when things get a little crazy. Make sure your fridge, freezer and cupboards are stocked full of healthy calming things.

Let them enjoy a long-lasting chew (such as yakkers, antlers or natural chews) to help them focus on something else and empty their “stress bucket.” 

Taking the fear out of fireworks

Dogs’ senses are much more acute than ours, especially their hearing. It’s common for them to be sensitive to the loud bangs, flashes and vibrations of fireworks, after all, fireworks are unpredictable and can seem to come out of nowhere. It’s no wonder they can find them worrying. 

Every dog will have their own way of coping when they are frightened. They will ‘do’ something to indicate they are fearful. Their behaviour may be very obvious or may be more subtle, so watch out for things such as restlessness, vigilance, seeking out people, panting, trying to escape, hiding, cowering away, barking, scratching a door, destructive behaviour, toileting in the house, salivating, lip licking and yawning. 

So how can you best support your dog, both in the run-up to firework season, and in the moment?

Ideally, your preparation starts well in advance and, like with Halloween, there are lots of ways you can support your dog to make the best of what could be a very stressful experience. 

  • Include some naturally calming activities daily, like a long-lasting chew, licky mats, frozen treats (just make sure they are thawed first!) or some food scattered on the floor that your dog has to scent out and find.
  • Create a doggy chill-out zone – somewhere out of the way where they can relax and feel safe, such as a room of the house away from everyone, a crate, or a puppy pen.
  • Does your dog prefer classical music or reggae? Music with a bass can help some dogs react less fearfully to the bangs of fireworks, go with whatever helps relax your dog.
  • You’ve done all you can to prepare your dog in advance, but what can you do to help in the moment? 

Check out our top tips for you and your dog on the night: 

  • Avoid taking your dog out at night or times when you know fireworks are likely to be let off.
  • Continue with your calming activities (have a variety of filled bones and licky mats prepared in advance). Licking is a naturally soothing activity, not only will it keep your dog occupied, it will help promote feelings of calmness at the same time.
  • Mask the sounds – put some music on. Whatever you choose, make sure you don’t choose a film or television programme with fireworks or gunshots!
  • Communicate to your dog that noises are nothing to worry about.
  • Get them moving! In stressful situations, movement can make them feel better. Pop some music on and play some games that involve movement. That might be as simple as chasing some food across the floor or it might be spins, bows, or retrieving objects. If your dog is able to play, keep them engaged and keep them moving!
  • Keep yourself calm! Dogs pick up on our emotions. 

We hope this helps everyone in your household enjoy these fantastic events.