Behaviour

9 Ways to Ease Noise Anxiety in Dogs

With July 4th right around the corner, many of us are gearing up for a weekend of outdoor fun topped off with a good show of fireworks.

Unfortunately, others are anxiously preparing for their least favorite day of the year: when the sounds of fireworks send dogs of all shapes and sizes cowering into corners and bathrooms across the U.S. I count ourselves lucky that Topher seems to have no negative reaction to fireworks or thunder, having seen first hand the kind of deep anxiety these noises elicit in other dogs.

Here are a few things you can do to help ease noise anxiety in dogs, especially around the holidays that involve fireworks.

7 Ways to Have a Safe and Happy Halloween with Your Dog

Ah, Halloween. That one time of year when putting your animals in clothes is not only acceptable, but encouraged. (At least, encouraged by some. My husband, on the other hand, is not as agreeable.) Plus, there’s candy and costumes! However, while Halloween can be a fun-filled holiday, it can also be stressful for your pets. Here are a few tips to ensure your dog enjoys Halloween just as much as you do this year.

Teaching Your Adult Dog To Be Gentle

Topher is a very energetic dog. He can also play a bit rough sometimes—let’s just say being delicate is not really in his repertoire, much to our cats’ dismay. We continue to work on his rough housing, but one aspect where I think we’ve done very well his in training Topher to have what’s called “bite inhibition” or a gentle mouth.

When dogs don’t learn bite inhibition as puppies, they can end up hurting people (or other dogs) even if they are only trying to play. It’s important to teach a puppy to play gently, and they tend to catch on to it quickly—but how to you start teaching your adult dog to be gentle?

Dealing With Thunderstorm Phobia In Dogs

There are few things sadder than watching your dog turn into a frightened, shivering mess in the face of an oncoming storm. No one really knows for sure what causes thunderstorm phobia in dogs. Some scientists say it’s a response to the barometric pressure changes in the air, while others point to the increase in static electricity. It could be any number of things that our dogs are reacting to—until they can tell us, we won’t know for sure.

When it comes to dealing with a dog’s thunderstorm phobia, you may need to try a combination of approaches to calm your dog. A dog’s fear of storms is not rational, and we can’t just explain to our pups that there’s nothing to fear. However, there are a few things you can do to ease your dog’s fear and potentially train and desensitize them to future thunderstorms.

5 Tips For Bonding With Your Dog

I have a confession: sometimes, when Topher is jerking me around in class or fraying at my last nerve with yet another reactive outburst… I stop liking him very much. I know! It’s a terrible thing to say! But when you own a reactive dog, stress and frustration can become a part of your daily and weekly routine; it’s important to try your best not to hold onto those feelings, not to let them negatively impact your bond with your dog.

Even if you don’t have a reactive dog, there are lots of ways to further bond with your pet! A strong connection with your dog can go along way, from giving you more patience in dealing with their less favorable idiosyncrasies, to helping them feel calmer and more balanced overall.