Spooky Season is here, it is one of my favourites for so many reasons! Dog walks in the sunshine, but there's a little bite of cold in the air, meaning it's officially jumper season. Not just for me but for the dogs too! It's important to keep the cold off your dogs, especially those who have musculoskeletal conditions, (find out why in the Groundhog Day blog)
Stef has gone shopping MAD with lots of Halloween themed toys, some of my favourites are,
- Sodapup Jack O’ Lantern
Pumpkins are a cornerstone of Halloween celebrations, but did you know that your dog can also enjoy some as part of their diet. Keep some of the flesh from carving and boil up for a lovely fibre and vitamin A boost to the diet. Even the pumpkin seeds can be dried in the oven, ground down and added are a great source of manganese and natural wormer. Of course when adding anything new into the diet, use in moderation and gradually introduce it to ensure no upset tummies. If your dog has any health conditions be sure to check with your vet before feeding.
As much as I love the weather and spooky decorations, one fact we can’t get away from is that we are leading into one of the most difficult times of year for many animals.
Knocking on the door can be a huge trigger for dogs rushing to see who is there. Combine that with halloween costumes, which can be pretty scary for our dogs being unable to see peoples faces.
Fireworks, fireworks and more fireworks. I loathe fireworks, if it was a case of just the 5th being the only night that we can manage. Sadly this isn’t the case, with fireworks being sold to the general public they can go off any time day or night.
New Years Eve-
Again we have many more fireworks, these ones usually going much later into the evening.
Before we get into the full swing of spooky season, you can start work NOW to help prep your dog. I’m going to go through some of my tips and products for getting your pooch ready.
- Ensuring your dog has a safe quiet space to call their own, such as a crate with a blanket over it, to try dampen sound and offer some respite from the noise, (discussed more in Crufts & Crates blog)
- Maybe you have a crate and cover but fancy treating your pooch to a new super soft bed to make their space the ultimate chill out zone, check out the bed range at Stefs
- Using Pet Remedy in the crate can aid in calming your pooch, check if your dog likes this before spraying it in their space.
Classic FM is a great one to have playing in the background, they even do a special bonfire night special for animals. This can again help to dampen the noise of fireworks out, or if your dog likes a particular genre of music create a spotify playlist for them.
- Dorwest Skullcap and Valerian is my ultimate go to, I start the tablets with my Rodney now and then use the Valerian compound to top him up during the super loud evenings.
- A new product to the market that I am OBSESSED with is the Mr Slobberchops RollerDog Restful. This is a lovely blend of calming essential oils for your dog to enjoy its soothing properties. Open and allow your dog to sniff the bottle, if the initiate further interaction apply some on their collar or just behind their ears to soak up the essential oil goodness.
- Pet Remedy Kit includes a spray, plug in and wipes to bring together a lovely calming package. You can also just purchase the spray on its own.
- Dermadog has their Hush Calming Spray, another gorgeous blend of essential oils to help relax your pooch and even you!
- Benyfit Natural have their Calming Topper, a combination of calming herbs to add on top of any meal.
- Proflax Calm has a beautiful mix of calming herbs in a flaxseed or Omega blend, depending on your dog's preference.
- Please note that any natural additions whether herbal or essential oil based can have profound effects and you should seek veterinary guidance before use.
- I love lickmats and interactive toys to keep brains engaged and divert attention away from noisy evenings. Check out my Enrichment blog for my recommendations.
- Long lasting chews are also a good shout, to promote self soothing behaviours along with brain games.
- Try to get walks in early doors or if you have a nervous dog, stick to essential loo breaks to reduce stress from fireworks. When venturing out ensure you dog has an up to date identity tag on, including some LED lights for your dogs collar to keep them visible in the dark.
- Ensure you check the perimeter of your garden, making sure there are no holes in the boundaries of something your dog can jump over. Sadly in moments of fight or flight your dog can act out of character and leave the safety of the garden. To be super safe, even with one of my dogs that is totally fine with fireworks, I pop a lead on to go to the loo in the garden.
Starting your prep now helps set your pooch up for a better Spooky season. Giving them safe outlets and providing support can make such a difference to their emotional health during this period.
I will be back in store 29th October to discuss all things joint health, pain management and natural supplements. So pop in for a chat!
Continue to nourish your dogs with species appropriate nutrition, massage and compassion.
Catch up soon,