It’s a scary time of year for dogs

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Okay so this bat aint so scary, but seriously, it’s actually a really unpleasant time for dogs at the moment.

Halloween, as fun as it can be, is full of people in weird-looking costumes that smell funny, all very confusing for a dog to see someone who is familiar to them looking different. And imagine how it must feel for a dog to come across a load of kids in Halloween costumes while out on a walk. Freaky!

I popped into a few shops this week to see what kind of Halloween dog stuff is on sale at the moment and it turns out Halloween has sold out. The only worthwhile thing I could find was this bat in TKMaxx. However Guinness has had a lot of fun playing with it and surprisingly its only lost an ear so far.

DSC_7445 Anyway back to the serious message in this post… the other scary thing around this time of year is Bonfire Night! I bet at least 80% of dog owners reading this will be wincing at the mere mention of the word.

Fireworks are scary for dogs. Even when you get your dog fully prepared for them with noise effect CDs and lots of reward and correct socialisation, they can still get spooked by real life fireworks. You just can’t replicate the actual experience of those whizzes and bangs.

Of course if you own a gundog breed you’ll probably be fine, especially if they’re from working stock, after all they’ve been bred to work on the shoot and be okay with gunshots. However for the rest of us, Bonfire Night is a bit of a nightmare.

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Guinness’ reaction isn’t toooooooo bad (I say that lightly) as he tends to act quite territorial to them, barking and stamping his front feet. He’s developed a coping strategy (with a little persuasion from me) which is when a firework goes off and he starts barking I tell him to get his ball and he’ll grab it and predator shake it then bark with it in his mouth, thus muffling the sound. He’ll then put his ball down and stalk it and we’ll play until another bang goes off and repeat. While this isn’t the absolute worst, it is quite annoying when it goes on for a whole evening. However I feel sorry for the dogs that just hide and shake… to see them displaying such strong signs of stress must be heartbreaking.

There are loads of great resources out there providing tips and advice for preparing and helping your dog around this time of year, so I’m not going to replicate it on here for you. However the big one that I’d urge you to check out is the Kennel Club page: http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/our-resources/kennel-club-campaigns/fireworks

DSC_7419Anyway back to shopping… I was trying to find a nice scented candle while I was in TKMaxx when I spotted this adorable box with a spotty red candle inside! The photo is awful sorry but the scent is called “cozy by the fire”! You may already know that I love a good fire and we’ve already had the wood burner lit loads, so what with the dog theme and scent name this was screaming out to be bought by me! I’ve got the candle lit right now and it’s quite a subtly pleasant scent, not over powering at all like some scented candles can be.

Anyway I’ll stop trying to be a lifestyle blogger now… it’s all about the dogs in here and remember, stay safe this Halloween and bonfire! Plus don’t forget to find out when your local firework display is so that you can be ready. Some places are having theirs this weekend.

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