It’s bonfire season which means fireworks! There are many dogs out there that are fearful and anxious of fireworks so to keep our dogs safe it’s good to skip the evening walk and use brain games instead.
Dogs love walks, there’s no denying that. But did you know that using brain power can often use as much, if not more energy than a walk and tire them out just like a walk.
We speak to dog trainer and owner of Paw Skills, Rosie, who gives her ideas on how you can keep your dog happily distracted during fireworks season.
Licking can help soothe the dog and use up excess energy. Dogs often carry stress in their mouths so it can help relieve anxiety and stress in dogs too.
There are some great products on the market such as kongs and lickimats that you can fill and spread tasty treats on.
For dogs that get through food quickly or eat too quickly use a frozen pupsicle! Mix some Wilsons Cold Pressed with some warm water to soften it up into a paste. Fill a kong with this paste and freeze it. This not only makes it last longer but for those dogs who get hot and bothered from fireworks it helps to cool them down.
Dogs brains process smells around 40 times more than we do and they have millions more receptors than we do so it’s no wonder they love to sniff.
This is a great excuse to place some more orders! Keep those cardboard boxes and hide some treats in them for your dog to find! Mix it up by filling them with shredded newspaper too for an extra tough puzzle for your dog to solve.
For dogs who aren’t interested in food you can hide their favourite ball or toy.
Refresh Your Training
Make a list of what you’ve taught your dog during their time with you. Is there something you haven’t tried in a while? We fall into habits with our training and often forget we’ve taught our dogs things like paw, stay and fetch.
Get your dog using their brain and remembering all the things you’ve learned with lots of treats given for all effort they make, even if it’s not perfect.
Don’t try anything new…when introducing a new trick, behaviour or toy to a dog they take in everything around them and associate it to the new thing. If a firework goes off while you are teaching a new trick, they will associate that fearful bang with the trick you are doing and are likely to avoid it again in the future.